Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Elecom Ear Drops

As we have mentioned several times in the past, one of the on-going trends in technology is to not LOOK like technology. We fully support the idea - and so does Elecom - why wear a piece of black plastic in your ear when you can wear jewelry?

Ok so the jewelry part might be more of a female-driven trend, but there are fun ear buds for guys too...we will post on those in the coming weeks as well.

These particular Ear Drops by Elecom (featured above) retail for $49.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just a book

McMaster University Bookstore recently became the second location in Canada (and the second Campus Stores Canada member) to own an Espresso Book Machine from On Demand Books of New York.

There has been no end of media drop-ins and calls in the past few weeks; no end of a stream of customers interested in the amazing possibilities that exist when a local bookstore has the ability to produce a perfect bound trade paperback book right on the spot in a matter of minutes.

This is the first time in my career as an academic bookseller that I have seen students wonder at a printed book. Normally it's the latest iPod or other electronic handhell device that captures their imagintion. But this time it's an old-fashioned handheld device. A simple book.

Watching a book being produced is indeed a wonder, and not just for "book nerds" like me. Certainly, the process the EBM uses isn't the same as the one which is used to mass produce books. But it is certainly a fascination to observe. Anyone who attended the recent CSC 2008 in Edmonton and got a chance to see the University of Alberta Bookstore's EBM in action knows what I mean.

But having a technology like an EBM doesn't just create excitement for a long-existing product (the book), but it opens up all kinds of opportunities for publishers and bookstores to work together.

In the short time we've already had the machine, we were able to collaborate with a small Canadian publisher to get the rights to print copies of their book for an upcoming course. The lowered cost of printing the book ourselves combined with the royalty payment resulted in a lower cost to my store and thus allowed us to reduce the price to students by 30%.

Similarly, in cooperation with McGraw, the University of Alberta bookstore was able to drop the price of a "custom textbook" produced by McGraw for one of their courses by about $60.

This new publishing model, which saves publishers money and shipping costs, also saves the bookstore money and shipping and removes the often frustrating business model that includes returning books to publishers. That doesn't even take into account the reduced carbon footprint involved when you're not shipping books to and from the publisher's warehouse.

I'm certainly looking forward to watching this new opportunity within the publishing industry continue to grow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Circular Scarf from American Apparel

The circular scarf is one of those well established classics that disappears and resurfaces every ten years or answers so many needs: fashion, function, and fabulous variety. Our team is crazy about them! This particular one (shown above) is from American Apparel.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great organizers at International Arrivals

Mundane office supplies are a thing of the past, and International Arrivals offers a great selection of fun and fashionable office organizing items. We especially love the new colorful paperclips! They have always stocked great folders too, this wood spiral folder (featured above) is one of their newest.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mimobots still going strong

Mimobot flash drives by Mimoco are one of those rare types of products that just get stronger and cooler. Practically at cult status, the new generation of Mimobots are designed by the who's-who of the street arts & graphics industries. And of course, with every cool product come the off-shoots - like clothing to dress up your drive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Suzy Jack Stationary

Making a splask on the stationary scene is a line called Susy Jack created by Manhattan artist Susan Connor. The line - which is made from 100% recycled paper - received great press at the National Stationary Show in the US this past summer. We love the graphics on the notebooks and ringlet jotters.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Eco Back Packs

When it comes to back packs, those that are eco-friendly haven't always been price-friendly (Voltaic's solar powered ones are $200 - $500) unfortunate circumstance for students interested in sustainability. Osprey and Targus have recently launched some cheaper alternatives, featured above.

The Cypher back pack by Osprey (top photo) retails for $84 US and is made from PET and uses reground buckles.
Even more affordable are the EcoSmart backpacks from Targus (bottom photo) - retailing at $60 US, they are made from 100% recycled polyesters & plastics. Even the metal details are nickel-free.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lug Lunch Cubes and Pack Bags

Our junior staffers couldn't get enough of the Lunch Cubes and other padded carrying goods by Lug. Available in bright fun colors and variety of shapes and sizes, these are perfect for students (functional yet fashionable) and very easy on the pocketbook.

To contact Lug's Canadian office, click here.

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