To Subscribe or Not Subscribe

subscription_shoes4My parents’s first language is not English and sometimes they get words mixed up. My mother recently starting going to a chiropractor for her calves. Chiropractor is hard to pronounce so they wind up calling him Cleopatra. My dad fell on the driveway the other day and they were shouting “Call the Cleopatra”. Images of a chariots filled my mind.

But the my mother also confuses the words “prescription” and “subscription”. She told me that the Podiatrist had given her a subscription of shoes. It sounded ridiculous at first but then I thought, actually, I would LOVE to have a shoe subscription. I know plenty of other girls who would love to have a new pair of pumps sent to them every month.

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What I REALLY wanted to talk about was book subscription sites like Scribd and Oyster which are being called the “Netflix” of books. Both charge under $10/month and let you read as many ebooks from their database as you like. Naturally, neither support Kindle but you can read on tablets. A site called Entitle just recently launched and it works a slightly different payment model but allows you to keep the books even if you unsubscribe.

All claim to have bestsellers and new releases. Scribd says it has “thousands” of books while Oyster says its collection is “100,000+” large. In efforts to stay one step ahead of competitors, publisher HarperCollins has already struck a deal with both sites.

Scribd and Oyster are a step up from taking out public library ebooks as you don’t have to wait for titles. But public library books are free — and it’s pretty hard to beat free. Both sites offer recommendation tools based on your previous books so they could potentially help you find your next read.

Book subscriptions will likely have opponents from the “I hate ebooks, give me dead trees” camp. And let’s not the forget the “How will authors make any money?” people. And like I said before, there’s still a large group of people who prefer to get their books free from the library.

I haven’t signed up because I have a ridiculous number of ebooks and paper books on my shelf that need to be read first. I also really enjoy browsing bookstores. But I am awful curious about the selection. How soon do they add new releases to their collections? Does anyone have a subscription? Do you love it? Please share!

My father has since started feeling much better after seeing the Cleopatra. And my mother’s shoe subscription continues to keep her walking.

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5 thoughts on “To Subscribe or Not Subscribe

  1. I’m kind of on the fence about these services myself. Like you I already have enough to read so I don’t mind waiting for books from the library. But I guess for those who would get a lot of use out of these services they’re good?

  2. I love the idea of these services! The amount that Amazon charge for kindle books is outrageous. I’m assuming I can sign up and convert the files in Calibre or something… Are you guys getting reading free ebooks or just forking out the cash?

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