Thursday, April 7, 2016

'Reviewing as a Lifestyle' by Rebecca Johnson


This is an interesting book I came across some time ago and re-read. I've never come across another book quite like it, and it definitely inspires me to keep reviewing. That's why it's appropriate for this blog. 

Rebecca is a positive lifestyle reviewer who is on an eternal quest to find memorable books. She is as comfortable reviewing a household item as she is reviewing a book. In fact she has officially reviewed everything in her house that can be reviewed.
Authors think she is an ideal reader as she is able to extract the essence of a book all while telling readers what they really want to know in order to make good purchasing decisions.
What Rebecca loves most about reviewing is that it makes her happy. She mostly focuses on what she likes and loves, although she sometimes writes some more critical reviews.
In this book she reveals the secret of how to get and keep a reviewer's attention. She also includes favorite quotes about the love of books and a description of her fantasy book tower.

I read an interesting book review by this lady, thought her name sounded familiar, and decided to look at more of her reviews. That's when I found the link to this encouraging and unusual little book. I thought it serendipitous because people have been asking me why I'd bother writing reviews, when they just get swallowed up in cyberspace. What makes Rebecca Johnson's book so special is her focus. Most material I've come across about review writing deals mainly with the 'How'. Without neglecting this, she also devotes a lot of space to the 'Why'. That makes all the difference.

Rebecca describes how writing her first review back in 2000 set off a life-changing chain of events. She considers each review a special gift and believes a committed reviewer serves a noble purpose. She calls herself a review addict, with a soft spot in her heart for authors of self-published books who have plugged on without much encouragement. It started as an adventure in which she believes books that were 'looking for her' seemed to find her.

I love the mutual pay-off aspect. Rebecca sees herself as a helper and bridge-gapper between readers and authors. In return, she was pleased to discover that reviewers find it easier to see the beauty in the world. If we choose our books carefully, the best and noblest thoughts filter into our minds on a regular basis. She finds that overwhelming, positive themes keep re-occurring when you review lots. One of hers is keeping your mind free of negative thoughts, which has made her a happier person than before. I like this idea of writing reviews as a sort of health tonic or vitamin for our heart and soul.

Although not many of us will become Top 10 Amazon reviewers like Rebecca, with over 5000 reviews under our belts, I'm enthusiastic now, about staying in the ranks of reviewers. Review writing is something simple and powerful we can all do.

5 stars


  1. Reviewing is something I have always wanted to do more of (still owing a review or two). With my course coming to an end in the next few days, I think I will review more. It is a lot of fun, and also it makes me think more about the content, characters, writing styles etc. I think it will also improve my own writing; and there is nothing more wonderful than sitting down with a cup or pot of tea, and a great book in hand. I know I haven't seen the end of studies, as I am a bit of an addict - but I need to enjoy every morsel of life too. This is a book that I definitely wouldn't mind reading.

  2. Hi Jo'Anne,
    It's something I've started more of within the last couple of years too. I enjoy it a lot, and as you say, it helps sharpen our own minds, so there is definitely a pay-off.
    I think this particular book is always set at just a few dollars on Amazon, so do check it out. I found it very inspiring and encouraging.
    Good on you for being so close to the end of your course.

  3. Thanks Paula,
    I just bought it on Amazon Australia for one dollar something. I've read 9%, but now I have to get on with the day. So far, it's looking very interesting.

    1. That's great. I'm glad you got it. I found her approach was really fresh and easy to read :)