Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.

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Reading on the Oyster: A Review

By on February 19, 2014

The Oprah Magazine refers to it as the Netflix of books. Oyster is a subscription library app that offers unlimited reads for your iPhone or iPad (speaking of which, you have to have particularly brilliant eyesight to be able to read a book on the iPhone).

The app has more than 100,000 titles, from new releases to classics. You can also follow your social circle’s lead and pick up what friends can’t put down. (O’s words not mine)

So, I got a free three month subscription courtesy of my friends at O magazine and since I am a sucker for books especially when they are free, I decided to give it a go.

Here’s what I think: it is a wide range – you have your garden variety classics like Silas Marner, books by the Bronte sisters, a collection of Agatha Christie, etc. At least, the kind of books that I am into. You also have a selection of new releases but nothing that I had recently personally flagged to read. I guess, I was a little overly ambitious…so I was looking for Nadifa Mohammed’s The Orchard of Lost Souls, which I recently mentioned, I would like to read. The book is set for release to the US reading public on March 4 so it is understandable that it would not yet be available on Oyster. It is like expecting one of the movies currently showing in the cinemas to be instantly available on Netflix. I did get to read a really absorbing tale in Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s Secret Daughter, and I enjoyed it very much and wholeheartedly recommend it. I do a lot of my reading on the train commute to and from work and it has been ages since I actually read a book on my iPad. I have the bigger iPad and not the mini so I often defer to my Amazon Kindle when it comes to reading and use my iPad for other fun things like watching Yoruba movies on YouTube while I do my ironing. A favorite past-time of mine these days. Anyway, thanks to Oyster, I was able to actually read an entire book on the iPad and it was not half bad.  You also needn’t worry about always having to be on a wireless connection to read. Once you download the book you are good to go. Next up for me, I will be reading Nnedi Okorafor’s Kabu-Kabu. I seem to be discovering new Nigerian authors quite frequently. I am not sure how the existence of Ms Okorafor’s oeuvre escaped me. In any case, it will be keeping me company starting tonight.

All in all, I think the Oyster offers a good deal. Although, I say this while still being a happy recipient of the free trial offer. My tone might begin to change once I actually have to pay the $9.95 monthly fee. We’ll see. In spite of that, I still recommend the Oyster and if you can get the free trial offer, even better. You will probably be hooked by the end of the trial, you will have no choice but to continue, which I suspect will be the case with yours truly.

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