Reader Spot – Meet Book Reviewer, Jo Barton (@jaffareadstoo)

Here on the Reader Spot, I share the bookish love of our avid book reviewers. From young adult to historical romance, chick-lit to a murder mystery, they know what they like, and they’re happy to share.  Whether you are a reader looking for a new book, or a writer wondering what your reader wants, I hope you find this series enjoyable.

Next up to the Reader Spot is reviewer, Jo Barton. Find her book review blog HERE.

Jo Barton

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I have an eclectic taste in books but my main love is historical fiction and I devour books set in the past. I also love good crime stories especially psychological suspense/thrillers which take me out of my comfort zone. I read a real mix of genre and never say never with exception of Sci Fi and Westerns which don’t really appeal.

Do you have a favourite author in this genre?

I have long been a fan of the US author, Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series and I will read and buy anything she writes. I also have a long list of favourite authors, far too many to divulge, but I also love discovering new authors to add to my favourites list.

How do you prefer to read your books?

Nothing can replace the look, feel and smell of a new book either in paperback or hardback, but for ease of use I also read on Kindle which is helpful in the evening when my eyes are tired and I need a bigger font and better light.

Where do you purchase your books?

I purchase e-books from Amazon, I find the one-click purchase far too tempting! I shop wherever possible in indie book stores but my town has only one bookshop, which is a well-known chain store, so, for convenience, I shop there. I buy non-fiction history books wherever I can find them preferably tucked away in a small bookstore that serves delicious coffee!!

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Where do you find out about the books you read?

I am part of an online community of book bloggers and I read their reviews regularly. I have a group of bloggers whose reviews I trust implicitly and know that if they say a book is good, and then it’s worth reading. I do read reviews on Amazon and occasionally flick through the book review section of the weekend papers. I also visit publisher and author websites to see what’s coming next.

I’ve been a member of my local library for many years and I look for recommendations there, along with ideas from my book group.

Do you have a budget when buying books?  Do you stick to it if you do?

I tend not to have a budget and buy books on an ad-hoc basis. If I see a book and like it, or the author, then I will probably buy it. I do rein in my desire for non-fiction history books as they can be expensive, so I wait until it’s something I know I really, really want to buy and keep.

Do you write a review when you’ve finished reading?  If so, where do you post this?

I do try to write a review as soon as I’ve finished reading. I find if I leave it too long in between reviews I lose my train of thought, and with so many books on the go I need to make notes as I go along. I couldn’t function without a notebook and pencil to jot down ideas.

I post my reviews on my book blog.

And also on Amazon and Goodreads as Jaffareadstoo

I am a top #500 reviewer on Amazon and in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads.

I also link my reviews on Twitter.

What do you look for in a book?

Good plot, interesting characters and with a real sense of time and place and that applies to all genres of fiction.

Where do you like to read?

I have a favourite chair in my study where I tend to do my daytime reading. I do read in bed, usually for an hour or longer depending on the plot!! I love to read in the garden on a sunny day and have several chairs strategically placed so I can read in shade but have some sun!

I can’t read on the move as I get very travel sick, so I’m always a stationary reader.

What social media platforms are you active on?

I’m active on Facebook and Twitter and my blog is linked to Bloglovin, Google+

I’ve only just signed up to Instagram so have yet to discover any benefits.

If you are an avid reader and would like to be included in this feature, then please use the ‘say hello’ page to send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

7 comments

  1. I do love reading all these! I always write a review immediately I’ve finished a book, Jo, even if I only have time to do the first draft on a word doc – otherwise I forget the ‘feel’ of it’, and can’t judge the star rating; I only give 5* if a book has made me feel excited to get back to it every time, and given me that little tingly indefinable ‘something’! I find the highlighting facility on Kindle very useful, for notes.
    I bow with respect at the top 500 position! I am a top 1000 one sometimes – I dip in and out of it – today I am at 990, so have my ‘badge’, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terry. Thanks for your lovely comments. Yes, I’m a great scribbler of notes and have an eclectic mix of notebooks. I love pencils and always have a great pot full of them near my desk.

      Liked by 1 person

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