Monthly Archives: June 2012

Kobo Vox Launches Google Play. Yay?

Kobo Vox users have had their wish granted, with Kobo’s licensing of the Android Marketplace, now branded “Google Play”.  This may be a case of be careful what you wish for, however.

Previously, GetJar was the app store on Vox.  Although it wasn’t as slick as Google Play, there were some benefits to it.  If you couldn’t find it easily on GetJar, you could always go to the web site for the app, and download it directly.  No more.  Now, if you don’t get it through Google, you don’t get it at all.

Yesterday I was trying to help a customer download the Dolphin HD browser onto his Vox, which I consider to be a superior browser to the one that comes pre-installed.  I have done this for many a customer.  I found about a million add-ons for Dolphin, but discovered that I can no longer download it, since the only version of Dolphin they had wasn’t compatible with the version of Android installed on the Vox.  Okey dokey, go to Dolphin web site, download directly.  Nope, because Google Play won’t let you download apps from anywhere but through them.  Arg!  I ended up installing Opera, since it is still better than the original browser.  All I wanted was a browser home page button, guys.  Tabbed browsing.  Is that so much to ask?

I’m sure there’s a way around this, but is there a way around it that won’t void your warranty?  Stay tuned.  Also, I’m curious to know if anyone out there has had issues with existing apps post-Google Play.

Also, FYI, do not subscribe to newspapers or magazines through the Kobo store if you have a Vox.  You have to get them through Press Reader, Zinio, or just download the proprietary app (e.g. NY Times or Wall Street Journal) from Google Play directly.


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Fifty Shades of Grey: The Sheets!

Just when I thought the Fifty Shades trend couldn’t get any weirder, what with the books flying off the shelves, and the movie rights being sold (how is it not going to be hardcore pornography?)… it gets weirder.

Thanks to AlexisSBCA, I happened on a new and horrifying fact… there’s going to be Fifty Shades merchandise!  Speculating on whether it would be grey ties, branded bondage gear, or Inner Goddess A Day calendars was fun, but the truth is more bizarre than I thought.

There could be lingerie/sleepwear, which is not unexpected.   “Adult products”, again, no biggie.  Perfume and beauty products, a little weirder.  Jewelry too.  But my brain pretty much overloaded when we got to home furnishings and stationery being mentioned.  Home furnishings?  What, like couches with built in rings for handcuffs?  Whip/umbrella stands?  And what the heck would the stationery be like?  I mean, my imagination is failing me here, unless we’re talking ridiculous stuff like you see at adult stores for bachelorette parties.  And even then, stationery?

Here’s hoping that this will be a short lived trend, but I’m not so sure…  there’s already a “bedside companion” book out, showing you how to have sex Fifty Shades-style.



Fifty Shades of Grey Lingerie, Perfume, Other Products Coming – Hollywood Reporter.


Filed under Books, Books in the News

Zombie Restaurant Opening… Seriously

Meanwhile in Tokyo…

A zombie-themed restaurant based on the Resident Evil video game (and endorsed by CapCom) will be opening in July.  The name?  Biohazard Cafe and Grill S.T.A.R.S. Restaurant.  Salivating already, aren’t you.

Nothing yet on whether they’ll actually be serving brains, but there will be merchandising (oh yes, there will be merchandising) and… dance performances?  Thriller, perhaps.

Apparently they do have a grasp on reality (sort-of), since the restaurant is only supposed to be open for a year.  Strangely enough, this is not the only restaurant with a game based menu; Capcom Bar features food tied to multiple games, Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan) among them.  Brain shaped cake, anyone? Bet the waiters get sick and tired of hearing “Braaaaaains” when they ask for orders.

So, would you go to a zombie restaurant?  I can see a bar, but a restaurant?  What video game would translate well into a themed eatery?


Zombie Restaurant Based On ‘Resident Evil’ Game Set To Open In Tokyo July 13 (VIDEO).


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How to Get Kids Reading…

A question that comes up frequently at my bookstore is “How can I get my kids reading?”

As someone who loves reading, and with two daughters who love reading, I tell them what worked for me, and what has worked for friends of mine.

