Blog Audit Challenge 2020: June #blogauditchallenge2020

June 29, 2020

June’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

 I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is opening up for business and recreation with social distancing precautions.

 

June’s Challenge Focuses on Links:

Of the topics covered so far, I think I feel the best about my use of links to enhance my content and to attract visitors. At least, I feel more confidant in discussing links than I have previous topics! I can always improve, but I think I’m doing OK in this area.

There are two types of links:

1. Internal Links

  • The importance of using internal links is to keep visitors engaged with your content and spend more time on your site. Part of analyzing your blog data is tracking the “bounce rate,” i.e. the time visitors spend on your site. If a visitor only reads the page which caused them to land on your site, this contributes to a high “bounce rate.” If a follower or visitor looks at another page on your site (either through a link, a menu tab, or the search bar, etc., this helps to lower your “bounce rate.” Low “bounce rates” are optimal and increase your SEO! (see what I did here?!)
  • In my posts, you will usually notice internal links. When appropriate, I will link to related content (e.g. a book by the same author or a post with a similar topic) and I also include links to previous content in my ICYMI section. In my menu options, I have included pages with links to a great deal of blog content. In these monthly blog challenge posts, I am linking back to each previous month.
  • TIP: I have recently learned that SEO best practices suggests not using “see here” when creating links. SEO likes it when you use specific descriptive words. So instead of “see review here,” it would be better to write “see my review of Simon the Fiddler.” In my monthly wrap up posts, I have been writing “my full review here” (which you can see in my May Wrap Up post)….starting tomorrow, I vow to do better in creating internal links with more specific descriptive wording for my wrap up post!

2. External Links

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Blog Audit Challenge 2020: May #blogauditchallenge2020

May 30, 2020

May’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

 I hope that if you are reading this that you continue to be well and that your area is starting to open up for business with social distancing precautions.

May’s Challenge focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO is something I continue to work on, and I find it becomes more routine over time. Keywords are a critical component of SEO.

1. Key Words in Headlines

  • Key words are the words that individuals put in the search bar to search for content.
  • Key words are the most important component of SEO.
  • Identifying key words is a critical first step in creating content. Think about what people would search for in order to find your content. Various apps are available to help you find optimal key words. I have never used this option, so I  can’t offer a recommendation. A search on Pinterest will result in more articles than you could ever use on SEO and Key Words.
  • Reviewing books makes the selection of key words easier because the book title in my heading is also my key word(s).
  • In addition to showing up in the title of the post, key words need to appear (naturally) throughout the content of the post. At first, it was easy to include my key word(s) in my post title but I had to make a conscious effort to sprinkle the key words throughout the content. So in place of using a term like “this book,” I had to form the habit of replacing these phrases with the book title. Using key words becomes even more effective when you can use them in subheadings.

2. Labels, Tags, and Descriptions

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Ten Favorite Book Quotes #toptentuesday

May 26, 2020

Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Are You a Quote Collector?

Of all the amazing book quotes I’ve collected over the years, I can only remember a few. I had a collection of my favorite quotes in an electronic file, and then I lost the file in a computer crash. I need to rebuild my file, and these are the ten I can remember loving!

Do you have a favorite book quote?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT. I guess I totally flaked on this week’s topic because I wrote it in my calendar as ten favorite quotes and when I went to link up, I realize that’s not the topic! Oh well….I’ll consider this a tweek because it’s all I’ve got!

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLy loves you, then you become Real…”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

~The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”

~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer

“Courage, Dear Heart.”

~Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis

“Frankly, My Dear, I don’t give a damn.”

“After all, tomorrow is a better day.”

Classic quotes from Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara (respectively)
~Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchel

“Dear Old World,” she murmured, “you are very lovely and I’m glad to be alive in you.”

~Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

These four sentences, when easily said, lead to wisdom: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I don’t know. I need help.”

~Still Life, Louise Penny

“What we carry defines who we are and the effort we make is our legacy.”

