Apple iOS app
Aside from public libraries—perhaps the most tried-and-true form of online e-book lending—no service has solidified itself as the go-to place for borrowing e-ink on the cheap. The Oyster app (for Apple iOS) wants to change that with its access to more than 100,000 titles for a $9.95 per month subscription fee. The thing is, in the publication world, 100,000 is a drop in the bucket. Oyster’s user interface is streamlined and intuitive, about what you’d expect from an e-reader. You can add books to your library such that it will electronically save your spot in whatever titles you’re reading, and you can make searchable notes in the margins. There are plenty of public domain classics—though even this list seems wanting at times—and some solid material, such as stuff by Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Rebecca Wells and Lemony Snicket. However, if you’re looking to prep for the next Divergent or The Hunger Games film series, or looking for a beach date with James Patterson or Tom Clancy, good luck. The app’s website doesn’t include a search option, but perhaps that’s for the best; after a few failed searches you might just give up and head to the local brick-and-mortar that sells dead trees with words on them.