Monthly Archives: November 2012

Books for Black Friday?

Here in Canada, we had our Thanksgiving a month ago.  One holiday tradition, however, has crossed the border from the U.S.: Black Friday.  Named Black Friday because it’s the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., the time when retailers go “into the black” (if it wasn’t for this and Christmas, no retailer would survive).  Here in the Great White North, we quite often lose shoppers to the U.S. for Black Friday deals, especially now that the Canadian and U.S. dollar values are so close together.  To boost sales and try to keep shoppers in Canada, a lot of Canadian retailers have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon, and are offering some pretty amazing deals.

The one nearest and dearest to my heart is Chapters Indigo, the national bookstore chain.  There are some insanely good deals going, starting today and going until Sunday.  The famous buy 3 get the 4th one free (famous to book-lovers, anyways) is on, but now it’s available on gift and toy items, as well as books and magazines.   This is when you see book-lovers hauling grocery trolleys full of books up to the cash registers, a gleam in their eye and a deal in their heart, for reading to last the cold winter nights.  And with the deal available on line now as well, anyone with internet access and international delivery can share our joy.

Oh, another one to keep in mind – the Kobo Mini .  They put it on sale today and tomorrow for $49.99 for the door crasher.   It’s a good gift for students, and for younger kids who you want an e-reader for but don’t want to spend a ton of money on in the event of destruction.

Happy shopping!



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500 Books donated to schools and libraries in need after hurricane

Due to the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, Simon & Schuster Education and Library is offering to help schools & libraries restore their book collections with a donation of 500 “best of” titles. If you know of a school or library in need, please have them reach out to Michelle at

Please feel free to re-post and share this with everyone you can think of who might need the help, or know people who do.


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No Fifty Shades of Satanic Verses, Then?

Salman Rushdie on Fifty Shades of Grey:
“There are some books I really don’t like…that Fifty Shades of Grey is really bad. How can stuff like this get published? The grammar is awful! I mean seriously, how can people get turned on when the grammar is so bad? It’s certainly a deterrent for me!”

Love that man, and thanks to Emma for sharing this gem.


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World War Z – The Movie!!!

Yes, it requires three exclamation marks.  Zombie lovers everywhere rejoice: World War Z is coming to the big screen, and it looks awesome!

If you haven’t read the Max Brooks novel yet, do so,  because it’s an excellent read, even for those who don’t usually read the genre.

Zombie film lovers, check out this trailer, to which you too, will shout “Awesome!”  and be really annoyed that you can’t watch it RIGHT NOW.



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Merry Xmas!

As anyone who works retail knows, Christmas shopping season is already here.  Why do stores decorate so early? Well, partly to get you in the holiday spirit, partly because our job is to get you to buy stuff, and mostly because if we don’t, our storage room will explode.  You see, in Christmas shopping season, we get all the merchandise we normally get, except in larger quantities because of more people shopping, particularly the big ticket items, like kids’ toys.  Then, there’s all the special holiday merchandise we get in.   Our receiver is in the middle of having a nervous breakdown, and I’m pretty sure there’s a staff member we won’t find until January back there, twitching from living on candy cane bark and hot chocolate.

It is also a ton of fun.  Most customers are in a better than usual mood, and wearing a ridiculous hat generally helps mine.  It’s frenetic and busy, but I love that far more than days when you are practically watching tumbleweeds drifting across the sales floor.  Conspiring with parents to make sure the little ones don’t see the present.  Helping a man find the perfect gift for his first Christmas with his new wife.   Trying to track down twenty books for someone with a Christmas list.

By the way, I am more than happy to have a customer come in with a giant list of books, hand them to me, and go have a coffee while I track them down.  It’s stress free shopping for you, and I don’t have to worry about making sure I don’t lose you while I’m running around the store.  Tell your friends!

I also love sharing favorite Christmas books with parents and kids, like The Polar Express, or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  By the way, as a gift, or when reading The Polar Express, try to have a sleigh bell on hand – it makes the whole thing that much more magical.

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell is one to buy before Christmas, and is more of a gift for parents than kids.  The premise is that the elf, which comes with the book, is a direct liaison to the North Pole.   Every day, the elf watches and listens to the kids, and how well they’re behaving.  Every night, he returns to the North Pole, to tell Santa the results of his observations.  That’s why every morning, the elf is seated in a different place.  Moms and dads can also feel free to tell the elf about events that happened away from  home, so he can make a full report.  And no, I’m not above blackmailing children into good behavior.

Feel free to ask me for recommendations on gifts of books for people.  I’m happy to help!


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Haunted Bookstore?

I met an employee from the Chapters bookstore in Toronto located at Runnymede and Bloor.   It is a gorgeous store:

Just because it’s awesome, here’s a link to see it in 360:,11.49,70.0

Reasons it’s an awesome bookstore:

1) It’s a bookstore.

2) It’s in a renovated theatre, and is beautiful.

3) It’s haunted.

According to the staff member I met, it’s been haunted since it was a theatre, and apparently having been turned into a bookstore hasn’t changed that.  Now, believing in ghosts or not, how cool is a haunted bookstore in an old theatre?  It sounds like a Nancy Drew mystery.  I kind of want to work there.





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Neil deGrasse Tyson reveals location of Superman’s home planet



According to The Guardian, Neil deGrasse Tyson makes an appearance in DC’s Superman comics, and identifies the location of Krypton.  For those of you with great telescopes, here are the coordinates of the star Krypton used to circle:

Right Ascension: 12 hours 10 minutes 5.77 seconds
Declination: -15 degrees 4 minutes 17.9 seconds
Proper Motion: 0.76 arcseconds per year, along 172.94 degrees from due north:


You can click on this link for the full article:

(3) The Guardian on Facebook.



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Creepy Awesome Bookstore

Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto, Portugal (by Ricardo Bevilaqua)

So many bookstores, so little time.


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Ready Player One

This book just may be the geek bible.

Whether you’re a book nerd, computer nerd, gaming nerd, eighties child, devoted reader, fantasy or sci-fi lover, you’ll probably love this book.

It really is the Matrix meets Charlie & The Chocolate Factory.

The basic premise: the greatest programmer the world has ever known, who created a virtual reality universe, has died.  He has left a puzzle, and the one who solves it wins his fortune and his company.

It’s full of eighties pop culture references (Zork!) has an adorable romance, and some excellent twists.

All in all, I loved it, and I thank Melinda at work for threatening me with death if I didn’t read it.


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