Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A new way to read. Review of Playster.com.

The age of digital entertainment is gradually overtaking the world of TV and DVDs.  As my followers know,  I would much rather read a book than turn on the TV, so what about the idea of reading digital books?  I'm ok with e-books, buying the odd one on my kindle, especially if I can't get to the bookshop.  But if I could get access to a massive collection of books, online, for one flat fee per month, would I use it?  I decide to give it a go...

Playster.com is a new online service in the same vein as Netflix, but with books, games, movies and music.  For a subscription fee, (varying depending on which service you require) you have unlimited access on your laptop, pc or tablet.

 As I am looking at this from the angle of books, I found  the best way to view the books was via my kindle.   There are quite a selection of titles to choose from, with some top publishers getting involved.  There are separate genre areas; Bestsellers, Film Tie-ins, Romance, General Fiction, Thrillers, YA, Humour, Sport etc.




 At first glance, there seems to be a heavy load of Romance books, mostly geared towards the older reader, but I did come across some more main stream women's fiction, from Cathy Kelly and Jennifer Weiner among others.  The lay out the titles is a little muddled and I only came across certain titles by accident.  I think this is a glitch that will have to be addressed.  I'm a big fan of the idea of 'related' books, just underneath the title you have clicked on.



There were some great random finds, hidden among the more recent releases, and I had a real blast-from-the-past moment when I discovered Flowers in the Attic, by Virginia Edwards.  It brought back memories of the 1980s and moving onto adult fiction as a teenager.  This is not a book I would go out and buy, but having it as part of bigger online selection made it a feasible read in the near future.  The same can be said for the range of classic novels.  Macbeth, Silas Marner and Gone With The Wind all made it into my online 'library'.


In the newer releases section, there was a bit of a dip, but some hard hitters made the cut.  Still Alice by Lisa Genova and American Sniper from Chris Kyle are there, along with the amazing 12 Years A Slave by Soloman Northrup and Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker.  I was also delightfully surprised to see one of my favourite crime fiction authors, Steven Dunne, on the list with his wonderfully chilling novel, The Reaper.    

The formatting of Playster.com could do with a bit of adjusting, with the main issue being the Beta format, but I believe this is set to change very soon.  Long term subscribers are issued with a tablet and headphones, along with the necessary hardware to hook the package up to a TV screen.  While I was concentrating on the books section,  my kids did have a go at the games and peeked at some of the movies.  The games are varied and can be used on any tablet or device.  The movies are limited at present, but I remember the small selection when Netflix first started.  Looking at the low cost involved for subscription, especially when you consider it would cover the cost of just one paperback per month, it seems a fantastic way of extending your own 'library'.  I would recommend you give it a go, there is a free months trial available, and see how you get on.  You may be surprised at how your reading tastes change when you have a vast array of titles to choose from.  Don't be put off by the nasty, sexist demo video that appears on the main site.  Just pretend you never saw it, as it may kick off your inner-feminist, regardless of your sex.  Focus on the books, flick through the genres, but all the while checking underneath each title to discover some more 'non-related' searches. (This is how I found most of the good stuff).
If Playster can fix the few teething problems, get rid of the highly outdated and offensive advertisement and keep their titles updated, they are on to a winner.  Any book-lover, especially those who read ebooks, will definitely get their moneys worth with their subscription...

Check out Playster.com here...

See related articles about Playster.com here and also here.

3 comments:

  1. -Nice review! Did they give you any details on what is set to change during the beta?

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  2. Wow, that video on their front page is pretty unbelievable. “how much?” i can’t believe that people think this kind of sexist advertising is still acceptable…. really puts me off using the service…….

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  3. -So you would recommend the books section over the others? Not just because you’re a book blogger, but because you objectively think its the best offering? Great post btw! xo

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