Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Friday News: Bye, bye Sony; 3-d makeup printer; Romance novel survey;...

Sony Reader Store to Close in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia June 16th – Well, that didn’t take long. Two months after closing the Sony Reader Store in the United States and Canada, Sony is pulling out of almost all its other markets, including Australia, the UK,and Germany, signaling an abandonment of the digital book business. As with readers in North America, those affected by the new closures will be automatically transferred to Kobo upon the June 16th closures.

Sony is abandoning selling books in every single market in the world now, other than Japan. The company has found it can remain profitable outsourcing all of the bookselling business to Kobo and earn commissions on every sale. All current and future Sony e-Readers and Xperia tablets and smartphone users will be able to buy books from Kobo in their own country. Kobo currently operates dedicated bookstores in UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia, so the transition will be smooth. –Good E-Reader

A Harvard Woman Figured Out How To 3D Print Makeup From Any Home Computer, And The Demo Is Mindblowing – Talk about disrupting the beauty industry. Grace Choi has figured out how to create makeup from a 3-d printer, and she has even built the printer. The Mink printer, Choi insists, will allow you to basically take a picture of a makeup color you like and reproduce it on the machine. Although right now the types of makeup are more powdered, Choi is working on creamier solutions, and if you check out the article, you can see how the printer works.

Choi created her own mini home 3D printer, Mink, that will retail for $300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the color code off color photos on the internet. It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer. –Business Insider

Romance Novels in Public Libraries Patron Survey – If you want to help a Library Sciences Master’s student out, please click on the link and take a brief survey on Romance novels at public libraries. Elizabeth Tucker, a Romance reader herself, provides a description of her project below, and the survey has been approved by her university’s Institutional Review Board.

Dear DearAuthor Readers,

My name is Elizabeth Tucker, and I am a Master’s of Information and Library Science student at Southern Connecticut State University. I am currently writing my Special Project, “Romance Novels in Public Libraries: Perception versus Reality,” and I am hoping you will help me out. As a fellow romance reader, I am aware that there can be many challenges involved with getting romance novels at the public library, and when I become a professional librarian (finishing classes this summer!) I plan to bring better awareness of the romance genre to the profession.

With that in mind, I ask you to please complete this five-minute survey about your library-going and romance-reading habits. The results will be compared with a survey of public librarians to see if public librarian and romance reader perceptions align.

Thank you in advance for your help, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

My very best,

Elizabeth Tucker

(bits dot tucker at gmail dot com)    –Survey Monkey

Is This Black Soldier the Inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo? – This small portrait, by Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet, has not been identified, but circumstantial clues have led some to suspect that it might represent Alexandre Dumas, aka Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, the father of the great novelist, who bore the same name as his father. The elder Dumas was a distinguished soldier, and even suffered through a two-year captivity after his ship was wrecked off the Italian coast, and his son’s stories found inspiration in his father’s military career. A very interesting historical mystery.

During the heady early days of the French Revolution, many people of African descent rose to the defense of the ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood. One of the most notable results of the reformation of French armed forces during the early 1790s was the creation of a cavalry brigade composed of gens de couleur libres, or free men of color. The unit came about through the efforts of Julien Raimond and other delegates to the new French government from Saint-Domingue, or Haiti, as it has been known since it won its independence in 1804. –The Root

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. library addict
    May 09, 2014 @ 04:59:00

    Even though it was expected, I’m sorry to see the other Sony book stores closing.

    Thanks for the link to the Dumas article.

    Off to try the survey…

  2. Kaetrin
    May 09, 2014 @ 05:14:06

    OMG the makeup printer is amazing. Ms. Choi is gonna be sooooo rich.

  3. MaryK
    May 09, 2014 @ 05:42:42

    Wouldn’t the ink in that makeup printer be toxic?

  4. Sheryl Nantus
    May 09, 2014 @ 07:52:26

    The most excellent book “The Black Count” gives the history of Dumas’ father. A wonderful read and I recommend it highly. So much here went into the stories that it’s somewhat frightening!

