Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey Party Game. No, Seriously.



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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared

I looooooved this book.  It’s a little bit Forrest Gump, a little bit Water for Elephants, and a tiny, tiny bit of Weekend at Bernie’s.   In fact, it should be made into a movie immediately. Buy it.  Read it.  Love it.  You’re welcome.

Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series is now available as… Manga!  Hilarious manga called Soulless, named after the first book in the series..  Each volume is equivalent, at least so far, to one of the five books in the series.  Definitely worth picking up.  My only caveat is that I’m not sure how obvious the whole preternatural story line is if you haven’t already read the series.  It seemed to me that if you weren’t already aware of its meaning, you might not really know what’s going on.  But hey, it may just be me.   Also, the art is spectacular and fun.

Happy reading!


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Chargers for the Kobo Vox and Kobo Arc

I get many questions about which chargers will work for the Kobo Vox and Arc, both here and at the store, so I thought I’d give them a post all their own.

The short answer is, you need a 2A 5V micro USB charger.  So, 2 amps, 5 volts.

Most micro USB chargers are 5V, but not all are 2A.

The Kobo Vox was built with proprietary technology built into the charger – which means that using non-Kobo chargers can be problematic.  If it isn’t a Kobo charger, the Vox doesn’t register battery charge levels properly.  The battery may be fully charged, but it won’t know.  Most of the time this isn’t an issue, but sometimes it can lead to the Vox turning itself off due to what it thinks are insufficient power levels.  You can buy a charger directly from Kobo  no longer buy chargers from Kobo, they aren’t even listed on the site.  You can try and see if you can search out a used or refurbished one, but Vox users may be out of luck at this point.

For both the Arc and Vox (and many other tablets, like the Nexus 7), it is vital to get a 2A charger.  Imagine your battery as a pool of water.  Using the battery drains the water.  So, you have to refill the pool.  The number of amps is the width of the hose you’re using.  If you try to charge your tablet with a charger that has insufficient amperage, it’s like trying to refill that pool through a drinking straw.  It’s going to take an awfully long time, and the water is going to keep draining away faster than you’re filling it.



Filed under E-readers, Tablet

Grab your nearest book…

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
Turn to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the closest.

And then… see if you can figure out where the others are from.  Odds are, probably not.


Here’s mine:

“When I was a kid, I read about the glowing, deep-ocean fish that he found. I wanted to share Beebe’s adventures.”



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E-book Borrowing Made Easy?

If you, like me, have ever tried to manage to strangle the website of your public library (so far unsuccessfully), relief may soon be at hand.

Bibliocommons is debuting a new format for e-book lending, where – gasp – you won’t have to access different sites and different checkouts for each of the e-book providers for the library.  Many of the libraries have five or more different sites, each with their own format and login.   The library doesn’t have responsibility for the sites, so if problems crop up, there is no central help system.

Bibliocommons may just change all that.  The full launch hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a little teaser promo that was just launched today – see what you think.

If nothing else, I’m curious to know if this video causes you to have visions of e-books about to be tied to railroad tracks by a moustache-twirling villain.


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Filed under E-Books, E-readers, libraries

Girls Can Fix Stuff!

A man came in the other day, with a malfunctioning e-reader.  It was an older model, and he thought he was going to have to get a new one.  He had his wife and daughter with him, both of whom were very… deferential towards him.  I asked if I could have a look at his device, to see if I could fix it.  He didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but I convinced him that it couldn’t hurt to let me try.

I popped the back off, fiddled around with the battery connection, hit the manual reset – and voila, it was working again.

The man was grudgingly grateful – I thought maybe he had been hoping to use this as an excuse to get a new device.  But then, his daughter, around seven or eight years old, piped up:

“I thought you said girls couldn’t fix stuff, Dad.”   He replied to her in another language, in a sharp tone of voice. “But she just fixed that, Dad.  You couldn’t, and she did.  And she can use computers better than you.  And she’s a girl, Dad.”  Her mom was shaking her head at her, and her dad turned red.   He glared at me, then stomped off.

“You can do computer stuff.  And you’re a girl,” she said to me.

“Yep, and my daughters are pretty good with them too,” I said.

“Your daughters can fix stuff too?” she asked me.

“Not yet, but they’re learning.”

Her mom was shaking her head still, but she looked more thoughtful than angry.  The little girl looked thoughtful too.  And mad.

I don’t think her dad is going to be able to keep telling her that girls can’t do stuff.



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Filed under Bookstore, E-readers, Retail

World’s Largest Bookshelf?

A library in the Netherlands called Book Mountain is not only a new and applauded architectural design, but also contains what may be the world’s largest bookshelf.  It is, essentially, a pyramid of 70,000 books (with room for more) under glass.  To see the BBC video, click here.  It has a café at the peak, with a panoramic view, a reward for ascending the 480 metres of stairs and paths through the library.

Little factoids from the architects’  (MVRDV) website:

9300 m2 total surface
Public part library: 3500 m2
Environmental education centre: 112 m2
Chess club: 140 m2
Back office library: 370 m2
Retail: 839 m2
Commercial offices: 510 m2

Length book shelves:
3205 m total
1565 m for lending
1640 m archive
Amount of books: currently 70.000 and space for another 80.000
The cover is 26 m tall and spans 33,5 m x 47 m

Parking garage with grey water basin and 350 spaces

Hopefully this indicates a new trend of bookstores and libraries becoming vibrant community hubs once more.


“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”― Joseph Brodsky

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The Parasol Protectorate

If you crossed Jules Verne with Bram Stoker, and threw in girliness, you might get Gail Carriger.  Vampires, werewolves, mummies (the dead ones are less scary than the live ones in this series) and a hefty dose of steampunk makes this a book that is wonderful to imagine.  Alexia Tarabotti and her world are very well described, and it’s not hard to picture the scenes as they unfold, no matter how bizarre.  Carriger loves dry wit and word play, and some of her phrases beg quoting.

Most of my favorites are the heroine’s descriptions of her devoted best friend Ivy, who is fashion impaired and not the brightest bulb.  An example of one gem where she is describing Ivy’s outfit is that she looks like “an iced tea cake with delusions of shepherding.”  Picture it.  Just try.

Despite the fashion commentary, and the romance angle, this is a series that can be enjoyed by both men and women, and has interesting plot lines and some new ideas.  The writing is fantastically fun, and I read all five books in about three days, in a marathon reading session.

Lovers of many different genres will enjoy these, and I encourage even those who don’t normally venture into sci-fi or fantasy to read them.  You can tell that Carriger is having a great time writing them, and it makes for an equally great time reading them.  There’s a box set of all five available, and I recommend picking it up because you’re going to read them all anyways.  The books are also available in e-book format.

Happy reading!




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Shakespearean Hokey Pokey

Shakespearean Hokey Pokey

Go forth and dance.



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