‘Netflix For Books’ Launching Soon, May Make Our Teenagers Read More

shutterstock_153079073__1378655252_142.196.156.251Oyster is a book subscription app that is basically like Netflix for readers. For one monthly subscription fee you get access to thousands of books. I’m wondering if this will make my teenage stepdaughter read more?

You know how once you buy a teenager something, it’s like “Hey thanks!” – and 10 minutes later they’re dropping hints about the next thing they’re dying to get? I feel like this app will fill the “always wanting the next thing” void, as they can have access to an unlimited amount of titles each month. Only lets be real, it’s not music – it’s literature. I wonder if my stepdaughter will bite?

I think it can be a cool tool to get kids more interested in reading though. Unlimited access is just fun. It’s the reason I could spend hours at a time on Spotify. Oyster seems to have the same idea.  How cool would it be to have your favorite passages at your fingertips?

From the Oyster blog:


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 such that the user doesn’t perceive them as disparate activities— enabling a complete consumption experience. With Oyster, we’re bringing this to books.

Clearly I’m just super excited about this and hoping to justify another subscription to something by rationalizing that my kids might like it. But if this is as great as it sounds – sign me up.

(photo: AN NGUYEN/ Shutterstock)

Be Sociable, Share!
You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
Be Sociable, Share!
  • notme

    Or get a library card?

    • chickadee

      Most libraries lend e-books, too.

    • jenniferchen24

      If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re
      not doing anything very innovative. Just move towards a new spam-free work to
      earn USD’s… http://www.bay35.ℂℴm

    • JLH1986

      My library has very limited choices and doesn’t work well with my Nook or Kindle apps. So I’m holding out hope that changes. Until then, I’m a regular visitor to the building.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I have one of those and make prolific use out of it! My issue that the books that I want are frequently not in the system or have a hold list longer than an LA traffic jam, so there are some books that I really really want to read that I could be waiting months, if not years, for. Problem 2 with those same books is that there’s frequently someone else (or numerous other someones else) who have also put a hold on the book so that I HAVE to finish it within the three-week checkout limit, since renewal’s not an option. Not a big deal for many books, but for, say, the books in the Game of Thrones series, I usually don’t have enough downtime to finish them in the requisite time period. As for the library’s e-book system, that can also take months between putting in a request and finally getting the email with the dowload link.

      Tl;dr: libraries are awesome, but I’m excited about using this service to help fill in the Denver Public Library system’s gaps.

    • Snarktopus

      But there are other people at the library~.

  • chickadee

    My theory about what will ‘get a kid to read’ is that if they don’t enjoy reading and they aren’t willing to make time for it on their own, then what will get them to read is your you have to requiring it. A new platform usually isn’t going to do it.

    You have to make time to go to the library, to figure out what she wants to read or what she would like to read…and then get the best and most literate version of that. My eldest loves graphic novels, so I got her Maus and Maus II, both Persepolis books, and a Beowulf to go along with the Walking Deads.

    • Tea

      If she’s the artistic sort, get her “Blankets” by Craig Thompson, it’s extremely powerful as a late teenager, and it’s beautiful.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    I might be interested in this. I would like to see what they have to offer.

    • Courtney Harris

      I signed up for this last Friday. I don’t like that it only works on iPhone now because I love my Kindle for reading. I also don’t like that you can’t peruse their book selection before entering your credit card information – I probably wouldn’t have signed up if I knew beforehand that they didn’t carry any Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I’m sure I will find plenty to read, but they’re not the new releases or bestsellers that I’m looking for. It says you can cancel your subscription any time.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      Thanks for the info. I do not have an iphone or any other apple products so I guess for now I will pass.

  • Mickey

    One why is it a big deal if she reads or not? Two wouldn’t this just be like Kindle or Nook?

    • Shelly Lloyd

      I don’t know about nook, but Kindle has “prime” which is kind of subscription service, i think it is $70 a year and you get free shipping, movies/tv shows on line, but you can only read one or two free books a month and it isn’t all their books only select books are available for “prime.”

    • Mickey

      My point is I have a Kindle I can get most books for cheap or free and I don’t have to do a monthly fee. I don’t understand why people wouldn’t just buy a Kindle.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      I have a kindle too, but I can not get all the books I want for cheap or free. There are a lot of $10-$20 books that I would like to read. But I do not always have time to run down to the library. I can easily read 10+ books a month and if this service offers a lot of the books that are on my “to be read” list then it would be something that I would be interested in.

    • Mickey

      Ok. I have only paid 10 bucks for one book. I can find the ones I like for free or for cheap.

  • Helen Hyde

    I just can’t read a whole book on an electric screen, it just doesn’t feel right.

    • Cee

      I used to think like this, but when you finish reading a book at midnight and want to start another ASAP, not to mention you find it cheaper online and you can highlight and note things without feeling guilty for ruining the pages…well, I caved.

  • Tea

    I would be really tempted if it was available for tablets/kindles/not-just-phones.

  • HS

    I still haven’t been able to read a book on a device. I can’t get into it. And I take advantage of holds at the library by finding another book to enjoy. I also refuse to pay for services that are provided for free (I.e libraries).

  • Snarktopus


  • lin

    I don’t think it would get someone into reading. Sounds pretty cool to me though. Not everyone can get to a library. It is a bit of a hassle for me and I always have late fees. So, I may as well pay a low subscription fee and read all I want. I’d have to look into it more, but I think it has potential.

  • matt30fl

    I don’t see it drawing in many new readers, but for my daughter with a $30 a week “book habit” it will be something worth looking into.

  • BubbleyToes

    I can’t wait to get this for myself!!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    That there is a market for this illustrates that local libraries are not meeting their communities’ needs. I know my local branch stinks, and I live in a major city.