Readers often find their best book recommendations when they aren’t even looking for them. Maybe you’re at lunch with a friend who brings up the new book that you just can’t miss, and reading it sets you on a new path. Or you read about the books that influenced your favorite designer or writer. These recommendations come from nearly everywhere: friends, television shows, thought leaders, and algorithms.
But this process can be cumbersome and difficult, requiring you to jump between multiple applications and devices. The best products tend to pair discovery with consumption in a way where the user doesn’t perceive them as disparate activities— enabling a complete consumption experience. With Oyster, we’re bringing this to books.
When everyone has access to the same library, you can share and curate with confidence. Friends can read the same book in one-click, without having to make an additional purchase or hunt for a link to buy it.
That’s from Oyster’s blog post yesterday, introducing a book app that allows you to pick freely among a wide range of titles for a monthly fee. They’re recreating chance conversations, the creators say, where the problem isn’t about how to get to a bookstore, or how much a book will cost, but rather how much time you have to read all that you want. Not a bad problem to have. Check out Oyster’s site here.
Here’s Fast Company:
There are a handful of subscription-based models floating around, but their focus is usually on a niche selection of titles. Yesterday, Harper Collins announced it will start offering subscription-based business and leadership titles through e-learning company Skillsoft’s on-demand training library. The TED Books app charges $14.99 for a three-month, six-mini-books plan that delivers short titles written by its conference speakers.
But because so much of Oyster’s mission is about helping its users discover new titles, it’s naturally looking to offer as wide a range of genres, publishers, and authors as possible. That means its closest existing competition lies in Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library, which lets $79-per-year Amazon Prime members rent just one book per month, but from a large selection of 100,000 titles.
It’s still very early, though, to come to any conclusions.
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