Blog Break: New Baby Edition!

By the time this post appears, I’ll be at the hospital, hopefully having had a completely uneventful c-section.

I’ll be taking the next two weeks off from the blog – not just from posting, but also from responding to comments or anything else related to the site.

One exception is that, depending on my energy / how easy it seems to be, I may pop on here to share a picture of the new baby, but I’m not making any firm promises.

Otherwise, I’m attempting to see if doing as little as possible besides sleeping, eating, and feeding the baby results in an easier recovery for me than last time. I think I overdid it before, attempting too much too soon.

And if things weren’t completely uneventful, or if recovery is rougher than I’m expecting, well the blog break may be extended as needed.

See you back here hopefully September first!

Looking for Input on Posting this Summer

looking for input maternity leaveI’m starting to look ahead and make plans for this summer and after the baby arrives, and thinking about what I might do for blog content when I know my reading and writing time will be severely curtailed.

The options I’m considering:

  • to take an extended break from posting, and just resume it whenever I come out of the new-baby fog. That … might be awhile based on my other postpartum experiences. 🙂
  • to solicit guest posts to run while I recover.
  • to work on stockpiling posts right now to share as I can (maybe even a series on favorite authors in July or August ).
  • to not even think about it and let things evolve as I come to them. (This isn’t really an option. This makes my planning-loving-self cringe and all but hyperventilate.)

I do realize that it probably seems crazy that I’m thinking about this and it’s not even May. I just can’t help myself.

So, my question to you all is, do you have a strong preference regarding any of this? Do extended breaks make you forget all about a blog existing? Do you like guest posts or loathe them? Would a blog series in July or August and another one in October be appealing or annoying? Anything else obvious that I’m missing due to brain fog?

My preference is to stockpile some posts (and maybe combine it with guest posts), but I’m not sure how many I’ll manage to prep in time. It’s going to be a busy summer! I think I’d probably be able to pull together a favorite authors series, since that wouldn’t require additional reading time like new reviews would. I also want to participate in 31 Days again this October, and I’m trying to get started on that. I’m not sure I can squeeze out enough reading and writing time to write current content, maternity leave posts, and October posts (and I’m not sure I’ll be back to normal enough by October to start that series without having much of the content prepped ahead of time). The advantage to writing another series, especially one like favorite authors, is I could do that without doing any additional reading – just pull ideas from authors I’ve already read and loved.

State of the Blog: 2014

deliberatereader2014In case it’s not already obvious with my goals posts and related comments, I’m a planner. I like to know what I’m doing when, so in that sort of general overview plan I’m sharing today about some ideas for the blog over the next year. You know, in case any of you like knowing what to expect as much as I do. 🙂

General Plans for 2014

I’m hoping to do a reader survey this fall (around the blog’s second birthday), but until then, if there is anything you’d like to see around here, let me know. More of a particular type of book? Any specific books you’d like to see me read? (I make no promises, but I’ll certainly consider almost anything.)

Looking way ahead, I’m beginning to think about a topic for October’s 31 Days again. I’ve done nonfiction books the past two years, and I know I could come up with another 31 nonfiction books I love, but are you all sick of nonfiction? Would you prefer something else instead – young adult books, children’s literature, historical fiction, fantasy…

Posting Routine

My goal has been and will continue to be to share three or four book-related posts a week, and in a perfect world it’ll be a balance of reviews of nonfiction, fiction, children’s, and young adult books, as well as general bookish posts on Monday such as tips for reading more, gifts for book lovers, and memorable books.

(Also, I feel like I’d made a list of topics to address that people have asked me about in various comments, but either I completely imagined making that list, or I’ve misplaced it. So if there’s something bookish you’re wondering about, or a topic you’ve asked me to write about, can you please refresh my memory? And if you’ve never asked but do have some subjects you’d like to see featured, consider this an open call for requests. And if that doesn’t make that list appear nothing will, and I’ll be forced to conclude that I really did imagine creating it.)

Fridays and Saturdays have been and will likely continue to be a mish-mash of topics. It’s where I run my library haul posts and monthly recaps, and homeschooling thoughts and life updates will go here.

The big ongoing feature this year will be the quarterly classic posts as I mentioned on Monday. I’m considering rolling a goals update into my monthly recap posts as well, if there is any interest in that.


Finally, some behind-the-scenes work: I’ve recently been cleaning up my categories, and have an overall “books” one that includes all types and genres, so if that’s all you want to read, you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed for the “books” category. My next blog chore is to do some tidying up of my tags – right now they’re an inconsistent mess and as a result are just about useless. I’m hoping to get them straightened out and into something usable soon.

I’m excited to see what 2014 brings, and next Monday I’ll be sharing about some of the books I’m most looking forward to reading this year. I’d love to hear about the books you’re looking forward to reading as well. 🙂

Happy New Year, and thank you so much for reading The Deliberate Reader!

Looking for Input

looking for inputI’ve been debating about starting a side blog to post about some of the stuff beyond-the-books: the homeschooling we’re doing, awesome recipes I’ve found, and other non-bookish things.

Realistically, and thinking about blogging time available, it would be so much easier to keep everything here. Part of why I’ve been dithering over this decision (for months now) it is whether or not I want to go through the hassle of creating and maintaining a separate place for that content.

My plan is that it’d be only once a week, (probably on Friday or Saturday), so it should not replace bookish content. I have way too much to say about books for that to happen! I already have a monthly recap post, so I’d be adding three or four additional posts a month, that might or might not mention books or reading at all.