~Finding Chika, Mitch Albom

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”

~The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”

~Emma, Jane Austen

My friend Carla @ Carla Loves to Read created a top ten list of quotes from children’s books! Check it out!

What is one of your favorite quotes?



QOTD:

Please share your favorite quote in comments!



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



ICYMI:

Ten Reasons Why I Love Middle-Grade Books

Top Ten Signs That I’m a Book Lover

 Why getting lost in a book is so good for you according to science!



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and/or author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

10 Reasons Why I Love Middle-Grade Books #toptentuesday #middlegrade

May 19, 2020

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Middle-Grade Books

Definition of Terms: Middle Grade Reader & Middle Grade Student

∗ A Middle-Grade Reader (ages 8-12) ≠ A Middle-Grade Student (grades 7-9)

These terms can be confusing. A Middle-Grade student (grades 7-9) is truly caught between groups and can read MG or YA. However, most YA (ages 13-18) is geared toward high school and is too mature for younger middle-grade readers who are 8-12 or middle-grade students who are in grades 7-9. There’s a vast difference between an eight-year-old reader and a twelve-year-old reader. Some middle-grade books are geared toward younger readers (e.g. Wishtree), and some authors such as Alan Gratz write for the more mature middle-grade reader (e.g Refugee).

∗ Middle-Grade Fiction is Typically Read by Readers Between Eight and Twelve Years Old.



I predict that either you read Middle-Grade Books or you don’t!

Middle Grade is a genre that you either embrace or avoid!

What say you?

Are you onboard with MG reading or are you standing on the sidelines?

I’m here to persuade you to try MG lit if you haven’t or to remind you why you love it.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT: Top Ten Reasons Why I Love _____ . My focus is Ten Reasons Why I Love Middle-Grade Books.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

1
Hope

Typically, Middle-Grade reads avoid content that includes graphic violence, sexual situations, and profanity. An unwritten expectation for middle-grade reads is that, despite dire circumstances, they are infused with hope and have hopeful endings. A few examples include Louisana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (scroll down page for review), More to the Story by Hena Khan (Goodreads Review), and Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (Goodreads Review).

2
Complex Issues

One of the main reasons I love reading middle-grade books is that they can address complicated and difficult issues in an easy-to-understand and sensitive way. It’s a great introduction to heavier content. A few examples include Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradly (slavery), Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (indentured servitude, education for girls), The War That Saved My Life/The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradly (WW11), Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (racism, prejudice), Refugee (12+) by Alan Gratz (refugee crisis), Wonder by R.J. Palacio (physical differences), Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (scroll down page for review) (immigrant, bullying), El Deafo by Cece Bell (hearing impairment), Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (scroll down page for review) (homelessness), Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Goodreads Review) immigrant), Merci Juarez Changes Gears (Goodreads Review) (Alzheimer diagnosis), Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (prejudice)…and so many more.

3
Read in a Day

Most middle-grade reads can be read in a day by most adults. So if it’s December 28 and you’re a few books shy of meeting your year-end-challenge goal, pick up an easy reading middle-grade title such as The Vanderbeeker’s of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glasser, El Deafo by Cece Bell, or Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (Goodreads Review).

4
Conversation Starter

Instead of commenting on a girl’s beautiful dress, stunning nail color, or unique hairstyle or asking a boy if he is on a soccer team, try asking a middle-grade reader what book s/he is reading in class right now. You might be able to make a connection with that book or recommend a similar book and you’re off to an interesting discussion!

5
Palate Cleanser or Reading Slump Buster

After reading several heavy histfic books (just me?), intense thrillers, or dense nonfiction, you might be feeling burned out. A fast and engaging middle-grade read can jump-start your reading or give you the change of pace you are needing! I often use this strategy when I’m feeling ambivalent about choosing my next read.

6
Thoughtful Gift

Do you remember a book you received from a teacher or family member? I still remember the books I received! (I was the one that spent my entire winter break reading my new book!) Choosing the perfect book for someone is a thoughtful gift and is my favorite one-stop-shopping hack! A personal inscription and special bookmark can complete the gift.

