That's how a website called Scribd (which I'm guessing is pronounced with a long I) has been described. You pay a flat fee, currently $8.99, for a month's worth of unlimited reading, anything in their library. Why do I bring it up? Because Smashwords, the indie publisher through which I reach non-Amazon sites, has just signed a deal with them.
Shipments of Smashwords e-books to Scribd are slated to begin in January. I'll keep you posted on exact timelines. For a writer like me, and readers like you, this seems awesome. You wouldn't be here if you didn't like to read a LOT of words, and Scribd has access to a LOT of words -- and even more once Smashwords fully uplinks!
So how it works on your end is that you pay your $8.99 (first month is free, by the by) and get access to Scribd's library. They list "unlimited reading on-demand" as one of their major selling points, which I would imagine means you can have as many books as you want for that month. Anyone else feeling that "kid in a candy shop" thrill?
On my end, I get a royalty, pretty close to my standard payment for sales, whenever a subscriber reads past a certain point in one of my books. It's also logged to my account when someone "browses" my book, meaning they read a small amount of it... and ten "browses" are credited to me the same as one sale, so even that's good!
Quite honestly, I can't see any major downsides to this arrangement, unless it's that you, O readers, don't get to keep the book after your month is up. But neither would you with a library copy, and besides, if you're subscribing long-term, you can reread as many times as you like. And if you eventually want a copy you own, I still sell those!
So who here thinks a subscription to Scribd might be in their future? I admit, it does cost money, but... books. LOTS of books, for only a little more than a single paperback or a pair of e-books would run you. Thoughts are welcome -- let me know if you approve, disapprove, or just want to dance. See you tomorrow, with fanfic fun!