  5. Brianna (The Book Vixen)
    May 09, 2014 @ 07:52:27

    Wow, I am impressed with the 3D make up printer! I can see her printer taking the make up industry down!

  6. Juhi
    May 09, 2014 @ 08:12:03

    Actually I’m not sure whether the make-up thing is more than a business idea at this point. The demo was in her own words just a “hack” or in other words there was no real printing of any powdery stuff through the printer. (If you listen through to the end of the video, she says that in response to one of the questions). Then again, she might just be really close-mouthed about a really disruptive technology! Either ways, pretty cool!

  7. Lynnd
    May 09, 2014 @ 08:16:59

    @MaryK: That’s the first thing I thought as well. Then again, the stuff in most of the major make-up brands is probably toxic anyway (parabens, DEA, benzine etc. etc. etc.), so maybe there is room for improvement with this technology.

  8. Avery Flynn
    May 09, 2014 @ 08:40:40

    Bought the Fab Mr. Flynn The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo a while back. He really enjoyed it. It’s now languishing on my TBR pile. ;)

  9. ClaudiaGC
    May 09, 2014 @ 08:52:16

    I just read an article in The Guardian that a man in Japan was arrested for possessing handguns made by a 3D printer. Make-up is a better way to use them.

  10. Isobel Carr
    May 09, 2014 @ 09:09:57

    @Sheryl Nantus: The Black Count was great, and of course one of Dumas’s fencing teachers was the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, another legendary black Frenchman who was not only the fencing champion of Europe, but an accomplished composer who taught music to Marie Antoinette.

  11. Lada
    May 09, 2014 @ 09:13:42

    @Juhi: I had the same impression. I’m intrigued by the tech but less so by Ms. Choi. I actually didn’t think she answered the question regarding how the printer would create different consistencies for creamier make-up clearly at all. How easily can the printer adapt between powders and liquids and what form would something like lipstick or eye-liner print as? What about something like nail polish which is where people have the most fun with colors?

    Any organic chem student knows how to break anything down into its basic components. (I remember testing different make-up brands and yes, they’re all basically the same.) To recreate that into usable components via a desktop printer is wildly provocative but she is going to need some serious polish if she’s going to throw down with a multi-billion dollar industry with statements saying their product is bullshit.

  12. Susan
    May 09, 2014 @ 16:44:40

    @MaryK: The article states the dyes/inks are FDA approved. For whatever that’s worth.

    There’s a bit more to cosmetics than just color, such as the base and finish (matte, shimmer, etc.), so I think the printer has a ways to go still. But it will be interesting to see what happens with the idea.

  13. Justine
    May 09, 2014 @ 17:04:59

    The survey was fast and easy! I was expecting it to be longer than two pages.

  14. Shiloh Walker
    May 09, 2014 @ 21:14:05

    I’m lazy. I’ve got enough to do. I’m not grabbing a palette from the internet and every printer I’ve bought has been possessed. I doubt I’m the only one so the make-up industry is probably going to be around for a while. ;)

  15. Sally
    May 10, 2014 @ 06:29:00

    Question 12 of the survey: I wish there was a choice to say “no preference” regarding favorite book formats for people like me who reads both physical books and ebooks equally.

    Also, it wasn’t clear but is this survey only about our library’s physical romance novel collection? My local library has a robust electronic romance novel collection, but the physical side leaves a lot to be desired. I just took the survey assuming I can include ebook collections as well.

  16. Mzcue
    May 10, 2014 @ 14:54:26

    @Sally: I agree with your confusion about how to reconcile the bricks and mortar library with its electronic component. I go to our library building about once every three or four weeks, but visit the electronic incarnation much more frequently. I wish I had counted them the same when I took the survey. I also envy you the greater access to romances in digital format. Our local library’s access is quite sparse. Lately I’m finding more books through the inter-library loan service than anything else. Since DA opened my eyes to the delight of historicals, I’ve been glomming authors like Chase, Kleypas, Balogh, Beverley and Eloisa James, which are often available through the library system.

    Can you even imagine how impossible the concept of a lending library would be to establish in this day and age of limited rights? I shudder to think.

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