Never put off till tomorrow the book
you can read today. ~Holbrock Jackson
from the Amazon: My Nine Lives
as an Amazon.com Top 10 Reviewer
Believe In Reviewing
Chat with Rebecca
do I review? - Interview with a Student
What is the biggest thing driving you to write reviews?
Over the years my motivations for
writing reviews has changed. At first I simply had the desire to explain
what a book was about so the reader was informed. Then I decided I
really wanted to find books that would change lives for the better. So
I've become sort of a lifestyle reviewer.
Where do you write your reviews?
The desk I review at is an inspiration
to me. I found the desk for less than $60 and refinished it. I
have a feeling that the teacher who owned the desk loved writing
and since I purchased and refinished this desk I have been more
inspired to write.
The reading angel
on my desk was a unique find and she
reminds me of the beauty of how your mind can fly to new places
as you read. I love lava lamps and lamps and the sound of wood
drawers opening. My desk is one of my most prized possessions
because I noticed that the purchase also inspired magic in my
Why did you start reviewing at Amazon.com?
I have been reviewing since April 3, 2000. After watching an
Oprah show sometime in 2000, I became completely fascinated with the idea of
actually telling people what they wanted to know about a book.
I started to review cookbooks and self-help selections
around April 3, 2000.
I wore this laptop keyboard out writing thousands of reviews...
inspired you to start reading?
The Chronicles of Narnia Audio Books
The Chronicles of Narnia
This paragraph in particular:
"And then she saw that there was a light ahead of
her; not a few inches away where the back of the wardrobe ought to have
been, but a long way off. Something cold and soft was falling on her. A
moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at
night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the
air. Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and
excited as well... she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe
and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out...
"I can always get back if anything goes wrong,"
thought Lucy. She began to walk forward...
~The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis,
my first literary love, The
Chronicles of Narnia
This book was the doorway to my love of reading
at a very early age. Now I see that reading is a bit like that
wardrobe. You enter a new world through the first page of a book
in a similar way to how Lucy enters a world of imagination
through the wardrobe.
I was very young when a teacher in Africa started reading this
book to the class of 2nd graders, I think that was when the fire
flickered just slightly. Before this, my father had been reading
me everything from C. S. Lewis to Alice in Wonderland.
A Doll's Dream
I remember the rest of the class becoming
frightened by something in the book and they all wanted the
teacher to stop reading. I believe I was the only one who raised
my hand to have her continue. I was seriously disappointed and
much later figured out I would have to go to the library and
discover the rest of the book myself.
That was when it started, as plain as day.
You know, my father read me adult books at age 5-10, I
remember being completely fascinated by all the complex words I
had to ask him to explain. My paternal grandmother gave me Alice
in Wonderland on my seventh birthday. Fortunately, I still
couldn't really read it that well, so my dad had to read it. He
did sing "beautiful soup" rather well.
The True Story of the Author of Chronicles of Narnia
What are your top 10 reasons for reading?
1. I read so I can write reviews.
2. I enjoy playing in author's minds. They have the most
3. I have a hunger for knowledge and I need books like I need
4. It is a good excuse to climb into bed and stay there all
5. Reading gives me new ideas.
6. Because I love the feel of paper and how a book feels when
you hold it in your hands.
I like how books look all sitting in a row on the
bookshelf and I am tormented by the
thought of running out of books to read. Although, that has
yet to happen. I'm not
overly excited about reading books
online. It just doesn't appeal to my
"reading in bed" nature.
7. Because I love words and books are full of them.
8. Because I collect quotes and I find it enjoyable to read
books just to find great quotes.
9. Because I'm addicted to my Kindle.
10. You can escape into a world of words and learn a great number of
Q: Why do you review
more than just novels?
Just because one person finds
novels intriguing, doesn’t mean others will. Maybe they would
rather be reading a cookbook in bed.
The beauty of Amazon.com is in its diversity.
Amazon.com is really a place for everyone. The main reason I
review a variety of items is to bring awareness to what is
beautiful, useful or helpful in some way.
Frankly, cookbooks and ALTOID mints, not to mention sensuous
shampoos, body oils and silky lotions – are more the style of
Amazon.com now sells just about everything you could ever want
or need. It is very convenient to keep your shopping list in
your shopping cart. I even buy my beauty products from
Q: What is your idea of a
1. A Description of Content
– Just enough to whet the reading appetite and yet the
information doesn’t ruin the work for others who have not read
the book or viewed the movie.
2. A Description of Delight or Dissatisfaction or maybe even
Mediocrity – I want to know if a work changed a life, moved
someone to tears or brought a smile to their face.
3. Personal Experience –
Information that makes me want to purchase an item so it will
enhance my life. I’ll also buy items just to see how bad they
could possibly be.
You can really say that once you have watched a movie,
read reviews on the movie and written a review of the movie,
that it has become a part of you. There are elements you will
draw from the entire experience that will change you. What you
read and view might be who you are becoming.
I would rather be a river finding its own
than a drop of water in an ocean of ideas.
Q: Is there ever a time
when you would not review an item because so
many other reviewers have already written about the item?
The other reviews don’t
prevent me from reviewing. In fact, often they inspire me to buy
the movie or book and review it too.
Writing the review increases my enjoyment of the product. Why
watch a movie if you are not going to review it? That is my
thought anyway. There are rare occasions when I decide not to
review an item, but that is normally “after” viewing a movie
or reading a book.
I think more deeply about life
in general because of the analytical nature reviewing
encourages. If you write a review, you are sure to put a new
spin on the information. So, you should write your review if you
feel you can add a new perspective.
Also, many times people will read your review because they are
at your specific Amazon.com about-you-area page. So, adding a
review to your page brings awareness to the item. In that way it
is important if you want to bring awareness to items or promote
If I love or dislike a movie, I might read through all of them
at some point because I enjoy the reviewer’s perspectives. I
find it most educational and at time hilarious.
If you need a good laugh, Amazon.com’s your place.
Reviewers speak their mind and there are a few comedians who
make a point of writing humorous reviews.
If I see a movie I dislike, I always look up the one-star
reviews. It makes me feel better about all the time I spent
watching the movie and it almost makes the movie worth watching.
I enjoy reading critical analysis as much as the next person.
What are some of the responses from readers, authors and publishers?
People often say my reviews
are “seasoned with love.” That is cute because that is the
title of my cookbook. Sometimes people complain that I’m too
positive. I tend to appreciate beauty in life. I also tend to
see positives in negative situations.
One author sent me a Valentine’s card and his cute words were:
“Read less of all books without my name on it…”
Featured in the LA Times
I just received your review in the mail. Thank you so much
for your extensive
review and the fact that (I can tell) you actually read it! I am amazed by how
much you read. You'd be
fun to run through a whole host of topics in a
meandering discussion. The New York Times asked for a
book!!! ~ H.