Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Kobo Glo HD Does Not Have a SD Card


Yesterday we broke the news that Kobo had a new e-readerand today they company officially announced the Kobo Glo HD. This device is primarily competing against the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and is considered a mid-range digital reader. In order to get the Glo HD price down, the Canadian based company had to make some sacrifices.

For the first time ever, Kobo has made the decision not to include an SD card on their new e-reader. This will effectively lock customers into only having 4 GB of internal memory with no option to expand it. Kobo is betting that more people will buy e-books from their own bookstore, in order to safely store them in the cloud. If your reader gets too full, you can delete the books and download them again at any time.

The Kobo Aura and the Kobo H2O were the first e-readers that had the screen entirely flush with the bezel,  much akin to your standard smartphone or tablet. The Glo HD is a bit of a downgrade in this regard because it employs a sunken screen. It feels very 2011.

I think the Kobo Glo HD is a step backwards for e-reader development. It seems the company just wants to have the cheapest device possible and will likely discount it to $99 by the end of the year. In order to lower the manufacturing costs, they had to remove a lot of key features that have been a fixture of the Kobo brand for the last two years.

My advice is if you are looking for a top of the line e-reader with all the bells and whistles, consider the Kobo Aura, which is a bit long in the tooth, or the waterproof H2O e-reader.

The Kobo Glo HD Does Not Have a SD Card is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Glo HD Will Cost $129, Releases May 1st

Today Kobo officially announced the upcoming release of the new Kobo Glo HD ebook reader that turned up online a couple days ago. What makes the Kobo Glo HD unique from other Kobo devices is the super high 300 ppi resolution screen. It’s the same E Ink Carta screen that the much more expensive Kindle […]

The OverDrive app now features a dyslexic font option

Last week we released the most recent version of the OverDrive app with a number of enhancements including the option to select a dyslexic font when reading eBooks. Standard dyslexic fonttypefaces are often difficult to read for people with dyslexia as the letters are hard to differentiate and words tend to jumble together. Dyslexic fonts provide greater contrast in letters which solves this problem.

This new font option will make reading easier for students with dyslexia as well as library patrons who struggle with the condition. Determining letters is now much easier, allowing readers to concentrate on the book's content instead.

To select the dyslexic font tap the center of your device's screen when reading a title and choose the font options button. Then simply select which dyslexic font you'd like to use. As always, you can also adjust the spacing, font size and screen color to make your reading experience more enjoyable.

This update is one of many enhancements planned for the app – with more coming later in the year – that will continue to help users get the most out of their digital reading experience.


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Latest Bestselling Trend Is Coloring Books…for Adults

There is no disputing the fact that the publishing industry looks nothing like it did even ten years ago, let alone a hundred years ago. As a result of these swift and all-encompassing changes, bookselling has changed dramatically, too. One of the first major shifts was in the large numbers of adult readers who were voraciously consuming young adult literature, largely because there was nothing like the books of today when those readers were kids. It wasn’t long before hard-core erotica burst into the spotlight, no longer relegated to the taboo bookstores and carried around in brown wrappers or tucked inside more “worthy” books.

So it should come as no surprise that one of the hottest trends in bookselling right now is coloring books aimed at adults. No, it’s not the 50 Shades of Grey coloring book adaptation, but instead highly intricate works of art meant for adults to enjoy.

According to an article in the Guardian on the surprising sales figures of a few select new titles, the real reason these are so popular with adults is the ability to unwind and do something slightly mindless, while still getting an energy boost brought on from tapping into one’s creative side.

"I think it is really relaxing, to do something analogue, to unplug," said illustrator/author Joanna Basford told the Guardian. "And it's creative. For many people, a blank sheet is very daunting; with a colouring book you just need to bring the colour. Also there's a bit of nostalgia there. So many people have said to me that they used to do secret colouring in when their kids were in bed. Now it is socially acceptable, it's a category of its own. These are books for adults. The art in my books is super intricate."

While the books that have made waves among readers in recent years are still published under the traditional model–young adult titles such as the Hunger Games trilogy, explicit content such as Abbi Glines’ Rosemary Beach series, and now high-art coloring books–it’s no wonder that readers are sparking as much change as authors have. Where authors are no longer limited in their publishing models, their preferred genres, or their formats, readers have also refused to be limited by something as simple as a recommended age range. And whether it’s tales of BDSM or highly complex black line drawings of botanical gardens, readers are demanding choice, too.

Latest Bestselling Trend Is Coloring Books…for Adults is a post from: Good e-Reader

Librarian’s Share: Providing learning tools for the staff

(Ed. Note: This post was written by Cathy Daane of the Madison Metropolitan School District and discusses how they trained their staff and provide them with easy access to answers about their OverDrive service.)


When the Madison Metropolitan School District decided to start an OverDrive collection for all of their patrons, one of the concerns was how to train the 46 school librarians so that they could be the local experts on this resource. In addition to some large group training sessions and using targeted e-mails to highlight the many resources that OverDrive provides online, a LibGuide page was created as a central spot that librarians could go to when they needed an answer to an OverDrive question “right now.” Since the district’s librarians already used a privately shared LibGuide to warehouse other important district library information, a new page was simply created in the “Librarian e-guide” to provide specific OverDrive information.

