Would You Be Interested In An Ebook Subscription Service?

Bibliophiles on a budget may have some good news on the way: a burgeoning startup is getting ready to hit the literary world with Spotify-style book service Oyster. A yet-to-be-determined monthly fee will give the voracious readers of the world unlimited access to Oyster's library.

The launch date remains a mystery, but we do know that its first rendition is coming in the form of an iPhone app. No word about a version for other platforms, although we can't imagine why at least an Android version wouldn't be released eventually.

Amazon's Kindle Lending Library basically the same thing, but it's restricted to Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime account in the US. And its selection of rentable books is notoriously terrible. Publishers and authors are generally delighted by anything that could cut into the retail giant's inordinate success, so that collective distaste may just be enough to give Oyster a fighting chance.

Of course, without knowing how much Oyster plans to charge — or how broad its selection will be — it's hard to say whether it will be worth it. There's also the question of how much demand there is for a service like this in the first place. Spotify might serve well to soundtrack our lives, but reading takes a bit more attention; there are only so many books we can consume in a month. We'll see just how promising the service is as soon as its website offers more than just the option to sign up for an invitation. [Oyster via Business Insider]

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio


Comments

    As you sate it depends on the price and range of books available. But I would definitely be interested in something like this.
    I have 2 - 3 hours of total travelling to and from work so I have plenty of time to read. :)
    And if renting the books ends up cheaper then buying them then I could make great use of this.

    I would suggest they charge based on popularity of the book - so authors are encouraged to write better - more popular stuff. On Day One your first book choice is free - but the cost of that book if you choose to dead it again is a cent a book after that, then 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10- increasing as the number of people who read that book increase. Top it off at around 2 dollars So you might read a book for free on entry - but if 200 people have read the book bam - 2 dollars the next time you read that book. That will get a hell of a lot of people reading books for a cent a book and once the cheap books run out...

    You know if we had an intelligent government they could develop the subscription library scheme but knowing them it would be more expensive.....
    You do realise that paper doesn't use batteries and the library is free to borrow from if you take care of the books ? And who'd steal a PAPER book these days?

    Last edited 12/10/12 6:56 pm

      If my local library had a decent selection, I'd be there every weekend!

    What is it? Kinda like a Napster for Aussies instead of Hispanics?

    I already pay for one. Council rates cover the local library that have an overdrive subscription. I'd rather money was spent enhancing this existing service that is available - this way paper and electronic books can be made available to all who can use these public libraries at no additional cost.

    Hmm, may be worth keeping an eye on. I read between 1 and 3 books per week. Even with the book depository it's a bit if an expensive hobby. The library isn't an option as they rarely have books I like to read. If the range is broad enough and the subscription low enough (say $20 per month) I'd give it a go. But, it would need to have a good selection of new release and classic science fiction or no dice.

    If it gets anything like Audible then no thanks. Sure you can have ALL your favourite eBooks but ONLY on selected devices. That's like buying a t-shirt and then havng to ask the store when and where you can wear it. SCREW AUDIBLE !

    For being greedy swine i'll get those audiobooks from Pirate Bay thanks Mr Audible.

    Last edited 13/10/12 8:38 pm

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