Wow, okay, if you're here, you're way more interested in me than my life warrants, trust me. Still, I can say a few words to better introduce myself, I suppose, though I'm far more comfortable reviewing books than discussing myself, so please, bear with me.
*Waves and grins*
By now you may have noticed that I read a lot. It's true. I do. It's my primary form of entertainment, as I don't watch much television and I prefer books to movies. That, along with the speed with which I read, means I go through a full length novel in a day, day-and-a-half.
I'm not bragging - in fact, it's rather a sad commentary on my utter lack of a social life that I read about five novels a week. When you throw novellas into the mix, I could easily read and review ten stories. I try to keep that number "down" to no more than six.
This whole reviewing thing is relatively new to me, too. I blame my Kindle. Used to be I'd spend an hour or more carefully pouring over the books at the closest bookstore. I favor paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but, in truth, I'll read and review just about any fiction genre.
Sometimes an author drew me, or particularly impressive cover art, but once I had that hot little book of goodness in my hand, I'd spend time with it. I'd read the blurb on the back cover or inside flap to find out what the book was about, I'd read any commentary from other authors at the beginning, and of course, the dedication page.
I've read every dedication page in every book I've read for the past twenty years. It's a thing. I figure if an author went to all the trouble of writing a book for me (yeah, I know, they get a paycheck, but I'm the one reading the book, and in those moments, I'm the one that matters - you are, too), the least I can do is acknowledge the people in the author's life that had influence on that story.
Hey...I never said I was sane. Sane is not in the contract. And just to clarify, neither is 'normal,' 'well-balanced,' or 'free of contradiction.' If you've read more than a few of my reviews, that last one will make more sense.
Darn it! I digressed again, didn't I? Sorry about that. It's a nasty habit of mine. Where was I?
Oh - right - how I got started on reviewing!
So anyway, before I spent my hard earned money on a book, I spent time with it to increase the likelihood that it would be worth the price and the space it would take up on my burgeoning bookshelves (there's only so much room you have to store books when you've got a reading appetite like mine and a propensity to re-read books).
Then, one day back in 2009, I got myself a Kindle, and quickly realized that there was going to be an adjustment period. No, I didn't have to adjust to the screen instead of paper in my hand, or flipping electronic pages instead of paper ones. Those were all relatively seamless adjustments.
No, where the true adjustment pangs were for me was that I didn't have a book to spend time with any longer before I bought it. Sure, I read the book descriptions on Amazon.com and yeah, I can download a sample...but even if the book description is verbatim from the back of the novel, and even if the sample lets me start a chapter or two and I can still get that acknowledgement page, I had a hard time deciding where my money was best spent.
I don't know why, really. Maybe it was the lack of cover art (some Kindle books have it, but it's not the same) or some kind of weird muscle memory rejection after years of hunting for good reads as diligently and patiently as a lion on the veld hunts impala...
Whatever the reason, what I was doing wasn't working for me. What ended up saving me were the reviews. For the first time, I paid attention to them. I read them...in some cases, on some books, all of them - and in some cases, on some books, that's a heck of a lot of reviews.
I became as maniacally diligent in review perusal as I used to be when scanning author's recommendations, commendations, and summaries when I had a book in hand. But I soon realized most reviews are completely unhelpful for my needs.
But I also realized how many people wrote intelligent, discerning reviews, and quickly came to appreciate just how valuable their commentary is to people like me. So I decided to add my thoughts and impressions of books out of a genuine sense of good will towards my fellow reader, and a selfless determination to help others to resist buying a book which they could have easily realized wasn't right for them if it had been reviewed by a like-minded and kindhearted soul.
Okay, that last part's mostly claptrap. Truth is, I'm really flippin' opinionated and I enjoy writing. The reviews were manna from heaven, though - I wasn't kidding about that. I needed them. And I figured if I did, then maybe someone else would too.
So the seeds were sown. I started out rocky, and I started out only posting my reviews on Amazon - and even then only when my opinion and thoughts on a book differed from the majority of other reviewers, and I felt that my input could add to the big picture of the book as a whole.
After Amazon, I started posting my reviews on my Shelfari account, too (I can't get enough of those bookshelves - I fill them and fill them and they just keep growing!! I love that!). And oddly enough, some of my reviews started to be pretty well-received.
I wasn't as obsessive about reviewing when I started, though. I mostly reviewed only the stuff I really liked. I wrote my first review on July 29th, 2009, and posted it on Amazon.com. On January 29th, 2010, I made a conscious decision to take my reviewing even more seriously, and committed to reviewing each and every title I read.
I read a lot. I review everything I read. I'm opinionated, more than a little quirky, and I love doing this. I do. I love it. It means something to me.
I've always known one good book deserves another. It's my religion and has been since I was a little girl. I've spent a lot of time spreading that information to others - haphazardly at first, but now fervently.
One good book deserves another.
Welcome to my world.