Reading to Relax with Oyster + You Can Try It For Free

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

This post is sponsored by Oyster.

Related: I’ve been telling everyone in my “real life” about Oyster because it is the coolest. It’s basically Netflix for books. I hope you enjoy this review!

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Ok, so let me tell you how this partnership with Oyster went down”¦

When they first emailed me to ask if I would be interested in trying out their service (Oyster is a subscription-based app that gives you access to unlimited ebooks), I almost turned them down. Of course, it sounded cool, but when the heck would I have time to read? I mean, I’m a new mom, I run a business by myself, and it’s the holiday season”¦ come on now. But, after chatting with Mal about it, I changed my mind.

Like a lot of business decisions, I mentioned this opportunity to my (wonderful and amazing) husband. I basically said I wanted to try out Oyster, but I didn’t think I’d have enough time to sit down and read. Well, Mal saw this opportunity in a totally different light. He said two things to me: 1) “You make time for what is important to you” and 2) “Reading would be a great way for you to relax.” Ahh, yes, my husband is so smart. And I love that he always has my best interests in mind.


So after chatting with Mal, I decided to go for it, and Oyster has been the best thing ever for me. I’m so glad I tried it. Instead of working/having my nose in my laptop/iPhone alllll the time, I’ve spent a lot of time reading on my iPad as a way to relax””like when Mal is watching football (and I’m totally not interested) and right before bed, which has been amazing for helping me chill out and sleep.


Remember how I was having trouble sleeping (i.e. steroids, baby, general stress/anxiety/Type-A personality)? Well, reading for even just 10 minutes makes me so tired, I fall right to sleep. It’s the best. And one time last week, I woke up at 2:30 AM and felt totally wired. Instead of tossing and turning for hours like I did so many times in the past, I whipped out my iPad, read for a little bit, and then had no trouble falling back to sleep after that. (FYI: Oyster offers customizable display settings as well as an easy reader feature to help reading in the dark.)


Ok, so I’m really digging Oyster. Now let me tell you about it!

Oyster is a subscription-based app that gives you access to unlimited ebooks for $9.95 a month””the Netflix of books! Oyster features over half a million books in every genre from classics to new releases, everything from New York Time’s Bestsellers and Oprah’s picks, to children’s titles and more. And new titles are added every day.

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Oyster is accessible on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, and on the web. (You can read the books after you download them at any time.) You can also share and receive book recommendations from friends on the app, and Oyster offers personalized book recommendations based on your tastes and activity. I found so many great titles this way””and, of course, some Paleo books popped up for me! Haha!

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Other Oyster features that I love”¦

It allows you to discover new genres and titles through their editor-curated selection.

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And once you find books that you want to read, you can add them to a personalized reading list. Please note: The Flour cookbook on my list. That’s right, Oyster offers all sorts of cookbooks and you can access as many as you want, whenever you want. How cool is that?!

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Are you intrigued by Oyster? Well, you can try it for FREE for 30 days! And I’m telling ya, it’s definitely worth a try. You have SO MANY books (and cookbooks!) available to you and, hey, if you don’t like it, you can cancel before the 30 days are up and not pay anything. You have nothing to lose! I signed up for the free trial, and I absolutely, 100% plan to keep my subscription after it ends. 

And with the holiday season upon us, Oyster is the perfect gift. Why give one book when you can give half a million, right? You can give a subscription for one month up to a year.  Obviously, I’d be pumped to get this gift! (You hear that Mom? Sister?) I really think a lot people would love this gift, especially since there is such a variety of titles available.


So, that’s Oyster in a nutshell. I hope you decide to give it a try and/or gift it to someone special this holiday season!

Questions of the Day

What are you reading right now?

What’s on your reading list?



  1. I wonder why they call it oyster? 🙂

    I dont like that you can’t keep the books forever though. You know? Like if you want to read it again after thr month you’d have to subscribe again, but it does sound like a good subscription service.

    1. @Linda @ TheFitty: I was wondering about that, if they are downloaded on to your device so you have them forever or if they are kept in the app, so you have to always have a subscription to read them. Sounds like they are just kept in the app.

  2. Very cool subscription based app! I’ve never heard of it before, but I definitely think a few people in my life would love this!! I think it would be really cool for the cookbooks alone. I have at least 3 different ones on my mind that I want to try, so it would be a nice way of accessing them all and rotating them depending upon what I want to make that day.

  3. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book “yes please” and loving it! I read at the same times you do – when my husband is watching sports and before bed. So relaxing and I need that time for myself. Otherwise the internet sucks you in!

  4. Reading is the best way to relax but I always tend to reach for my iphone/laptop over books. I’ve decided to totally unplug over my honeymoon, put the phone on airplane mode, and read a bunch of books on the beach. I. Can’t. Wait.

  5. I’m just about done with Orange is the New Black! The book and the show have very few similarities, but the book is so well written! Up next is Gone Girl per my mom’s inisistance!

  6. I read brain on fire this summer and loved it! It was so interesting, I was spouting off facts to anyone who would listen. I hope you enjoy it!

  7. am reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker. It is a great read for women. He teaches you had to trust your intuition to avoid danger.

    Amazon just started a similar thing to Oyster. It’s Kindle Unlimited…same concept. Can read on any device 9.99 per month. I’m doing a free 30 day trial for that right now. Before I commit, I’ll have to try Oyster as well and see which I prefer.

