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What Does a Reviewer Look Like?

As I rifled through my backpack trying to figure out what would be my first book to read on this Arizona trip, I realized that my appearance was probably not what someone would suspect of a book reviewer who writes for two metro newspapers.

This is me in my wonderful, beautiful Arizona hotel room that has a view of both the 24-hour jacuzzi and mountains. I'm not very good with the mirror picture yet, so you'll have to cut me some slack. I hope you'll cut me even more, too, since I got up at 4:30am to catch my flight this morning, and didn't get to Arizona until 11am EST.

When I whipped a stack of self help books out of my bag, the gentleman in the adjoining seat must have thought I was a sad sack case. There I was, traveling alone (I'm here for work -- promise) in a disheveled get up made of too-big sweat pants, too-big t-shirt and too-big hoodie, my carry on bag a back pack that looks like it's been in use since high school (all true, except for the sad sack part). The only company I brought was my iPod and self help titles. I was very tempted to "accidentally" leave the galley on the seat between us so he's see the "preview copy - not for sale" stamp so that he's realize I'm not a schlub but a writer who happened to be woken up two hours before her normal start time, and if I'm getting up before the sun, I'm going to be comfy dammit!

Then again -- who cares? He was no Prince Charming himself. Such is the joy of flying.

So here's my question to you: what would YOU expect a book reviewer to look like?

P.S. And to the person in front of me on the flight from Philly to Atlanta -- I know you have long hair. I have it too. But it's not cool to flip it over the back of your seat so it's hanging in my face. Yuck.


Dawn said…
Hi Jen,
Before I knew anything about book reviewers, I think I pictured them the same was I pictured librarians -- long gray hair pulled back into a tight bun, big glasses, tea-length tweed skirt, twin set and pumps (well, the women anyway). You, of course, looking nothing like that.

Have fun in Arizona. I was there for Thanksgiving. It was so weird to walk outside in 70 degree weather and see Christmas lights!
Trish Ryan said…
I don't have any pre-conceived image of a book reviewer...if I can read in sweats and a ponytail, who am I to deny that pleasure to others??? I'd say you rock the look rather well :)
I wonder if perhaps the question might be;

"What does a reviewer think like?"

I find your entries interesting and enjoyable.

Not a lot of reviewers are willing to read self-help books. Could you explain or lead me to a previous post that shows the process of how a book gets to the reviewer willing to give an open minded opinion and how the review can end up in a major magazine?


Jen A. Miller said…
Ha ha! You guys are too funny.

Marilyn - I'm not actually reviewing the self help books for the newspaper. It's an article about a trend of self help books. I don't review them...

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