Tuesday News: digital book subscriptions, B&N cosmetics, Tuberculosis & Victorian fashion, and “bad” mothers
Should You Consider an E-Book Subscription? – Consumer Reports reviews digital book services, a clear sign of mainstream acceptance (?). And they manage to reach beyond the usual suspects Kindle Unlimited and Scribd:
Playster: Price: $9.95 per month. Here, you’ll find about 250,000 e-books available. The service also provides unlimited access to millions of movies, music, and games for $24.95 a month. Playster lets you subscribe to just one type of media—say games or music—for a lower prices and it works on a wide variety of devices. The service, which started in December, offers a 30-day free trial.
24Symbols: Price: $8.99 per month. This service offers a library of 300,000 e-books. There’s no limit to the number of e-books you may read per month, though audiobooks are limited to one title per month. The e-books are available through the 24Symbols app or on its website. There is a 30-day free trial. – Consumer Reports
B&N Education’s New Cosmetics Dept is the Death Knell for the College Bookstore – Oh, Barnes and Noble, what have you done? It’s not enough that your stores so often disdain Romance, but now you’re peddling makeup to college students?! What’s next – hawking B&N credit cards on campus?
Spun off from B&N last year,B&N Education runs about 700 college bookstores, and now two retail stores. It announced today that it has ripped out part of two stores and replaced the books with a new cosmetics department. It’s calling its on-campus beauty concept The Glossary, and describes it as a “distinct store within select Barnes & Noble College bookstores”. They’re saying its the first of its kind dynamic shopping environment which lets students explore, sample and purchase a wide variety of mass and prestige beauty products on a growing number of college campuses nationwide. – The Digital Reader
How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion – A short but interesting piece on the way a disease like Tuberculosis (aka consumption) became a kind of feminine status symbol. I know that women used blue pencils to enhance the appearance of their veins through their skin, such was the desirability of looking delicate (class and race were obviously implicated here, as well).
“Between 1780 and 1850, there is an increasing aestheticization of tuberculosis that becomes entwined with feminine beauty,” says Carolyn Day, an assistant professor of history at Furman University in South Carolina and author of the forthcoming book Consumptive Chic: A History of Fashion, Beauty and Disease, which explores how tuberculosis impacted early 19th century British fashion and perceptions of beauty. . . .
“We also begin to see elements in fashion that either highlight symptoms of the disease or physically emulate the illness,” Day says. The height of this so-called consumptive chic came in the mid-1800s, when fashionable pointed corsets showed off low, waifish waists and voluminous skirts further emphasized women’s narrow middles. Middle- and upper-class women also attempted to emulate the consumptive appearance by using makeup to lighten their skin, redden their lips and color their cheeks pink. – Smithsonian
10 Fictional Mothers Who Will Make You Thank God for Yours – The archetype of the “bad mother” is a staple of literature, particularly in fairy tales and genres like Romance. I’ve always found it fascinating that Romance is so fond of the bad mother stereoptye, because while the complexity of the mother-child relationship is an obvious fit for the genre, I’m not sure how much the genre actually interrogates the stereotype. Side question: Is Mrs. Bennet really such a bad mother?
Literature is teeming with bad mothers. This list of manipulative, abusive, selfish, and often downright cruel women is an impressive survey of the unique ways in which a single person might screw up a child. Why the obsession with terrible moms? Historically women have been the primary caretakers. It’s been Mom, not Dad, whose everyday interactions shape a child, for better or for worse. Add that to the physical bond of pregnancy and the idea that mothers who can’t parent are going against nature, whereas many a bad father gets off with the relatively light sentence of being a jerk. – Electric Literature