A Great Way to Read Books

We’re excited for our annual trip to California for the holidays, and we’ve already started packing. The only catch? I always end up bringing a bunch of books on vacation, and they weigh down my bags and break my back.
So, I was THRILLED to hear about the book app, Oyster. For $9.95/month, you can read half a million titles, from New York Times bestsellers to Oprah’s Book Club picks to children’s books to cookbooks. You can read them on your smartphone, iPad, Kindle, Nook—wherever you can get apps. It’s like Netflix for books.
These books would make great vacation reads:
The Glass Castle (one of my favorite memoirs)
Bobcat (gripping short stories)
Mansfield Park (a romantic classic)
Just Kids (I’ve been wanting to read this for ages)
This is Ridiculous This is Amazing (made me laugh out loud—a perfect plane read)
Once you choose a book, you can start reading it immediately. (And if you don’t like it, you can just try a different book.) Such a brilliant idea, don’t you think?

If you’re intrigued, get a 30-day free trial by signing up here. Thank you so much, Oyster!

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Oyster. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo)

  1. Its creepy on how much i can relate on the first part. And then the book that changed everything for me was exactly the same! Only it was given to me by my dad. I never felt so creepy in a good way of one of these videos. What a small world.

    It has been around 2 years since i read the 7 habits and in that time i stopped smoking sigarettes and weed, drinking every weekend, bad sleeping en money habits.

    I started exercising almost everyday, eating healier, waking up at crazy early, and a few months ago i finally started my own company. And in those years i read countless simular books and currently reading the 48 laws of power and the 50th law alreadg arrived so ill read that next on your advise in a previous video.

    Looking back it is these books en these kind of videos that changed my life. And it al started with the 7 habits,, a must read!

    Thnx for charing this knowledge!

  2. This sounds like a really good idea. I am definitely considering and thinking about trying this out.

  3. Love the “model”. So sweet!

  4. Could you download the books and read them offline?

  5. It’s apparently great, unless you live in Canada. Then you can’t get it.

  6. Will definitely be trying it out. Can you tell me where the iPad mini case is from? Thanks.

    The best place to learn music – torrins.com

  7. Lovely post — as always :) Would you happen to know who makes that wonderful zippered tote bag in the last photograph? Thank you!

    Merry Christmas! ;)

  8. I really love your red ipad case. could I ask where you got it from?

  9. Shout-out to all the other librarians and library-lovers commenting on here! I download all my book group books from the library (when available) to read on the Kindle app on my phone, and then I only buy the ones I need more time with or want to keep!

  10. I was thinking about trying this! Sounds like a really good idea. I love Netflix, and I love reading, so why not, right?


    The French Press

  11. Definitely checking this out! Netflix for books sounds amazing.

    What about the nail polish?? I love it!

  12. I agree The Glass Castle is amazing. What a fascinating story!

  13. Thanks Kristin! That is really great to know – I really look forward to using Oyster. I’ve already filled my library with enough books for the next year.

  14. Kristin from Oyster here. I wanted to answer some of the comments/questions posted.

    We love libraries too! Oyster is a great complement. In addition to immediate access to books, we offer a beautifully designed reader, social features, and hand-picked curation from our team of editors.

    Hi Netanya! Feel free to browse our library at oysterbooks.com/library, or check out our recent blog post on New Releases (http://blog.oysterbooks.com/post/105359742090/featuring-new-releases-on-oyster). You’ll also be able see some of our favorite new releases (https://www.oysterbooks.com/set/EnVZAzUihrDrHFaSHYCz3m).

    Hi Etvoilacoralie! We work directly with publishers and rights-holders to build our model, and they and their authors do receive compensation. We spent months speaking to authors, publishers, and agents to build a sustainable model that fairly compensates everyone involved for their creative work. While the terms of our deals are confidential between those parties, I can assure you it is a favorable deal for authors and content rights holders.

    Hi Evealyn! For now, Oyster is only available in the U.S. Drop your email at oysterbooks.com/international and we’ll let you know as we expand.

  15. This looks like an awesome idea. I have stopped buying books from amazon just because ti has become to costly to buy each book for my kindle. I have been using the library but most new books are not available for kindle so I have to lug around the actual book. This seems like a great alternative.
    Where do you get your next book to read ideas from?

  16. km says...

    Wow, this app sounds amazing. Is there a Canadian version or something similar that is accessible in Canada? Oyster is only in the US now.

