After a 10-month period of preparation, Oyster, a site that offers “unlimited books” for $9.95 (£6.40) a month, has started sending out invites.
The subscription service, which has partnerships with publishers such as HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, already has over 100,000 copyrighted titles – which means that they aren’t available for free elsewhere.
Titles on the service include Life of Pi, The Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit, Shutter Island and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Readers can apply for currently invite-only participation right now, although access is limited to iPhones at the moment. The iPhone app has five different themes for readability, as well as social hooks such as ratings, readings lists and the ability to follow other Oyster users and see what they’re reading.
A constant Internet connection isn’t required, with books downloadable onto the iPhone for reading on planes or other offline areas.
Amazon US currently offers the Kindle Lending Library service to Amazon Prime subscribers, which provides a single book rental a month to download onto its Kindle e-readers.