Reader Survey

The Deliberate Reader 2015 Reader SurveyAs I make blog plans for the rest of this year and next year (yes, already!), I want to hear from you – how can I make The Deliberate Reader more useful for you? I want to keep improving the blog and make it more helpful and interesting to you.

The survey should only take you about 5 – 10 minutes (depending on how much you have to say to me!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of the questions have specific choices for you to select from, and others are open-ended.

If you have any trouble with the embedded survey, you can also go here to fill it out.

No matter if you’ve been reading the site from the beginning or you only found me in the last week, I want to hear from you! While I can’t promise to put every suggestion into place, I’ll read and consider them all.

What am I asking? Well, I ask a little bit about you, especially your reading habits, and then I ask what you think about the blog’s design, content, community, and your thoughts on some potential future plans and possibilities.

The survey is anonymous, so if you’ve got a question or comment you’d like a response to, please send that to me in an email – you can reach me at sheila(at) – and I’ll do my best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Thank you so much for reading, and for helping me out with your responses! I look forward to reading them!

As a bit of a thank you for reading, I’ve got a giveaway below for a $15 Amazon Gift Card. It’s not a requirement that you fill out the survey to enter, although I would appreciate it if you did. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(For legal reasons, the giveaway is only open to U.S. Residents. Sorry everyone else – I don’t want to do anything against the law in other countries, and I don’t trust my reading of those laws to feel confident saying this or that location is ok to enter.)

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: Book Review: Andi Unexpected by Amanda Flower

Anniversary Week: A Look Back, a Look Around, and a Look Ahead

This Saturday will be my third anniversary of blogging at this site. Thank you all so much for reading. I’m going to take this week to look back, share three of books I read before I blogged that are worth your notice, and on Friday I’ll ask for your help with a reader survey. There’s also going to be a small giveaway that day, as a thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Deliberate Reader 3rd Anniversary

A Look Back

I was originally going to highlight some of my favorite posts and series from the past years, but … with over 750 posts published there are a lot! So instead I’m going to follow Smitten Kitchen’s lead and at the bottom of each day’s post, I’ll look back on what was previously published on that day. I’m hoping to also take that as an opportunity to refresh some of those older posts with improved graphics and/or formatting. If things seem light along that front for a bit, it’s because last year at this time I was still in the midst of my intentionally-skimpy-posting-schedule-due-to-a-new-baby. Tomorrow’s post will be the first with this new feature.

Too impatient to wait for all those posts to cycle through? On my welcome page I highlight some favorites.

A Look Around

While my posting routine has changed a bit, I’ve settled into a fairly regular pattern:

Mondays for “bookish” content and discussions
Tuesdays for nonfiction reviews or posts
Wednesdays for fiction reviews or posts
Thursday for kid lit, including picture books and early readers
Friday for everything else. That’s when I post homeschooling updates, monthly recaps where I give you a peek at my life beyond the blog, and 7 quick takes posts, which continues that look at what else is on my mind.

If all you want is the bookish content, never fear that “other” posts are taking over the blog – the intent is to keep it to Fridays only, with the possibility of Saturday posts if I have too much to share to fit it in on Fridays alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s the big exception to all of this? Linkups of course! I typically participate in two: “Bookworm Problems” at Quirky Bookworm on the 6th of each month, and “Quick Lit” at Modern Mrs. Darcy on the 15th of each month, and I run my own “New on The Stack” linkup on the 3rd of each month.

Will this schedule continue all next year? We’ll see … I like tweaking things to keep them interesting for you and me. I have no immediate plans to change things, although with the new content and series I’m planning for next year I may have to make some adjustments to my posting schedule.

Categories and tags on the blog are being cleaned up and reorganized, and the updated menu bar at the top of the screen can help you navigate if you’re looking for something in particular. I’m still trying to make navigation as easy as possible, and it’s another area where I ask you for your feedback in the survey, to know how well I’m doing at that.

Looking Ahead

Next month I will be doing another 31 Days series – and this time it’s not nonfiction. I’m currently writing it, and I’ll go ahead and spill the beans – it’s all about book clubs.

Branching off from that series is my under-consideration-idea to have an online book club next year. I’ll be asking about your interest in this in the survey, so if you have opinions please let me know.

Other plans that are in-the-works-but-not-100%-sure include a weekly Instagram challenge. As it stands now, the themes for the week would be announced each month, so you’d have plenty of time to plan ahead for it. I’m still brainstorming themes and the oh-so-important great hashtag for it.

I’m also hoping to start sharing more book lists, so if you’re looking for books about a theme or a topic, or readalikes for a particular title, I’ll have ideas for you. Requests for themes or topics? Let me know!

One recurring book list I’m making plans to share regularly is all about kids’ books. If you’ve heard about the recent “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” push but thought 1000 books sounded impossible to reach, never fear. I’ll have tons of suggestions of great titles to read aloud. The hold up on me starting this has been my desire to get a nice looking graphic to go along with it. If you’re talented in that area and would like to help me out, I’d love to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, there is one other idea still being finalized that involves a cooperative effort with another blogger (or two). No details on it since it’s not exclusively mine to share, but it’s shaping up to be lots of fun.

