Friday, May 5, 2017

Unlock A FREE Online Book Library with Hoopla!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Today’s holiday marks the celebration of the day the Mexican Army won over France at the Battle of Puebla In 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. Truth be told this holiday isn’t that majorly celebrated in Mexico itself but in the United States this day has become a celebration of Mexican Culture and Heritage. States such as California, New Mexico and Texas are having celebrations all over so join in if you have any nearby!

This weekend also marks another celebration though a much newer and perhaps geekier day... Free Comic Book Day. 

Yes this Saturday, which is tomorrow if you’re reading this today, if you’re reading this after Friday the 5th then hello from the past, marks Free Comic Book Day. Comic Books have been an absolutely favorite of mine ever since I was a kid and has served as some of my story writing inspiration and lately the inspiration for my recent dive into drawing and art. I actually used to make these silly comic books as a kid because of this and I actually want to get back into that. (Just you know, draw them a lot better then I did as a kid.)

FCBD is an annual event that occurs once a year all across the country at local comic book stores in attempt to get people into comics and drive traffic towards these comic book stores by giving out free comics to everyone who comes in. What kind of comics are they giving out? While this may depend on the store major publishers such as DC, Marvel, Dark Horse Comics, BOOM! Studios and Image Comics will be some of the many giving out these free comics and even some manga from companies such as VIZ.

I’ll be visiting my local bookstore and covering it all of you guys to enjoy on Monday so be sure to come back to ZAK Entertainment on Monday! To experience this event yourself head to to find where Free Comic Book Day is happening in your area! For the list of what comics these stores will be offering go to:

I’m quite excited and in anticipation of this event we’ll be discussing something not so unrelated from comics. Ever wanted to read some free books but are not able to get to the library all the time or just don’t like heading to the library in general? How about Comic Books but you’re not able to pay and keep up with all the new releases? Well what if I told you that there was a way of visiting the library on your iPhone, iPad or Android Device? Introducing to all of you is a really awesome app/website called Hoopla!

In short Hoopla is an online library but I’ve discovered it may be more jam-packed then any local library I’ve ever been to. With thousands of audio books, ebooks, comic books even movies and music Hoopla is a godsend. As I said a couple of sentences ago this is an actual online library and it’s powered by your local public library so before we get started you will need a library card. You can head to your local library to get yourself issued one if you don’t have one. Some libraries won’t offer Hoopla and if your local library doesn’t let them know! They probably don’t know of the benefits of Hoopla or Hoopla in general. Once you have your library card signing up Is easy, created a username, password then enter your library card and choose your nearest library, or the one you like visiting often.

Once you have access you can borrow books, audiobooks, movies and music similar to a real library only it’s all downloaded on your iPad from the comfort of your own home. There is a limit of how many books or other entertainment items you can borrow a month but the amount you can borrow depends on your library, my library offers up to 20 borrows a month. Another plus of Hoopla over a normal library is.. No late fees! Nope instead of getting slapped with a late fee your borrowed items simply disappear after a short amount of time. This short amount of time I believe also depends on your library but my downloaded items last for three weeks before being automatically returned. If your books are returned before you’re done reading them you can simply redownload your books and pick up where you left off! Yeah Hoopla stores your progress even after your borrowed time is up, pretty awesome. These downloads can all be read or watched offline as well! You’ll still have to consider data rates when downloading but won’t have to worry about running up your internet or data once they’re downloaded.

The Hoopla App is easy to navigate and has a nice streamlined design. You can look up recommended, featured and popular items in any of the items Hoopla offers such as books, comics, audio books, movies and so on but if you want to look for a specific book searching for what you want is even easier, you can search via book name (Or movie/music name but you get my drift.), publisher or author. Take Rick Riordan for example, he’s been one of my favorite authors for years now with his popular Percy Jackson series and his new series Magnus Chase which the first book in this series has been on my borrowed list this month. If you love Rick’s Young Adult books with a twist of Norse Mythology and Loki instead of Greek Gods then you might want to give this series a chance! I’m enjoying it thoroughly so far and I’ll be discussing the book once I finish reading it.

You can be pretty vague with what you put in the search, say if you’re looking for mystery novels in general. At first it’ll come up with no filter but with a simple tap you can filter your search by eBook, audio book, movies, tv, or comic books.

Oh yeah parent’s letting their kids use Hoopla can be at ease with Hoopla’s Kid Mode! This’ll block out any adult stuff you don’t want your kids seeing or downloading. Just make sure you make sure your kids don’t run their borrowed books limit up by downloading too many.

Speaking of Comic Books… Hoopla is literally Comic Book heaven. Aside from a lack of Marvel (I’ve heard they are planning on adding Marvel though at a later date.) Hoopla has a plethora of comics, too many for me to read off on this blog but some of my favorites such as DC Comics are on here. The brand new DC Rebirth which I discussed in an earlier blog is all on here in full length volumes. Even older comics such as Batman: Hush or the Silver Age Flash Comics are just a click away. 