Honestly though? Most of my posts are still likely to mention books, they’re just such a significant part of my life. All the homeschooling discussing I’ve been doing off the blog with friends and acquaintances seem to involve books at some level. And recipes generally means cookbooks for me (I’m not a make-it-up-myself cook typically).

Let me know if you’ve got strong preferences one way or the other. I don’t want to annoy anyone who is just here for the books and doesn’t want to see anything else. I have figured out that if I change the author name on all the other posts, you could always subscribe to the RSS feed for a particular author. In other words, subscribe to posts by “sheila,” and you won’t get homeschooling posts written by “sheila homeschool,” if that sways you one way or another. I can share specifics about how to do that if I decide to go this route.

(I know, I could set up a whole blog survey and ask this, but that’s been on my to do list for months too, and if I wait until I figure out how to do that, and figure out what else I want to ask, I’ll never get this figured out. And I’m determined to have some outlet for this other content before the end of the year.)

First Blog Birthday

First Blog BirthdayOne year ago I posted my blog welcome, as I began this new site. It’s clichéd, but I really can’t believe it’s been a year already, but also that it’s only been a year!

I’ve really enjoyed sharing about the books I’ve been reading, and discussing reading-related topics with you all. And I’m looking forward to another year of all things bookish! In honor of the big date, a little retrospective ~

the most popular blog posts over the past year:
  1. 31 Days Of Great Nonfiction Reads. The home page for the series I ran last October. By far, this post has had the most hits of anything on my blog.
  2. Announcing the 2013 Reading Challenge. Apparently people like reading challenges. 🙂
  3. Why to Track the Books You Read. Because “why wouldn’t you” isn’t enough of a reason for some people. 😉
  4. Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express.My kind of classic literature.
  5. 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 16} Team of Rivals. Think the movie connection helped this one get some clicks.
  6. Book Review: What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend. Love her ebooks, and how they get me thinking about my schedule and what I could change to make things better.
  7. Book Review: Young House Love. The closest this blog will ever come to the DIY niche is talking about their book.
  8. Best Books {from the First Half} of 2013. Yay for best of lists!
  9. Favorite Books of Hope and Redemption. A guest post by the lovely Darcy Wiley of Message in a Mason Jar.
  10. 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 1} A Girl Named Zippy. I want to make everyone read this book, even though I know her humor is not for everyone.
And, some posts that I wish got a little more attention, because I loved the book so much:
  1. Pain Redeemed. Hard to read, but such a good book.
  2. Work Shift. I kind of want to make all my graduating cousins and friends read this so they can think about this before they’re in the midst of it.
  3. Trust. Hope. Rejoice. It’s free to subscribers, and it’s a great devotional. What’s not to like?
  4. FaithGirlz! Whatever. Another devotional, but this one for tween girls. Really well done.
  5. How to Make Friends and Monsters. Super fun book.
  6. May B. Fantastic children’s historical fiction, in verse.
  7. Perfectly Unique. So so good. Anxiously waiting for my copy of her newest book. So what if I’m old enough to be a mom to her target audience?

Summer Plans

The Deliberate Reader Facebook ImageSome blog news to share:

As I’m looking ahead at our summer schedule, we’ve got a lot on the agenda. Several family visits, camping, a possible trip out of town, plus (I hope) lots of hours outside spent exhausting small children so that they sleep really really well. 🙂

All that is to say, I’m planning on cutting back my posting schedule here to four times a week. I may even cut back to three times a week during the busiest weeks of summer.

Instead of sharing link posts on Fridays, if I find any links I’ve got to share, I’ll post them on The Deliberate Reader Facebook page. If you want to see what I’m sharing, please head over there and “like” the page!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving & Favorite Books Lists Start Tomorrow!

Favorite Books by The Deliberate ReaderBeginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of my favorite books in various categories, and I’ll have some guest posters sharing their favorite books as well.

Until then, if you’re looking for biographies or other nonfiction, I featured 31 great choices in October.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Or, if you don’t live in the United States, I hope you’re having a lovely Thursday. 🙂

Welcome to the Deliberate Reader!

The Deliberate Reader because great books shouldn't be hard to findThere are a lot of books out there, aren’t there? Whether you read one book a year or 100, you still have to make tough decisions about which books will get your attention.

That’s where I want to help.

I may be a stay-at-home mom currently, but I’m a librarian by educational background and previous work experience. I also worked for a time in a large bookstore where I excelled in matching someone with the perfect book, and I got tremendous joy from connecting readers and books.

Here at The Deliberate Reader I’ll:

  • review the latest books I’ve read
  • share about my favorite reads from the past
  • offer reading tips and suggestions

There are always more books that I’d like to read than I have reading time, so I have to be more deliberate in my choices. I hope to help you get the most of your reading time as well.

Sound good? Get The Deliberate Reader by email, or subscribe to my RSS feed.

Curious about what’s on tap?

Tomorrow I’ll have the first book review, and next week I’ll share some ideas on how to find great books to read. October will be a busy month as I’m going to be sharing 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads. Hopefully you’ll find something new and appealing!

Still want to know more?

For more about me, check out my about page. And I love hearing from you, so please feel free to comment on posts, or send me an email at sheila(at)deliberatereader(dot)com. Let me know what you’re reading!

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Coming Soon…

A fresh new book-centric community for discussing:

  • books
  • the reading life
  • how to make the most of reading time
  • how to find great books to read

launching September, 2012.

Subscribe if you don’t want to miss any of the posts…