Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Libraries Have Loaned out 100 million Audiobooks and eBooks


Overdrive has announced that library patrons using their system have now borrowed over 100 million audiobooks and eBooks. This is a massive achievement because the company has only been marketing digital content since the year 2000.

Libraries have definitely been embracing the digital format. In 2014 ten different libraries in Canada and the United States had over one million eBook checkouts. This is a significant increase from the six libraries that achieved the milestone in 2013.

What type of eBooks are being loaned out the most? Overdrive is starting to monthly reports from over 34,000 libraries and schools allover the world. H


  1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Penguin Publishing Group)
  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
  3. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (HarperCollins)
  4. 4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown/Archetype)
  5. Grey by E.L. James (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

Barnes and Noble Will Soon Unveil an 8 Inch Nook Tablet


Barnes and Noble has a new six inch e-reader coming out this week and they also have a new tablet they will be releasing on the same day. The Nations largest bookseller is continuing their relationship with Samsung and the hardware will be based on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is poised to go on sale this Friday, which is the same date as the new Nook Tablet and Nook e-Reader are poised to be announced. The tablet features an 8 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels with 320 PPI.

Underneath the hood is a Octacore processor featuring a Quad-core 1.9 GHz & quad-core 1.3 GHz. There will be 3G of RAM and an SD card that supports up to 128 GB of extra memory. It is unclear whether Barnes and Noble will support two different variants of memory, since Samsung has both 32/64 GB for internal storage. You will be able to take pictures via the rear facing 8 MP camera or employ the front-facing 2 MP camera for video conferencing.

If you purchase this tablet it will have a fairly modern version of Android, in the form of v5.0.2 (Lollipop). It will be bundled with the Google Play app store, Nook App Store and Samsung App Store. So there will be shortage of ways you can download anything you need. B&N will also be loading in all of the apps that debuted on the Samsung Galaxy Tab for Nook, such as their e-book store, library, magazine system and customized settings menus.

Barnes and Noble has telegraphed the new Samsung 8.0 tablet via their website where they have a few new two-way cases. The big question is, will you buy this tablet? It has way better resolution, processor power and RAM than any other Nook tablet to date.

Kobo Touch 2.0 Tech Specs Announced


Kobo has officially announced the Kobo Touch 2.0 on their blog and unlike the Indigo leak last week, we now have a sense of what type of specs this e-reader has.

  • Display: 6" Pearl E Ink touchscreen; 800 x 600 resolution, 167 PPI; Neonode IR touch with 2 finger multi-touch support
  • Size: 115 x157 x 9.2 mm; Weight: 185g
  • Processor: Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite @ 1 GHz
  • Connectivity: Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Micro USB
  • Storage: 4GB

Supported e-book formats

eBooks: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, and MOBI
Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF
Comic Books: CBZ and CBR

Should eBook Readers Without Frontlights Be Phased Out?

With the release of the new Kobo Touch 2.0, it’s hard not to ask the obvious question: Why are ebook readers without frontlights still being made? A lower entry-level price is the only answer that makes any sense. But you have to wonder if that’s really working out for the better in the long run. […]

Kobo Touch 2.0 Officially Announced, Arrives September 9th

This past weekend the Kobo Touch 2.0 turned up for sale on the Chapters.Indigo website before any kind of announcement was made about its existence. Then the listing was taken down yesterday. This kind of thing happens all the time when Kobo goes to release a new model. Some retailer puts it up on their […]

What is Amazon Underground?


Amazon Underground is a new app store that has thousands of games and apps available completely for free – even those that cost money on other app stores, with no catches. You will be able to download popular titles such as Fruit Ninja, Goat Simulator and Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions, OfficeSuite Professional 8 and many more. What is most compelling, is that none of the apps that are available have micro-transactions of any kind.

Amazon Underground is redefining the Android app store experience and making the entire process very lucrative for developers. Normally when companies design and make an app they charge a one time fee. Sometimes its as low as .99, in other cases it’s close to twenty dollars. Amazon Underground will give you the app for free, but for every hour that you actually use it, developers will net twelve cents.