  • Let them choose their own books.  Forcing them to read something turns it into a chore.  If they get to pick the book out, it will be something they actually want to read, and that makes all the difference.
  • Don’t be a snob.  If they want to read Dora the Explorer, or Lego Ninjas, that’s okay.  Graphic novels and comic books are okay too.  Just be happy that they’re reading.  The important thing is that they’re exercising their imagination.
  • Worried about money?  Get them their very own library card.  Or go to a book store that’s kid friendly, where kids are allowed to read the books there.  In Canada, any of the Chapters or Indigo stores that have an IndigoKids section are like this.  This also leads to the kids I see who are super-excited to go to a bookstore.  And cry when they leave.
  • Have a half an hour before bed be quiet time, no tv, computer, Wii, etc.  Reading or drawing or colouring, or writing of their own.  Also, this tends to help kids go to sleep a little more easily, I find.  Unless they’re like me, and keep reading with a flashlight under the covers.  There are worse things 🙂
  • Try reading a story together, either both of you reading the same book, and talking about it. There are tons of great books you’ll both enjoy for ages 9+, I recommend A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Terrier by Tamora Pierce, and anything by Eric Walters.  For younger kids, read them a story.  Personally, I love the Chester series by Melanie Watt.  It’s hilarious for kids and adults.  If you need book suggestions, ask staff, or ask me!
  • Carry a couple of books with you for the kids.  For the doctor or dentist, car trips, etc.  My mom started stocking the back seat of her car with books for my girls – they loved it!
  • Try getting the same book for your child and one or two friends.  Some kids are motivated by wanting to read what the other kids are reading.  Your local library or book store will also know what books are on the most wanted list for your child’s age group.  One trend that’s not a bad one to keep up with.
  • There are websites out there like Read Kiddo Read by James Patterson (he also authors kids’ books, so this isn’t entirely selfless of him), the TD Summer Reading Club, etc. that offer suggestions for getting kids reading.  Look for Silver Birch, Red Maple, Caldecott Medal, and other children’s book awards winners.
  • Let them see you reading!  My kids see me and my husband reading constantly. ” Maybe there’s something to this reading thing, since Mom forgets to eat, and reads instead. “
  • Ask other parents what their kids loved.
  • Do not be the parent who bought her thirteen-year-old daughter Fifty Shades of Grey to read.  Please.  No matter how mature you insist she is.

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Welcome to the Future!

A holiday for geeks everywhere.  Look out for randomly appearing DeLoreans.

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Fifty Shades of Grey Author to Attend Comic-Con

So you know to avoid it… and what the heck does she have to do with Comic-Con? No geek love here.


Filed under Books, Books in the News

Department 19

Apparently they’re trying to hit all the hot buttons for teens, and especially teen boys with this one. Vampires, check. Secret government agencies, check. Ridiculously overpowered weapons, yup. Hot chicks with superpowers, also check. Teen boy who ends up in the middle of it all, with hot chick, using weapons, to kill vampires, for secret agency. Surprisingly, there was in fact some room for plot in there after all this.

It was a fun book, sort of Ludlum on steroids – and hormones. A good read for anyone who likes a good explosion, and a definite possibility for reluctant readers.

Caution: very gory. That may be a selling point for some readers, but there are some fairly explicit deaths here, and it’s not always vampires dying. I would say age 13 and up.  Also, anyone who wants a blowing up bad guys novel for a nice read with a drink on the porch.

The tie in website ( ) is pretty neat, although a little… melodramatic? Adolescents should get a kick out of it.  There’s a whole series forthcoming, and there’s a sequel that’s just come out.


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One Step Towards Utopia…

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Newspaper Fail

Wow, guys.

Message for the day: Context is important!

(click on the image to go to the paper’s site, for those who are unaware of what the article’s contents are about)


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Desert Island Books

Chapters Indigo is holding a contest, to vote for the one book you would wish to have with you on a desert island.  One!  I mean, it can’t just be good, it has to be good for reading, and re-reading, and re-reading…  Do you bring a “How to Survive Anything” kind of book?  Or do you bring your favorite story of all time?

Maybe Nation, by Terry Pratchett.  Or Treasure Island.  Or Robinson Crusoe.  But what if you want a change of scenery?  Dune? Ysabel?

You can enter the contest here: Chapters Indigo Books & Music Inc..  Sorry, Canucks only.  The prizes are kinda awesome, either $150 gift cards (books!)  Or the whole voted 31 Book Library (more books!)  I’m not eligible, so you have to win for me.

So, which book, out of all the books in the world, would you bring?


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