Keli Gwyn
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Meet the Reviewers: Rina

I’m honored to feature Rina of Rina’s Reading. I met her during my book release blog tour and am impressed by her reviews as well as her fun Top Ten Tuesday reading-related posts and her Waiting on Wednesday posts spotlighting upcoming books.

Rina earned a Master’s degree in Library Science and is currently working as a school librarian in Africa.

I asked Rina three questions about her reading and review process. After that, you’re in for a treat, because you get to learn three fun things about the woman behind the reviews.

Reading and Reviewing

What led you to start reviewing books on your blog? When did you post your first review? What can your visitors expect in the future?

In the fall of 2011 I started wondering what I could do to fill my time, would look good on a resume and maybe earn me a couple dollars. I looked into online businesses but nothing appealed. During that time though I discovered book review blogs and thought I might enjoy that since I love to read and share good books. Around November I started writing reviews of books I read and then in January of 2012 I started the blog. It’s been really fun to discover other book review bloggers, make friends with a few, and start participating in giveaways and memes. I haven’t earned any money but I have gotten several free books to review and that’s equally nice if not better. 🙂

I am a bit in transition at the moment since I finally have a job as a librarian (and it’s in Africa!) but I do intend to keep up the blog. I think I’ll continue to sporadically do the Top Ten Tuesday meme (it’s a lot of fun but takes a while usually to think of the right books and then format it) and the Waiting on Wednesday and Book Blogger Hop memes are both easy to schedule ahead of time. Hopefully in a week or so I’ll start posting a book review or two each week. My computer is having lots of problems since coming to Africa so that’s something I need to fix first.

If there’s an aspect of a story you don’t care for, you address it honestly but respectfully. How do you balance a reader’s desire for an honest review with your heart for the author of the work?

I usually read books I like and enjoy but there are times when I wish the author had written things a bit different. No story will ever satisfy everyone. I always try to find something to praise about the author’s work and if/when I do criticize a bit or warn about excessive kissing, etc. or mention something I didn’t like then I try very hard not to write it against the author in any way.

Earlier this summer I read an interesting article about writing good reviews and how authors feel about the reviews, and one thing the article suggested was not even using the authors name in the body of the review. A critique or caution should never be directed against an author but rather serve to guide the reader to the book that is right for them.

When and where do you do most of your reading?

Before getting this job and moving to Africa I did most of my reading in bed late at night. If I start reading in bed I usually can’t put a book down until I finish it. There were many nights I didn’t turn my light off until 2 am or even 3 am. 🙂 Once or twice maybe even 4 am but don’t tell my mom that. 😉 (She’s going to read this though.)

Now I do most of my reading in the afternoon after school or in the early evening. The elementary students here really like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Judy Moody, and The Magic Tree House books. None of which I’ve read, so when the server was down one afternoon I read those. We are near the equator and the sun sets around 6pm and rises around 6am. And it’ll be this way year round! So by 9 or 10pm it’s been dark for 3-4 hours already and it feels really late. That, plus the fact that I have to be at school by 7:30am means I won’t be staying up late reading anymore.


Three Fun Facts About Rina

Since you’ve recently moved to Africa, I’m sure there have been some adjustments. What things from back home are you missing, if any? What cool new things have you discovered in your new place?

I’ve only been here three weeks so I’m not missing too much yet, although the milk tastes funny here and my stomach is still adjusting to the food and water. I know I’ll miss snow and cold weather in December/January. And I’ll probably start missing having a variety of sliced cheeses and lunch meats – gouda is the only locally produced and thus reasonably priced cheese. But the bread is good and there’s a great bagel place. 🙂

A cool thing about this area is the weather. It is perfect. Even though we’re near the equator the elevation is high enough so that it’s not too hot and not too humid. It is the dry season right now, so I don’t know what the humidity will be like once the rainy season starts, but for now I’m really enjoying the weather.

I saw that you love reading fairytale retellings, so I’m sure you’re well versed in fairy tales. Which fairy tale heroine are you most like, and why?

I do love fairytales and fairytale retellings. But I’m terrible at answering those types of questions. Let me think…I guess Beauty since in some versions she really likes to read and she has brown hair. I really like to read and I have brown hair too.

If we took a peek in your clothes closet, what would we learn about you?

That I love blue and green. So many of my clothes are those colors.

Rina’s Question for You

 If you could travel to any place in the world where would it be and why?

• • •

To learn more about Rina, “like” her Facebook group page,
Rina’s Reading, and follow her on Pinterest.

Keli Gwyn


  • Erica Vetsch says:

    How fun to meet you, Rina. Thank you for reviewing books!

    My kids loved Magic Treehouse books a lot!

    If I could travel anywhere it would be to New Zealand. I’ve always had a fascination with that little island country.

    • Rina says:


      Glad you enjoyed it! And you’re welcome. I certainly had fun answering Keli’s questions.

      Oooo, New Zealand would be a fabulous place to see. It’s on my list.


  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Fun interview! I enjoyed meeting Rina.

    Can I cheat and say Europe?! Which, really, encompasses about 30 places I want to see. Hahah!

    • Rina says:


      Of course you can say Europe! Just makes sure you take enough time to thoroughly enjoy it. There’s so many neat things to see there!


  • Nice to meet you, Rina!

    My husband and I really want to visit Italy, primarily Venice and Rome. There’s just something exotic and passionate about the place, and oh man, what history!

    • Rina says:

      Thanks Lindsay!

      Italy has seen a lot of cool history. I’ve been to Rome…but I was nine months old, so I’d love to go back and really be able to say that I’ve been there.


  • Abbi Hart says:

    Fun interview! I love Rina’s blog and it was cool to know more about her!
    I want to go to Ireland! It’s so pretty and historic! I have I always wanted to go!

  • Rina says:


    Thanks so much for coming over! I love your blog too! Irish accents are really cool. There’s someone here from Ireland and I’ve decided an Irish accent is better than a British accent. 🙂


  • brianna says:

    How cool that you’re living in Africa! If I could travel anywhere, it would probably be….everywhere. I have this burning desire to see the entire world. But seriously, top of my list domestically is New York City and internationally, Israel.

  • Great interview, Keli … and so nice to meet Rina. Hi 🙂 It must be a shock in more than one way to find yourself in a culture and climate that is so very different from anything we have in the States. Sounds like you will adjust well.

    I’ve thought about that “where would you want to go” question many times, especially since I am first gen. and I would love to see Italy where my father was born. Have brothers and friends who travel world-wide.

    My dream is to travel through the US and see each of the 50 states … to travel in a paddle boat down the Missippissi … to see the Pacific Northwest and cross over to Canada. I am obsessed by our hemisphere and would also venture south to Mexico. I loved Europe but this is the place that most calls to me 🙂

    • Rina says:


      Thank you! Thus far I haven’t really experienced any “shock” but there have been a few surprises. 🙂 When the days don’t get shorter and the weather stays the same I’ll probably experience a bit of culture shock… I’m definitly going to miss snow.

      You have several wonderful travel dreams. And I’m with you on the 50 States! I only have a few more to go, but those will probably take me a while. Paddle boat on the Mississippi is a neat idea! Hope you get to see more of the western hemisphere soon!


  • Beth K .Vogt says:

    Catching this post late … but enjoyed it, nonetheless!
    Always fun to learn more about reviewers!

    • Rina says:

      No worries Beth! I’m a bit late in responding to several visitors. Keli really has a great series of reviewers interviews. I’m quite blessed to be one of them.