APP REVIEW: Oyster: It’s Netflix for the bookworm
Four out of five stars
A few months ago, my cousin and I were talking about reading books on our new tablets. She said she enjoyed the convenience of reading books on her Kindle, but didn’t know what to do with the ebook after she finished it.
I thought it would be great if there was an app that acted like a library where you could “check out” books and then “return” them when you were done.
Well, that exists.
It’s been called the Netflix of books.
Oyster is an app that lets you read an unlimited amount of books for as long as you want for just a $10 monthly fee. It started exclusively with Apple iOS products, such as the iPad, but since has expanded to Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD and on your computer.
The app allows you to search through a variety of genres, topics and top seller lists. Once you find a book that grabs your attention, which doesn’t take long because the selection is fantastic, you can read a short synopsis on it and add it to your reading list queue, of which mine continues to grow.
Then all you have to do is select one of the books from your list and download it. Once downloaded, the book is yours. And the best part is you can read it offline. You don’t need to be connected to WiFi. And when you reach the last page, the book just sits on your electronic “book shelf” waiting to be read again, as long as you still have a subscription. Cancel Oyster and your downloaded books disappear with it.
The reading list queue is the best feature of this app. You never have to worry about what book to read next, you just select one from your list. A plus for those in book clubs - the app allows you to take notes, highlight and bookmark pages you want to discuss or point out at your next get-together.
I understand the fee is not ideal, but if you read enough, it is totally worth it. Some ebooks cost about $5, so if you read two or three a month, you’re getting your money’s worth. Oyster is free to download and the company will give you a free 30-day trial, which is automatically taken out of your account.
If you’re in a book club or just want to check more books off of your neverending “must read” list, then this app is for you. At the very least, sign up for the free trial and check it out for yourself.
Samantha Lefebvre is a multimedia producer at the Duluth News Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org