  17. This seems like an awesome concept – but I’m just curious if you have any information about how the authors are compensated. Just curious – since half a million titles at $10 a month is a very good deal!

  18. Ha, now that I’m reading comments, I guess a ton of people know about the library thing. ;)

  19. This sounds great!
    I also discovered another wonderful thing recently. If you have a library card you can borrow ebooks for up to 21 days for free!
    A whole new world. haha.

  20. Sounds neat if you’re a book buyer but I use my library for this as well. (But, if you can tell me your secret for getting reading done while having two small children around, that’s the golden ticket :).

  21. Joanna, where did you get that keychain?

  22. Just Kids is one of the best books I have ever read. Patti Smith is an amazing writer.

  23. I agree with Make!Do!. Libraries offer a similar service with endless amounts of downloadable e-books, movies and audio-books. The app my library uses is called Hoopla and it’s wonderful. I strongly recommend. Best part is it’s free!

  24. you know me, I’m addicted to the library but this might be the only thing that could sway me….

  25. Try the library instead! No fees from ours for e-Books.

  26. If your library uses Overdrive, you can download ebooks directly from Amazon for free. (This coming from someone who works in the publishing industry. :-) )

  27. What a fantastic idea! I’ve only heard about things like Amazon Kindle and Audible, but I’m definitely going to give Oyster a try. Thanks for posting this! (www.kuuleilaniblog.com)

  28. that is really cool, but somehow I still like the idea of collecting books.

  29. A Netflix for books? My prayers have been answered! I actually don’t have a Netflix account and don’t plan on getting one, because if I did, I’d never be able to get on with my life :P But reading? I can live with getting stuck in a book :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  30. I also highly recommend Kobo (www.kobobooks.com). It’s a great way to support your local, independent bookstore (even one on the other side of the country) and read books on your iPad!

  31. Another librarian here…definitely check out Overdrive – you might be surprised by the selection! And…no worries about overdue fines!

  32. Netflix for books? Great idea! I heart it, especially the part where if I don’t like a book I can just choose another.

  33. The reader here is an iPad mini. And thanks for these tips and recommendations!

  34. Thanks for your notes! The bag is from Rib and Hull and belongs to my friend alpha. It’s really lovely.

  35. Where is that perfect bag from?? I love that it has a zippered top!

  36. I’m so glad others made the library comments! I’m slightly biased– public librarian here– but I do think that many people don’t realize what a wonderful (free) service they can access right from their library’s website!

  37. I am reading Just Kids right now on my iPad! LOVE it! Highly recommend ;)

  38. Just Kids is so so good. Have a great holiday Jo!

  39. I spend that much in library fines!!! ;) I’m getting an iPad mini soon. I think I’ll give oyster a try.

  40. I think people should check their local library for Overdrive. It’s pretty much the same and it’s free.

  41. I am beyond excited and have already signed up for a free trial! Thank you very much for sharing, it’s about time something like this exists!

  42. Oyster is all fun and games, but don’t forget your local library has eBooks available… for free! :)

  43. can anyone recommend a good e-reader? joanna, what are you using in the photos? thanks xo

  44. I’m going to have to try this! Have you heard of OverDrive? It’s free, and a library of audio books! All you need is a library card to “check out” an audio book, then in 7 days you “return” it, aka they take it back from you, no hassle at all!

  45. Sounds cool, thanks for the heads up on the free trial! Happy holidays and safe travels.

  46. Is it available to readers outside the US? Sounds wonderful. I like how you can gift a subscription, what a lovely idea.

  47. As a librarian I feel compelled to say your local library also lets you download and borrow e-books, lots of ’em – for free!

  48. It’s a brilliant idea that call the pay of authors into question… It’s good for us readers, less for them writers!

  49. You know, you can also download eBooks from most public libraries. No need to pay for a subscription, though there are sometimes waiting lists on new releases and popular titles. I guess it’s a matter of priorities, but I always recommend using libraries when possible!

  50. What I wonder about Oyster is: Can you read books that have been newly released and/or are insanely popular? Because otherwise, you can check out pretty much anything for Kindle or e-reader from your local library with the Overdrive and 3M apps (I love that so much!) But I still have to wait a long time for new, super popular releases (think Amy Poehler’s Yes Please).

  51. but where is the beautiful red bag from?!

  52. I love the tote! Where is it from? xo

  53. Just Kids is fantastic, highly recommend it