Oyster, which offers unlimited access to more than 1 million e-books for $9.95 a month, just announced it’s adding the Harry Potter series to its library.
The partnership covers all seven Harry Potter novels, as well as Rowling’s three “Hogwarts Library” books — Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. (Pottermore has also partnered with Amazon to bring the series to the Kindle Lending Library.)
While adding the series is undeniably a big win for Oyster (one that the company will definitely be trumpeting, for example, by replacing its Reader Themes with House Themes from the books), it may be worth noting that this doesn’t entirely break from the service’s focus on older, backlist titles — after all, the final book in the main series came out back in 2007.
On the other hand, my copies, at least, are falling apart from repeated reading, so switching to a digital edition is pretty tempting. And while the Hogwarts Library titles might seem like extras for the hardcore fans, Fantastic Beasts may be getting more attention with the release of a new series of films written by Rowling herself.
The announcement follows news earlier this month that Oyster and its competitor Scribd were both getting titles from Macmillan, the third of the “Big Five” publishers to sign with these services.
Update: I asked about whether young adult fiction is already popular on Oyster, and CEO Eric Stromberg told me in an emailed statement, “YA is one of our most popular genres and something many of our readers — of all ages — really enjoy.”