The New Oyster App: Unlimited Reading with One Fee


Ready for a modern-day digital book service? Think about trying out the Oyster app. This e-book service, which has raised $17 million in funding and continues to grow, has recently come up with some exciting updates. If you are a frequent reader and have been looking for a more leisurely, on-demand form of access to books, read on.

Oyster App: Library for Hire

Oyster is often called “Netflix for books,” because of its fee structure and the way it lets you peruse a wide volume of books. The typical e-book model lets you buy each book separately and hold onto a digital copy forever, usually on an e-reader or a corresponding app on your phone or tablet. Oyster forgoes the pay-per-book model and instead allows you access to a whole library full of books for a monthly fee.

Pay $9.95 per month, and you can access more than 500,000 books whenever you want. The books come from two big publishers — HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The Oyster app also brings in titles from a broad number of smaller publishers with more select libraries. You can pick up and drop books as frequently as you like, allowing you to rapidly move through various genres and writing styles until you find something you like — all without paying anything extra.

Again, much like Netflix, the company has various sections designated for specific interests, including a children’s book section that offers a number of kid-friendly options from publishers like Disney. In other words, there’s a little something for all the readers in your family.

Updated For Android and iOS

The Oyster app has been around for a while, but with a few shortcomings — namely a lack of compatibility with any Android devices. With its latest update, Oyster has solved this problem and now offers apps for all types of Android platforms. To accommodate those many screens, the app is now extra-responsive, adjusting automatically based on how you access it. At the same time, Oyster released a list of updates and new features across all operating systems, which included:

  • Read Time: Read time is a feature that tries to estimate how long it will take you to read any particular book. If you read at an average speed, this is a handy calculator for how long it will take you to get through that book you are considering.
  • Better Book Details: Updated book details add more color, more recommendations, and a better layout for perusing titles and picking out new options.
  • Editor Notes: Editor notes are now available for the bestsellers and favorite titles in the Oyster library. See what the editorial team has to say about particular books, so you can make better decisions.
  • More Themes: The latest reader themes boast new fonts, color palettes and other updates to make the reading screen more friendly.
  • Wythe: Wythe is a new feature that switches your reading mode into a high-contrast theme with extra-legible print. This is designed to help you read your books in sunlight or by a window where conditions are a little too bright for the average theme.
  • Expanded Night Mode: Night mode has also got an extension, allowing any theme to be used with night settings.

Should I Get Oyster?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances.

No. 1 — Do you spend more than $10 a month on books anyway (or do you wish you did?) If the answer is yes, then the Oyster app is probably a good deal. For the average price of a single book, you get monthly access to hundreds of thousands. Readers, especially quick readers, will be hard-pressed to find a better deal.

However, you should also ask a follow-up question:

No. 2 — What kind of books do you like to read? Are you a fan of the latest bestsellers? Do you only follow particular authors or stories? Remember, Oyster only offers books from two of the five big publishers, and there is no guarantee you will immediately get new releases in the app. You might decide to subscribe, only to find that the Oyster app doesn’t have any of the books you really want to read. Do a little research before making your first move.

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