It’s almost overwhelming in a way, a lot of these comics I’ve never read before for some reason or another. It’s hard to choose which to read first and what to read later but Hoopla does have a feature called favorites which allow you to favorite books you want to borrow later without using up one of your monthly borrows.

My current comic book i'm reading on here are actually the Archie comics. You guys know Archie, right? Well I’ve never been a consistent reader of them but I’ve always known about them and I can vaguely remember a cartoon of the characters from back in the 90s, which I believe was Archie’s Weird Mysteries. I’ve also taken a peek into the comics over the years but never really dove into them until now. Apparently I’ve gotten hooked on these comics. For those not aware Archie is about… Well Archie, Archie Andrews and his friends from Riverdale High School. In these friends are two ladies named Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge who serve as Archie Andrews’s love interests… As well as his kryptonite. Archie tends to accidentally make dates with these two for the same day and time which causes some high jinks between the three. I’ll talk more about these comics as I read more into them but I really seem to have fallen in love with these Riverdale folks.

I’ve talked about books and comic books on Hoopla but I haven’t really discussed Audio Books, TV, Movies and Film which Hoopla has a LOT of. I’m new to Audio Books and I haven’t listened to them often but Hoopla has made me discover one thing… Audio Books are perfectly for listening to while you knit. As a long time rabbit lover I recommend checking out the audio book version of Watership Down! I borrowed this a couple of months ago and it’s a pretty awesome listen as well as being a classic novel.

Speaking of knitting… Hoopla has a good amount of Non-Fiction books and these include but are not limited to How To Books on subjects such as knitting! Yeah there are quite a few knitting books on here including a fiction audio book called Knit Your Own Murder which involves a group of local knitters participating in a fundraiser who get involved in a murder… Huh that actually sounds like a pretty cool story, how come I’ve never heard of this book before? See I found something new just writing this blog.

I don’t use Hoopla for movies so I had to go searching to see what Hoopla does offer and while I don’t recognize a lot of these movies there’s quite a few on here so put in some words and see what you can find!

Hoopla is a pretty incredible app with a lot to offer and it’s almost hard to decide what to read next, but that might just be me being weird. You can download Hoopla for free (Hoopla in general is absolutely free, did I mention that already?) from the App Store on iTunes, the Google Play store, the Amazon App Store and you can even hookup Hoopla to Apple TV or Google Chromecast for movies. Hoopla is definitely an app everyone should download if you’re an avid book reader, a comic book lover, or even a audio book lover. Check out more about Hoopla at!

Well I’ll be leaving you guys shortly and heading out for Free Comic Book Day but before then, it’s still Friday and Cinco de Mayo so per blog tradition I went digging through some knitting patterns to find a Mexican themed knitting pattern. I was originally going to feature an actual Cinco De Mayo pattern but after discovering it led to a email spam. I have found a Mexican themed pattern though that is just as exciting. This is the “Mexican Sunset” sock pattern By DROPS Design!

Yeah, yeah I know I featured a DROPS Design pattern on the last blog but this pattern is awesome. It’s a beautiful Fair Isle pattern with pinks, oranges and yellows and a wonderful almost floral diamond pattern. These are designed I believe to be female socks and you can find the pattern and full sizes on DROPS’s website: It seems like a normal colorworks pattern just there’s a lot to it. These are actually quite gorgeous and would make a wonderful gift. I’ve done a colorworks pattern before in the form of my first beanie/slouch so I’ve been eager to find a new colorworks pattern. To get these same sunset colors you can find yarn skeins with these colors around quite easily just make sure it’s Fingering weight sock yarn but if you want this specific yarn it’s called DROPS Fabel and will cost you 1.90$ USD per 1.8 from DROPS Design’s website. You’ll need 672 yards of this yarn (614 M) You’ll also need Size US 1 1/2/ 2.5 MM needles and US 0 – 2.0 MM needles… I’ve never used needles that small before.

Check out this cool pattern on Ravelry!

I know, I know the blog is getting long but a lot is happening and I have to tell you all about this. You know The National Museum of Play right? It was created in 1969 and holds all sorts of exhibits related to Toys, Video Games and even Comics. It's had a toy hall of fame since the late 90s but recently in 2015 the Museum introduced the Video Game Hall of Fame. Well the inductees have just been announced and it's pretty exciting to announce that after two years of nomination Pokemon Red and Blue finally have entered the Hall of Fame alongside Donkey Kong, Street Fighter 2 and Halo Combat Evolved. (The first Halo.). Final Fantasy 7 was nominated but didn't make it in so let's try and get it in for next year! You can read more at

Also bringing back up the subject of comics, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 just released in Theatres! It looks like a pretty incredible space super hero movie and everybody loves Groot, right? So go check it out if you can!

With that all said and done we’ve come to the end of the blog for today. Hope you all enjoy your Cinco de Mayo and Free Comic Book Day! I’ll be posting some stuff here and there on my Instagram but check out my full coverage here on ZAK Entertainment on Monday!

That’s a wrap folks!

Oh yeah… Yesterday was actually May the 4th but as I don’t post a blog on Thursdays I kind of missed out on doing a Star Wars blog… Ohh well apparently the 4th lands on Friday next year… Hmmmm.

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