Should You Consider an E-Book Subscription Service?

E-book subscription services function the same way Netflix does for movies and TV shows: you pay a monthly subscription fee and you have access to a huge library of e-books during that time.

There are currently three major players in the e-book subscription game: Oyster, Scribd, and Entitle. Here’s a brief comparison of the three services, so you can decide which will work for you:

Oyster

Library size (self-reported): Over 100,000 books.

Number of books you can read per month: Unlimited.

Price: $9.95 per month.

Platforms: iOS 7 only. App can be downloaded on iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Bonus features: 30-day free trial. Last 10 books opened stored for offline reading.

Limitations: Requires a U.S. credit card. E-books cannot be kept after cancelling subscription.

Scribd

Library size (self-reported): Over 300,000 books.

Number of books you can read per month: Unlimited.

Price: $9 per month, or $4 per month if 12 months are purchased.

Platforms: App can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices, used in a Web browser, or downloaded for the Kindle Fire.

Bonus features: Analyzes what you read and offers recommendations based on your preferences. E-books can be saved and read offline. Books and reading progress syncs to all devices you have the app on.

Limitations: E-books cannot be kept after cancelling subscription.

Entitle

Library size (self-reported): Over 125,000 books.

Number of books you can read per month: Between two and four, depending on plan.

Price: Two e-books a month for $9.99 per month. Three e-books a month for $14.99. Four e-books a month for $19.99.

Platforms: App can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices, including the Kindle Fire, the Nook, and any Kobo capable of using Google Play. Because e-books are owned rather than rented, they can also be sent to your computer or any other e-reading device that supports Adobe DRM.

Bonus features: E-books you’ve downloaded belong to you, and you can keep them even if you cancel your subscription. Personalized book suggestions are offered based on your reading habits.

Limitations: Currently only available in the U.S.