“Netflix for Books” Can Save You Money!

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...It’s been so cold here in New York and I’m looking forward this weekend when I can stay inside and cozy up with a good book to relax! I really love biographies, historical fiction, and any book that’s about to be made into a movie. As a kid – I loved going to the library and would often pick the same books over and over (usually Curious George or Paul’s Christmas Birthday.) But with libraries becoming virtually a thing of the past, reading can actually be a pretty costly hobby (not to mention costly for the environment if you’re still buying hard copies.)  And think about all the clutter those beloved books create.

Recently, I discovered Oyster – it’s the app CNN calls “Netflix for Books” because, for a monthly subscription, you can read an unlimited number of titles available in their library. I was completely into the app until I realized that their library had a lot of interesting titles, but very few that were already on my reading list.

But fear not — Oyster isn’t the only app that lets you subscribe and read all you want – BookSwim and BookLending.com offer similar services, but they each have their own pros and cons.

1. Oyster – The best thing about Oyster is how organized their titles are. You can search for specific titles or, like Netflix, browse books by category or interest. I’m not talking the Dewey decimal system here, Oyster’s categories are titled “Happiness,” “So You Want To Be A Chef,” “Rebels & Groundbreakers,” and so many more! The only downside is that there were not a lot of popular titles available yet, but even Netflix had a poor selection in their early days. Give it time and a try.

2. BooksFree – The best thing about this service is that it features a great list of titles and will let you rent the actual paperback book. Although the amount of books you read per month is unlimited, prices and plans change based on how many books you want to take out at a time. This is great if you’re only looking to read a few things a month, but can get really pricy if your whole family is renting. BooksFree is definitely worth the introductory plan if you still love the feeling of a real book in your hands.

3. BookLending.com – This is a great site to borrow other people’s eBooks. It’s the perfect way to share digital titles with friends, however, not all books are shareable. You would run into this problem through Amazon too if you wanted to borrow someone’s ebook — but just keep that in mind because BookLending might not have the titles you’re after. Overall – it’s worth a shot though.

Happy reading!

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