  8. currently re-reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, b/c it’s one of my all-time favorites and I re-read it about once a year. Next on my list is Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng.

  9. Currently I’m in my last week of fall semester so i’m reading text books….over winter break I plan on reading the Divergent series and hopefully Engagements by J Courtney Sullivan (favorite author!!). I wish I had more time to read for leisure. Oyster sounds like a pretty cool company though!

  10. I’m in grad school for counseling and reading is one of the best things we can recommend to people for stress relief. Oyster looks really cool! I’ll have to check it out. I’m reading the sequel to If I Stay right now 🙂

  11. I highly recommend “The Flamethrowers” (which I spotted in one of your pics!) Mesmerizing book. I also recently finished “Dirty Love” (by Andre Dubus III), and recommend that as well. He’s one of my favorite writers; his books never disappoint.

  12. reading? the only thing i read is blogs and then books at school to my kiddies 🙂 🙂 and of course books to william – a favorite right now is this animals book i have with the eyes cut out so you can wear it like a mask lol

  13. I’ve been using a similar app for magazines called “Next Issue.” Oyster seems pretty awesome though – I might have to check it out! =)

  14. I wish Oyster had a slightly bigger library, but this is an awesome service. I saw like 5 books right on the homepage that I had been hoping to read. I’m currently reading Amy Poehler’s book which is fantastic and also recently loved The Light Between Oceans (which is on Oyster!)

  15. Unfortunately, all I’ve read for the last year is textbooks. Boring. My husband is an avid reader though and he would totally love this.

    Oh, and if I try and read at night before bed, I typically can’t get past the first page. I’m snoozing within a matter of minutes.

  16. Do you have to be connected to wifi/network in order to access the books are can you read when you are offline as well?

  17. Wow – that sounds like a great idea!
    I’ve made an annual goal of reading 50 books a year every year for the past few years. I end up going to the library and haven’t yet transitioned to an e-reader…this may be the nudge I need!
    Two recent favorites: All the Light We Cannot See (Goodreads #1 pick) and The Golem and the Jinni.

  18. This sounds awesome, Tina! I love reading books, but gate paying full price for them. I will have to check this out. As of right now, I buy used books from Amazon. The only disadvantage is they can take a while to get to you, but it’s so much cheaper.


  19. Even cheaper is if your library has a digital e-book collection, which Philadelphia library does. You find a book on your library website, borrow the book, which downloads onto your Kindle/e-reader, and you keep the book for 2 weeks (or however long your library permits books to be out). It costs $0.

    1. @Bev:

      Yes! I’m a librarian. Pretty much every library now has a program to download e-books and audiobooks for free. It’s a great deal and a lot of times we can get the newest books that some subscription services don’t seem to have.

  20. Oyster sounds great. LIke you I am a new mom so I have been reading Gone Girl for ages. Kinda disappointing because I really want to see the movie but refuse until I read the book.

  21. Kindle unlimited does the very same thing and can be accessed for any tablet,you will find that you read books you might not have chosen had you had to pay per book.I love it,I’ve probably read 200 books thus far in little bits of spare time here and there.

  22. Oyster is available on Kindle now, yeah!!! I received a 60 subscription from Quarterly shipment from Book Riot a few months back. Definitely going to look into this again!!
    Reading before bed is the best way to empty your mind so sleep comes quickly!!

  23. One of the things that has kept me from any sort of book subscription service is how the authors are paid. Typically, if a book is less that $2.99, the author comes out okay. However, if the book cost more than that the author takes a hit pretty much in exchange for exposure.

    As an author yourself, what are your thoughts on that?

  24. Great review … sounds like a really cool resource for e-books! Reading is how I relax/fall asleep at night and get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night too. Works so good!

  25. Hey Tina…I have a similar story to yours. When my L was 4 months old, I went back to teach. All went well the first month and then, boom, insomnia. Some nights I couldn’t get to sleep. Some nights I got to sleep and couldn’t stay asleep. I didn’t want to take anything as I was still nursing, but I was really struggling to stay awake during the day. Even though I was tired, I sometimes was wide awake and then the stressful cycle repeated. I started to add reading before bed to my! My L is now almost 11 and I do this almost every night even when it’s really late. Sometimes I literally only need 5 minutes, but it’s so much a part of my routine! Glad it’s working for you…being sleepy when you have a little one to care for is not fun!

  26. I saw Oyster on another blog and it looks fantastic. I really want to give the subscription to so many people this Christmas and is making me consider getting an e-reader myself.

  27. I’ve had Oyster for months and I love it! I’m a big reader and I worked out that if I read one book a month off it then it’s worth my while. The cost of the monthly subscription is that of a backlist e-book. I’ve averaged more than one book a month and while it’s mostly backlist, they are starting to have some new releases showing up now! I always read before bed.

  28. I love reading, but worry between the longform magazine articles I love + books I couldn’t get through enough in a month to make it worth it. Sounds really cool though!

    Also I just had the say the people at Blue Bottle Coffee are JERKS for suggesting “Swann’s Way” to for some light coffee reading. Former English major, here. Haha!

  29. Don’t forget you can get ebooks for free through your library! Most libraries have OverDrive, and you can check them out just like a normal book except you don’t have to return them, they return themselves. 🙂

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