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E-shopping for Christmas

Holiday shopping is here. I heard on the news that Nov. 11 is the heaviest online shopping day in China. It’s called Singles’ Day because the four ones in the date signify the loneliest number. A company called Alibaba decided that single men could drown their sorrows in online electronics shopping instead of their favorite libation and started this day a few years ago. Reportedly this day’s spending in China far surpasses Cyber Monday in the United States.

Are you considering buying an e-reader or tablet this Christmas? Here are some tips to help you make your choice.

• What do you really want to do with it? Do you just want to read books? If so you can find an e-reader as low as about $70. You can borrow e-books from our library with any reader that will accept the app called Blio or Adobe digital editions. Kindle Fire works with our e-book service, but the simple Kindles do not. The opposite is true for the Barnes and Noble Nook; the Nook HD will not work with our service, but the older Nook models will. All tablets will work with our service including IPad and devices that use the Android operating systems such as Samsung Galaxy Tablets.

• Do you want your device to display in color? If you’re going to be reading with children you might want to be sure to have this feature. Likewise if you plan to subscribe to e-magazines color is real plus.

• Do you want to play games? Most e-readers will offer these options now. All tablets do. But consider tip No. 4 and how it will affect your game playing.

• Do you want internet access all the time or only when you’re within a wi-fi hotspot? If you want it all the time you’ll need to get a device with 4G or higher and buy a data plan. Keep in mind that our library is a free wi-fi hotspot which you can even access in the parking lot when we are closed. Once a book is checked out and downloaded to your device you do not need to be connected to the internet to read it.

• Do you know which one has the Consumer Reports best buy recommendation? Come by the library to take a look at their reviews.

If you already own a device and need help borrowing our e-books bring it by and we’ll see what we can do to help you get set up. A new feature of our service is the ability to return your e-books as soon as you are finished rather than having to wait for them to return themselves. That way you can check out more right away.

Friday night is the Catching Fire movie launch party. You can design your own Hunger Games, play a trivia game, and see if you can survive to reach the cornucopia. It’s from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. here at the library. All ages are welcome but children under the age of 12 will need to bring an adult with them.

Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. is the program featuring Texas State Historian Bill O’Neal. After telling us about his adventures as the State Historian he’ll sell and sign copies of his latest book Images of America: Van Alstyne (Arcadia Publishing, c. 2013).

Judy Kimzey and Teen Council members are warming up their ovens for the annual Bake Sale. You can pre-order to be sure you get what you want by stopping by the library no later than Nov. 21. Apple, Pumpkin, or Sweet Potato Pie - $10 each. Pecan Pie - $12. Rum Cake - $20. There will be other treats available on the sale day which is Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a great way to treat the family for Thanksgiving Day and save yourself from having to juggle when to use the oven for the turkey and when to bake the pie.

Hope to see you around the Van Alstyne Public Library.

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