7
Catch Up On a Popular Read

A great reason to read middle-grade books is to catch up on popular books you might have missed reading when you were in school. Have you read Chronicles of Narnia, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Bud Not Buddy, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Bridge to Terabithia, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, By the Great Horn Spoon, Wonder, Where the Red Fern Grows, Brown Girl Dreaming, The Secret Garden, The One and Only Ivan, etc? What book do you wish you had read when you were 8-12?

8
Quality Time

Children spell love T I M E.

Setting up a “buddy read” with your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew is one way to spend quality time with a child. To discuss the book, you might take the child to lunch or to get ice cream or set up a Zoom meet up. A buddy read doesn’t have to be extra reading outside of school. You could simply read the same book as s/he is reading in school so that you can ask questions about it. Reading books together leads to grand discussions about the most amazing topics/issues! I love that through reading, important and relevant issues come up naturally.

9
Important Conversations

What I love (and miss) most about teaching fifth grade is that I could have the best conversations with my budding abstract thinkers! Middle-grade readers (8-12) are ready to think about the world and their place in it. Through reading, children gain experience with different cultures, perspectives, and issues. I love the diversity now offered in children’s literature. Reading builds compassion and understanding. For instance, if your child’s classroom has a student who is hearing challenged, you could read El Deafo together.

10
Make a Difference

If you work with children, have children, or know children in the 8-12-year-old range, reading middle-grade books will help you connect with them! If you are a pediatrician, nurse, dentist, hygienist, teacher, aide, Sunday school teacher, piano teacher, counselor, social worker, caregiver, nanny, or work with middle-grade readers in any way, reading what they are reading will help build connections, promote literacy, and WILL make a difference.

Inspirational story: A member of our family took her baby to the doctor for her one-year checkup and the pediatrician said, “You need to read ten books every day to your baby!” Yay, doctor!Thanks for promoting literacy at a one-year-old well-baby check!

Have I encouraged you to pick up a middle-grade read or do you already love middle-grade lit?



QOTD:

What is your favorite middle-grade title?

What is your favorite middle-grade read from your school days?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



ICYMI:

10 Inspirational Reads For Middle-Grade March

Top Ten Signs That I’m a Book Lover

 Why getting lost in a book is so good for you according to science!



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and/or author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

 

Book Titles For Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank a Teacher!

May 5, 2020

Book Titles: Teacher Appreciation Week: Image: a teacher teaching a group of students as they siit on the jungle floor

Thank You, Teachers!

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During U.S. Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m here to wholeheartedly thank teachers for their dedication, skills, and caring as well as to highlight a few books that feature teachers or the educational setting that have touched my heart.

Who was your most memorable teacher?

Mine is a college math teacher. When I returned to school as an adult to finish my degree and obtain my masters and teacher certification, one class I dreaded registering for was math. I developed a terrible math phobia in high school. I didn’t care about math like I cared about literature and grammar and diagramming and French…anything with words. As I started caring less and less about math, it became more difficult for me. Even though I finished my first two years of college right after high school, I avoided taking math classes. When I returned to higher education as a midlife adult to finish my undergrad coursework and obtain a teaching credential, I was faced with my old nemesis: the math hurdle. Of course, my prior grades and placement tests in math revealed that I had many gaps to fill and so I was required to take remedial math to build my skills. I was petrified. Not only did I have a math phobia, but now I had to take college-level math! Yikes! However, what I lack in math skills I make up for in perseverance and determination. So on the first day of college math class, I forced myself to sit in the front row. The teacher, knowing that the reason all of us were in the class was because we lacked foundational skills, informed us of the following: You CAN and WILL be successful if you follow these rules: 1. take detailed notes on every lesson even if you don’t understand it, 2. do your math homework every night and refer to the notes, and then do the homework over again without the notes, 3. before every test, redo all the homework and do the extra set of problems in the back of the book, and 4. be an active participant in class (sit close to the front, take notes, and ask questions). This sounded doable to me and I decided to TRUST the teacher and follow her guidelines for success. I loved her teaching style and the safe affect she created in the classroom. She explained everything in clear steps and didn’t assume we knew anything, plus she used different colored markers for each step (which really helped me as a visual learner). I did my part, too, and worked for hours every night on my math homework like it was my job! I ended up earning an A in the class and my self-confidence skyrocketed! As I often told my fifth-grade students when I was teaching, “Nothings makes you feel smarter than understanding math!”  Although I loved the entire fifth-grade curriculum, I always enjoyed teaching math because I KNEW how those struggling students felt, and I was determined to model my teaching after my favorite teacher as I created a safe environment for learning. Go figure that math is one of my favorite subjects to teach (well….not beyond fifth grade!) One of the BEST notes I ever received from a student said, “Thank you for being my teacher this year….now I’m not afraid of math anymore!” I melted into a puddle!

