By M. Chris Johnson
I have some jammies that my Sister-in-Law gave me a few years ago for Christmas. They have a girl, sitting on a huge pile of books, reading one of them. The caption says, “So many books, so little time”. That’s been my life for the last four years. My home was transformed into a fantastical library of every possible genre of books from fantasy to cookbooks, memoirs to history, and young adults to mysteries; the choices have been never ending. Publicists and authors alike would send us books to review and I wanted to read (almost!) every one of them.
Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith was a bank employee who loved to read but never had enough time to do just that? He slipped into “the Zone” and was alone with all his books only to destroy the glasses he needed to read. In some ways, I feel the same.
My father passed away this last March and I found myself wanting more from life. While I love to read and escape into another world or perspective, I am, at my very core, an extrovert and need to be with people. My life has become one of isolation and I had to come to terms with the relentless chaos within and decide what I needed in my life to be truly happy. I have loved every part of owning Portland Book Review but it’s time for me to move on to my next chapter and do something different, new, and challenging. It’s been an amazing ride and a completely guilty pleasure, beyond what I could ever share, but I need to move on.
Whitney Smyth, one of my interns from Portland State University was so eager and diligent in wanting to be a part of Portland Book Review. Many months ago, I approached her over lunch one day and she almost choked on her food when I asked her if she wanted to take over this business. She had just graduated from Portland State University’s Writing and Publishing Master’s Program so I thought she’d be the perfect candidate.
Needless to say, she accepted.
It’s been really fun to watch her enthusiasm in learning the business and creating her own version of all things Portland Book Review. I have tremendous confidence in her abilities to serve Portland Book Review well and am excited for what’s to come. I will, of course, remain on as a reviewer just because there are so many great books out there.
I can’t thank you all enough for making Portland Book Review such a success and being part of a world with such joy for the written word. It has been my extreme honor to serve as owner and Editor-in-Chief of Portland Book Review.
M. Chris Johnson started Portland Book Review in 2010 after being a Reviewer for Sacramento Book Review for 3 years. She loves what she does and sharing her passion for books with others of the same passion. She lives in Cornelius with her family.