Amazon is monetizing the Underground platform by running advertisements and the revenues that it brings in will be used to pay for developers. The ultimate hope is that more people will jump ship to Amazon from Google Play, allowing Amazon to generate more profit and in turn woo more developers to put their apps on their platform for free.

In order to make the launch of Amazon Underground a success the Seattle company paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Vine celebrities to hype up the service. To date, these have racked up millions of views and likely contributed to brand awareness for the millennial generation.

Things aren’t complete rosy with the Underground launch. Customers have noticed that Amazon got rid of its Free App of the Day program and many people have been wary of installing Underground because of privacy issues. When you install it for the first time it wants access to a litany of personal information that some people are finding intrusive.  On the other hand, sacrificing some of your private info to download thousands of paid apps might seem like a good trade-off.

Amazon has promised that Underground is not a limited time promotion, but will be a normal way of doing business going forward. You can download Amazon Underground from the Good e-Reader App Store.

Todd’s 10 deserted island books

Ed. Note: This is the 4th in our series of books we'd take on a deserted island if we could only pick 10. Today’s list comes from Collection Development Analyst, Todd Warhola. Thanks again to Time Magazine for the idea!


Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

Smart and funny essays by a great writer.  He is somehow able to make a review of the dictionary engrossing.  Even if you have reservations about his fiction, give these essays a shot, you will not be disappointed.

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

If you thought the movie was violent…read the book.

White Noise by Don DeLillo

DeLillo captured what it's like to live today in a world dominated by media and technology but he did it 30 years ago.

Self Help by Lorrie Moore

Her stories are brilliant, wry, and beautifully crafted.  The story "How to Become a Writer" says all I need to say, "First, try to be something, anything, else."

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel

I read "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried" at least once a year.  You have never read a story so uplifting about a best friend dying.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

The title story in which Sedaris takes a French class in Paris will make you laugh for a very long time. "Sometimes me cry alone at night."

Firebird by Mark Doty

This may be the most beautiful book I have ever read.  Doty's prose is otherworldly.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

A story about the last remaining member of a suicide cult who becomes a steroid filled messiah and spends the entire book narrating his story after hijacking a plane.  What more do you want?

Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson

A wonderfully sad book.  Robinson, as everyone knows, is just fabulous.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

Funny, absurd, and random.  Klosterman has a voice unlike any other and the passion to focus on subjects that many of us don't even consider.


Todd Warhola is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Fish tank temperature probe: an ideal beginner’s project

Determined to redress the moggie-doggie bias of the internet Lauren Orsini decided to use a Raspberry Pi and a waterproof temperature sensor to monitor her fish tank.


It's not a recent project but it deserves a place here because it's such a brilliant introduction to physical computing on the Raspberry Pi: one sensor, one purpose and a few lines of "English with a funny syntax" (aka Python). It's a great tutorial too—Lauren writes clearly and shares her beginner's point of view, documenting things that more experienced people might take for granted. The setup is based on a tutorial from Adafruit and although Lauren hadn't done any "hardware hacking" before, she says that the hardest part was "taping the wires inside the temperature sensor to the wires that fit inside the breadboard."


So it's a real beginner's project but one that can be expanded as you learn. Lauren, for instance, extended the project to turn it into a true Internet of Things device that texts her when the fish tank gets too hot. All in all it's a great way to slowly build your Raspberry Pi computing skills.

It's also pocket money cheap. In fact if you already have the CamJam EduKit #2 then you already have the kit needed for this project. And of course the sensor doesn't have to be in a fish tank. Monitor the temperature of your bathwater; your cup of tea; the fridge; your dad’s armpit while he dozes in front of the TV. If you're looking for something to do with your Pi on the last day of your summer holiday then this comes highly recommended.


Bonus back to school question #1: If 'dogs' = 5; 'cats' = 2; and 'cheese' = 1, what is the value of 'fish'? Answer tomorrow…

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