Bibliophiles on a budget may have some bright news on the way: a burgeoning startup is getting ready to hit the literary world with the Spotify-style book service, Oyster. A yet-to-be-determined monthly fee will give the voracious readers of the world unlimited access to Oyster's library. And while the launch date remains a mystery, we do know that its first rendition is coming in the form of an iPhone app—though an Android version will likely follow.
Why bother, though, when Amazon's Kindle Lending Library does basically the same thing? Lots of reasons! Amazon's selection of rentable books is notoriously terrible, you have to own a Kindle and be a Prime user to take part, and you're limited to one book a month. Publishers and authors are generally delighted by anything that could cut into the retail giant's inordinate success, so that collective distaste may just be enough to give Oyster a fighting chance.
Of course, without knowing how much Oyster plans to charge—or how broad its selection will be—it's hard to say whether it'll be worth it. There's also the question of how much demand there is for a service like this in the first place. Spotify might serve well to soundtrack our lives, but reading takes a bit more attention; there are only so many books we can consume in a month. But for now, the prospect of having an option beyond Amazon is promising—we'll know just how much so as soon as Oyster's site offers more than just the option to sign up for an invite. [Oyster via Business Insider]