There’s been much debate over textbooks recently — should we throw out all traditional textbooks in favor of digital? — and it appears the pendulum is swinging once again towards digital. New York City-based startup Oyster is on a mission to become the next Spotify — of books, that is.
Oyster is an iPhone app that provides users unlimited access to a growing library of e-books, and members can read as many books as they want each month for a monthly fee. Like Spotify, Oyster will not only provide access to a library (of books, not songs) but will also provide recommendations and let readers share their favorite books with others. The app is still in beta, but you can request an invitation to test out the app for free here.
Oyster recently announced that they have received $3 million in funding led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. The startup was founded by Eric Stromberg, who formerly worked at Hunch and eBay; Andrew Brown, who worked at Google and Microsoft; and Willem Van Lancker, a former designer for Google Maps. Stromberg comments on Oyster in a recent GigaOM article, saying that the idea for the app came from his fascination with the transformation of traditional books to e-books.
Stromberg wants create a tool that will make reading easier and more convenient for people in the
hopes they’ll actually read more. “We want to create a product that fits into people’s lives and lets them find books and read all the books they wished they had read.”
We’ll certainly give Oyster a try over the next few weeks, and keep an eye on how the company and the app develops.
Have you tried out Oyster yet? Tell me about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org.