Apologies, Spotify: this time it’s Netflix being used as the comparison for an all-you-can-read e-books service. Said service is Oyster, which has launched in beta amid a splurge of adulatory coverage from tech blogs. The idea: people pay $9.95 a month for unlimited access to a library of 100k e-books – initially through an iPhone app, with iPad and Android to come. Publishers including Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin, Worman, Melville House, Rodale, Open Road Media, RosettaBooks and F+W Media are already on board, and there’s a big focus on discovery features too, with users able to see what friends are reading, and get personalised recommendations based on their reading habits. It’s the work of a New York startup that raised $3m last year to develop the service. But Oyster is far from the only startup exploring this idea, and certainly not the first. Legimi, 24Symbols, Mofibo, Skoobe, Bookboard, Fastr and others have all launched or announced plans to launch e-book subscription services.

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