Well kids, it’s official. I’ve turned into one of those guys. I’m typing this at a Starbucks.

It gets worse. I’m not just here because somebody dragged me, and I’m being forced to sit and have a beverage because of some bizarre social contract. No, I actually like one of the drinks. It’s a double chocolate chip frappuccino, and it is damned delicious. It’s like a milkshake, albeit marginally healthier. There’s little chunks of chocolate in it. That is some high quality drinking, even if I feel like a bit of a douche hanging out in a Starbucks in a book store.

The book store is a Chapters, part of the Indigo chain. I just took a look around the bookstore, and the attached Starbucks is at least twice as busy. Compared to the bookstore, this Starbucks is practically breaking fire code. It’s a little bit amazing. Nobody goes to the bookstore anymore.

And why would they? The prices are a full 20-30% higher than online, and if you were a serious reader, you would have bought an e-reader years ago. I have a $75 Chapters gift card left over from Christmas and I have no intention to spend a dime of it in the store. Why would I willingly pay more?

It’s not like the people who work there are helpful, either. Oh, you want a book that we don’t have? Let me go on the SAME WEBSITE YOU CAN and check. This is service worth getting excited about only if you’re over 60. The rest of us know how the hell to operate the internet.

There’s always one guy hanging around the e-reader table, ready to tell you everything you could ever want to know about the latest backlight technology. Could he make it any more obvious he’s on commission? That’s gotta be the best job in the whole store. At least he might make enough to not starve.

It’s always a guy manning the Kobo table, because it’s not like a woman is capable of telling other women how to work an e-reader. How many men do you know who own an e-reader? The ratio between female and male e-reader owners has to be at least 10:1. I might be the only guy I know who owns one.

The moral of the story? Don’t buy Indigo’s stock. You think it’s a good value. It’s not.

Time for the links!

Remember, these are all links to my Motley Fool stuff, which I write in addition to what I do here, because apparently I am a vigorous young go getter. Not so young anymore, but you get the idea.

Want exposure to gold? Hey, don’t laugh. It’s a beaten up sector where many of the companies involved are trading under book value, and could have nice returns if the price of gold recovers. Anyway, here’s my pick in the space.

Amazon is coming out with a smartphone. And, naturally, the first thing I thought of is how it’s going to affect BlackBerry, a stock I still hold for some reason. Feel free to laugh at me for continuing to hold it. I’m only down 50% or so.

Are you one of those investors who LURVES Canadian telecoms? I generally tend to agree with you on that, but these days I’m just not so sure. Technology is coming that could at least annoy them, if not do some serious damage.

At this point in the real estate cycle, you’re absolutely nuts if you buy a rental property. Cap rates are basically zero, and any price appreciation is a bigger fantasy than my life with Taylor Swift. Here’s why I think REITs aren’t such a bad bet.

And finally, I wrote about Bombardier again. I’m still considering buying some of the preferred shares for income. It’s one of those stocks that I like, but where I think the potential upside is just 50-100%, rather than the 200-400% I usually strive for. It’s exactly what I look for in a fixed income investment — a decent yield with little risk of the whole thing blowing up.

See you guys tomorrow for the dump.

Tell everyone, yo!