Thank you to ALL teachers who are proving safe learning environments and structuring opportunities for success for all students. You are celebrated, valued, and revered!

Do you have a favorite teacher story?

Have you thanked a teacher this week?

Teaching is a Work of Heart (image: apple plus text)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Teachers and/or Education Related Stories

(the titles are linked to my reviews or to Amazon)

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (cover)

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman (image: text written over a collage of bright colors)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (school librarian)
(Goodreads Review)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (cover) Image: bright flowers and the edge of a gold ferris wheel bordering a bright blue background

(more…)

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: April #blogauditchallenge2020

April 29, 2020

April’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in a Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

Well….April continues to be a bit derailed due to Covid-19! I hope that if you are reading this that you are well.

April found me having difficulty reading books with heavier content and I had a serious case of the “blahs.” How about you? Doing any hard thinking is a discipline these days!

April’s Challenge is to focus on Design:

1. Images

In my first year of blogging, I discovered how important it is to have at least one Pinterest quality image in each blog post. Before that discovery, I simply used a book cover as an image. (I need to note here that I can’t stage photos with books because I read exclusively on the Kindle.) Now I use a book cover image that I grab from Amazon and “enhance” it. First I use the app PhotoGrid to add a background for the book cover. I save this image in PhotoGrid’s already squarish format. Next, I open Canva and use a template I created for Pinterest that has been designed for a square image and that has the Book Title at the top and my blog name at the bottom. I use this template over and over again and switch out the picture, color, and text. Here’s the last Pinterest image I created using PhotoGrid and my Canva Pinterest template:

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhom (coveer)

In blog posts, I attempt to incorporate other images. For example, in my review of Code Name Helene, I also used a real-life picture of Helene. In addition, I always include an author’s photo.

I have a certificate from a community college in graphic design, so I’m familiar with using images in a layout. The creative use of images is an enjoyable aspect of creating a blog post.

Something new I’m experimenting with this year is using animated GIFs. I think it’s important not to overpower your content with gifs, so I use them sparingly.

As with any new element, there’s a learning curve and I had to experiment multiple times to master the process for using them in a WordPress post.

2. Optimize Images

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National Library Week: Are You Reading Digitally During Social Isolation?

April 20, 2020

National Library Week: April 19-25

 

Do you have a library card?

Do you have more than one library card?

Do you have fond childhood memories of bringing home a pile of books from the library?

As a child, did you participate in a summer reading program at the library?

Have you ever taken your child to storytime at the library?

Have you ever gone to the library to study or research or for some quiet time?

Do you belong to a book club at the library?

Do you consider yourself a heavy library user?

Is your library card one of the prized possessions in your wallet?

Are you using the library during social isolation?

What percentage of the books you’ve read this year are from the library?

National library week

Read Digitally During Social Isolation and National Library Week!

(scroll to the end to see some library-related book recs!)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Even though I’ve switched over to reading digitally, I consider myself a heavy library user. In fact, 55% of the thirty-one books I’ve read so far this year are from the library.

If your library is closed now or if you’re isolated at home due to COVID-19 lockdown conditions, this is the perfect time to consider borrowing ebooks from the library! If you visit your library’s website, it will most likely have an option for reading digital books. Your library’s website will likely have an app such as Libby or Overdrive that you can download. Then all you need to do is link your library card to the app and you can borrow digital books!

