I am unbelievably bored at work today. Have absolutely nothing to do. So not even sure how this popped up on my radar considering I've surfed all the internet there is worth surfing before 10 AM, but it did and I'm bringing it to you all.
I present to you Oyster. Put simply it is a subscription service that can best be described as Netflix but for books.
The service allows you to trial it for 30 days, at which point if you decide to keep it then you'll be charged $9.95 a month to continue using it.
Some might naturally scoff at the idea of renting books, but what do you think a library is? Same idea. You borrow a book for a short period of time or until you complete it and return it when you're done and/or time is up. Some might think $9.95 a month is a bit much for such a service but I'd ask you to pay a visit to your local book store and then you might think twice about scoffing at that price. Even trade paperbacks you grab from the shelf in an impulse buy frame of mind at Walmart run you on average of about $7 a pop.
As far as selection, the service itself currently advertises an "unmatched selection" and flat out states it has over 500,000 books. A quick look at what they have on the page shows books such as The Great Gatsby and The Giver, sharing space alongside books from Stephen Colbert and Chelsea Handler. Clicking here or there takes you to a number of offerings from Stephen King, including some of his latest (although maybe not so much greatest) books or the biography on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
Insofar as genres and curated selections are concerned you can choose from Featured, Biography, Business, Children's, Fiction & Literature, History, Mystery & Thriller, Politics & Social Science, Religion & Spirituality, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Self-Improvement, Sports, Technology & Science, Young Adult and More. All of which essentially cover anything and everything you might be interested in reading.
I haven't had a chance yet to delve further into the reading experience, but I can state as a matter of fact that you have a number of options available for offline and mobile reading. There is naturally an app for iOS devices, one for Android devices found in the Play Store (which looks phenomenal and I'll include pics of here below) and lastly for those who use Kindle devices.
All in all this doesn't look like too bad a deal. I'd highly recommend trying it for a month and seeing if you'd like to stick around for the monthly recurring fee. If you read even a fraction of the books I do in a month the service essentially pays for itself and you'll be saving a fortune at the same time for books you'll read once and relegate to life on a shelf or lending out to others and forgetting you even own until they casually return them at some point in the future.
And at the end of the day, I think we can all agree that you can never do enough reading.
Besides, you could always pull a me and write it off come tax time. What do you think I do with my Google Play Music All Access and Google Drive subscriptions? Those are essential items and tools that are required by me for use in my job!
Now, I believe I mentioned something about pics.