Lots of big plans – well, I always have plans, just a matter of having time to implement them. ๐Ÿ™‚

7 Quick Takes on essential oils, 31 days planning, homeschooling, and books.

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

Today was supposed to be the last day that Young Living Premium Starter Kits are $10 off, but they’ve extended that promotion through the end of the month. It’s still a great opportunity to get started with essential oils, if you’ve been considering trying them. Curious about what you might do with them? I’ve got a list of ideas.


— 2 —

I’m working on a new 31 Days series for October. Yes, really. I’ve only gone back and forth on about 4 different ideas before finally settling on one. Now I’m in the midst of organizing content and drafting posts, because my goal is to have it all written by the end of September. That should give me plenty of cushion for life to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

— 3 —

I’m super excited about what I’ve got planned, and for another idea that will possibly go along with it. Vague blogging here, but it won’t be a secret for long and then I’ll share all about what I’m considering. One part might involve Facebook and/or Instagram, so if you haven’t already liked my page or followed my ‘gram, head over and do that.

— 4 —

In part because of that 31 Days project, I’m planning on doing some additional “throwback” posts if you will, like I did on Wednesday. What’s a throwback post you ask? It’s about a book that I read but never posted about, either because I wasn’t blogging when I read it or I just skipped it for whatever reason. I’m wanting to feature some of the books I love that otherwise haven’t been mentioned here.

— 5 —

We restarted homeschooling this week. I kind of like having had a enough of a break to make a clear deliniation between grades if you will. Awana does that too, but it was fun having our own. G is now a 1st grader, and H is in Pre-K. And M is turning 1 next week, so now I get to see what it’ll be like doing school with a toddler instead of a baby.

— 6 —

My inlaws will be back in town next week (tentatively) so we’ll be having a break from school just as we get started again. I am quite ok with that, and I’m trying to think of anything I might need to try to accomplish while they’re in the state.

— 7 —

The best book I finished lately was Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible StandardsFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. Funny and thought-provoking, I’m hoping it’s the final one to pull me out of my reading slump. It releases on Tuesday, and I’ll have a review posting that day.

For the Love

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

3 Things I’m Thinking About

    Young Living PSK without diffuser

  1. I’m working on an Essential Oils post. Anything you’ve been wondering that I should address in it? I’ve got an FAQ section built around emails I’ve received, but consider this an opening to expand on that.

  2. I’m also working on an epic “If You Liked {insert book title here}, What You Should Read Next” post. The first book and its readlikes have been. Hoping to get it posted soon, but I’m trying to make sure it’s formatted nicely, because there are a lot of books I’m mentioning. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had a lot of fun pulling together the book suggestions, so if there are other books you’d like to have some ideas for what to read after finishing them, let me know the titles! I have a few other possibilities in mind, but haven’t settled on which one I’ll work on for the second post.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Looking Back at 2014, Looking Ahead at 2015.

Blog PlannerI love this time of year. I spent as much time as I can planning and dreaming about 2015. Of course, that also involves reviewing the year that was as I think about making the most of the new year.

Most popular posts this year:

The review of the Graceling Realm series
Review of Murder on the Orient Express
Reading Multiple Books at a Time
Review of The Forgotten Garden
Why to Track the Books You Read

Features this year

I started several new series: two link-ups with Jessica (Bookworm Problems and Judging Books By Their Covers), and my own series on Cooking the Book, and Read This Not That. I’m debating turning those into link-ups next year, or perhaps changing my “New on My Bookcase” monthly post into a link-up. Anyone have any interest in any/all of these as link-ups?

Speaking of bookworm problems, I shared about problems while traveling, my neverending to be read list, the impossibility of picking a favorite book, the misery of impatiently waiting for the next book in a series, and the practical challenge of storing all those books.

Other bookish discussion posts I wrote were on reading while traveling, finding new releases by authors you love, how I choose what to read (and the related post, about being a mood reader). I closed out the year with some of my favorite bookish gifts.

Planning for 2015

I’m already thinking about a 31 Days series for October, and am considering a few different possibilities. One of them has me super excited, so I may just start listing some specifics and see if I’ve got 31 already.

Homeschooling posts will increase to two a month, instead of just one. They’ll still be on Fridays, but as we keep progressing with what we’re doing I’ve got too much to say to keep it to only one post!

I do hope to continue to improve the blog and make it more useful for you all. I’ve got some plans on revamping the categories and tags – I said that last year and then it fell by the wayside but it’s still on my agenda. I’d also like to get the Facebook page a little more active, but that always seems to be something that gets ignored for higher priorities.

talk to me

Anything you’d especially like to see or read about this year? I’m doing lots of post brainstorming and filling in an editorial calendar, so I really would like to know if there is anything in particular you want to read.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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 Iโ€™m trying to get started on that. Iโ€™m not sure I can squeeze out enough reading and writing time to write current content, maternity leave posts, and October posts (and Iโ€™m not sure Iโ€™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 โ€“ just pull ideas from authors Iโ€™ve already read and loved.