Netflix is a pretty cool service. It offers unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies for a small monthly fee. For book lovers, there are services that are similar to this setup. For a small monthly fee, users can read essentially borrow books and read through a large library. Scribd and Oyster are currently two such services, and we can now add a third sevice powered by Amazon. Amazon is now offering their own “all you can read” service, Kindle Unlimited. It could be somthing may book lovers have been waiting for.
There’s an issue with being a reader: it can get expensive. There are plenty of free ebooks on every ebook store, and there are discounts when you can find them, but buying multiple books every month can get expensive quickly. From that demand sprung services like Scribd and Oyster. Both offer their library of books for a monthly fee. Scribd is $8.99 per month, and Oyster is $9.95 per month. Scribd offers a collection of 400,000 books, and Oyster has 500,000 titles. Amazon has both of them beat, with 600,000 ebooks and 2,000 audio books. Amazon’s service is $9.99 per month. Other than volume, how do the services stack up?
Amazon’s service is available everywhere Kindle ebooks can be read. That means any Kindle device as well as any device that has a Kindle app can use the sevice. Both Scribd and Oyster have iOS and Android apps, and Oyster works on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, but neither have the network of usable devices like Amazon does.
Amazon’s service is more expensive than both (4¢ for Oyster, $1 for Scribd), but Amazon can point to their larger library of books as reason for this. None of those books come from the largest 5 publishers though. Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin Random House are all missing from Amazon’s service. However, that’s not to say the service is lacking popular titles. The Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, for example, are all on Kindle Unlimited. Scribd and Oyster have two of those large publishers, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Look into the publisher for your favorite books before choosing a service. Or, better yet, try all three. Scribd, Oyster, and Kindle Unlimited all offer a free 30 day trial. That’s enough time to read your way through a few books on each service and determine for yourself if they’re worth buying into.
You can read more about each service on their websites. If you love reading, and you read on an ereader, tablet, or even your computer, you’re going to want to check out these services.