The initial LibGuide focused on general information about OverDrive such as what it was, how it might be utilized by district students and staff, and how district patrons would access it. It also included links to many of the excellent resources that OverDrive provided, such as device specific directions. In addition, screencasts and documents that were specific to MMSD (such as the district’s ordering process for OverDrive shopping carts) were posted here.

A year later new boxes have appeared as needed, such as “Simple Login” information when that became an option. Recently one librarian wanted to know how to remove a title from a patron’s name before the checkout period has expired. With help from an OverDrive Account Specialist, the needed directions were found and shared not only with that librarian, but also posted on the OverDrive libguide so that others could learn that process as well. Links that allow librarians to go to a spreadsheet to request access level changes for a specific title or request purchases of new titles have also been added. This streamlines the district requests so that one person can check the lists periodically and handle them in a very efficient manner.

The LibGuide is a work in progress, but is really has helped to cut down on the questions that may be directed to central library media services staff members. It helps the school librarians learn things on their own when they need to find an answer for either themselves or a patron.


Madison Metropolitan School District is located in Madison Wisconsin and has been using OverDrive with their students and staff since January, 2014.

We represent the Lollipop League

Thanks for bearing with us while we took the Easter break off – we return to you refreshed and full of chocolate.

The marvellous Spencer Organ, one of our Certified Educators, is a teacher at King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy (KESH Academy to its friends) in Birmingham. The school recently put on a student performance of The Wizard of Oz.


Spencer was in charge of performance technology, and wanted to see if he could fit a Raspberry Pi in as special effects equipment. The Tin Man’s heart presented a perfect opportunity. Spencer used the Pimoroni Unicorn HAT with a Model A+ to make the Tin Man’s heart (which was made out of red foil back when I did the same play as a kid) a glowing, animated thing of wonder. For more on HATs, see James’ post from last year.

(Spencer sensibly tweaked the brightness settings; a Unicorn HAT at full blast is positively retina-searing.)


The heart was programmed to pulse, giving the audience the impression it was beating.

Spencer says:

The code was relatively simple and I used a simple list to assign the x,y and colour data for each pixel to be used.

myList1=[3,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,5,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,0,1,2,3,5,6,7,1,2,6]  myList2=[0,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,6,6,7,7,7]  myList3=[1,1,2,1,1,2,2,2,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,1,1,3,3,2,2,2,2,1,1,3,3,2,1,2,2,1,1,2,2,1,1,2,1,1,1,1]

To give the effect of the heart beating and pulsating I gradually changed the brightness of the pixels from about 30 – 80%. It was important not to go too bright as I could have blinded the audience or other cast members!

while True:  for bright in range (30,80):  UH.brightness(bright*0.01)  heart()

This gave a very passable beating effect which looked stunning on the stage. The Pi was powered with a portable battery pack and to make backstage life easier the code was activated from boot using crontab with:

@reboot sudo python /home/pi/Pimoroni/heart.py &    

Spencer has made the Python script you’ll need to make your own available on his website; check out the Raspberry Pi section of his blog for more teaching and learning ideas with the Pi. Thanks Spencer!

Kodansha Launches New Manga

ninja slayer

Last weekend, at the Anime Boston convention, comic distributor Kodansha introduced a list of several new manga. The six titles introduced included a new Persona manga, a new Vinland Saga to break the hiatus, and an original horror manga about cats.

Attack on Titan 16 Special Edition


This special edition contains a set of premium-quality playing cards, each with a unique piece of full-color art, alongside the volume. The manga additionally comes with a dust jacket featuring original variant art by a well-known Western comics creator, whose name has yet to be announced.

Cat Diary: Yon & Myu

cat diary

More of a horror/comedy, the manga is a single 120-page book,  following the “autobiographical” tale of the author’s girlfriend, and the two cats that move in along with her. From the pen of horror master Junji Ito, this is absolutely a must have for any lovers of spooks, laughs, or both.

Devil Survivor

devil survivor

The manga is based on the 3DS game of the same name, following the story of a high school boy trying to survive when his world is suddenly overcome by demons. The game had a sequel released in 2011 in Japan.

Ninja Slayer Kills


The manga is an adaption of the popular Ninja Slayer novel series, which is also being adapted into a highly anticipated anime. The bloody, ultra-violent story centers around a ninja-killing Grim Reaper in a spree for vengeance.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth P3/P4


The popular 3DS game series has been adapted into manga before, this new title being another to add to the family. This manga is also available on Crunchyroll, for those who so desire.

Vinland Saga

Couverture Yotsubato volume 6.indd

After suffering a hiatus, Vinland Saga is making its return with the sixth and seventh volumes coming out in September and December, respectively. The series, written and illustrated by award-winning author Makoto Yumikura, is a fantastical account of Danish king Cnut the Great’s invasion of England.

Kodansha Launches New Manga is a post from: Good e-Reader