The BEST feature is that there are NO library fines because the book automatically disappears (is returned) on the due date. You can borrow print ebooks and audio ebooks.

If you do not have a library card and your library is closed, you might be able to apply for your library card online.

Using the Libby or Overdrive app, you can link up multiple library cards. I have two library cards linked, one for my local library and one for my county library.

In addition to the games on my iPad, my six-year-old grandson loves to open my Libby app and check out a children’s book to read!

A FAQ is what is the difference between Libby and Overdrive? My limited understanding is that they are basically the same and that Libby is an updated or newer version of Overdrive. Both work equally well and are synced with each other. I have both apps and I use them interchangeably. One feature of Overdrive that I like is that I’m able to request books for the library to purchase and I haven’t found that feature available on Libby. I like requesting a book for purchase because you are automatically put on the waiting list for that book and if the library purchases it, you will be near the top of the waiting list!

If you prefer not to read digitally, you can also go to your library website and check out all the resources that they have available for you!

Have I enticed you to use your library this week?

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore, achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.
~Sidney Sheldon

If you have ideas about using the library or if you work at a library and can add to the conversation, please comment!

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I have created a short list of books that feature library settings or librarians!
(the first two are my favorite librarian stories!)
Can you add suggestions?

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

5+ Stars. My Review Here. (the main character is a packhorse librarian)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)


The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

5 Stars. My Review Here. (a teenage girl assumes responsibility for the underground library of Auschwitz)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Iturbe (cover)


What You Wish For by Katherine Center

4 Stars. My Goodreads Review. (the main character is a school librarian)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (cover) Image: bright flowers and the edge of a gold ferris wheel bordering a bright blue background


The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hates-McCoy

3 Stars. My Goodreads Review. (a save-the-library theme)

Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy (cover) Image: a girl holding a book standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean


Lucy’s Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies

3 Stars. My Brief Goodreads review. (about a library-sponsored book club)

Lucy's Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies (cover) Image: a quaint village house set again a backdrop of rolling hills and blue skies


Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen

3 Stars (a wonderful librarian in this story)

Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen (cover) Image: a large brown leaf on a blue background


The Library Book by Susan Orlean

(fictionalized account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library)

The Library Book by Susan Orlean (cover) Image: Gold lettering on a red background



QOTD!

Do you have a library card?

Do you use Libby or Overdrive?



ICYMI

National Poetry Month

Lighter Reads During Stressful Times

Ten Signs That I’m a Book Lover



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© Readingladies.com

10 Signs That I’m a Book Lover #toptentuesday

March 31, 2020

Top Ten Signs That I’m a Book Lover

10 Signs I'm A Book Lover (image: tall stack of books on a blue painted table)

Before we get to the book talk, I’m curious if you are in isolation at home due to Covid 19 or are you an essential worker? Most of my family and I are at home. We do have four essential workers (three medical) in our family that we cover in prayer. God Bless the nurses and doctors, grocery store staff, and other essential workers!

Honestly, it’s been a little difficult to read with an anxious mind. Have you been finding it difficult to focus on reading? How are you practicing self-care? I discovered that I need lighter reads right now which will likely play havoc with my Spring TBR. This Top Ten topic listing the obvious signs that I’m a book lover is interesting because I’m definitely well prepared for isolation. Stay safe everyone! Wash your hands and don’t touch your face!

Top Ten Signs That I’m a Book Lover

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for TTT: Top Ten Signs I’m a Book Lover.

(listed in no particular order)

giphy-9

You know I’m a Book Lover because the first question I’ll ask you is “What are you reading now?” or “What is the best book you’ve read this year?” or another book-related question. My favorite topic is books and I’m prepared to use extreme tactics to steer the discussion in that direction.

 

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You know I’m a Book Lover because you will always see me reading on my Kindle app in any waiting room or checkout line. I look forward to driving so that I can listen to an audio book. In fact, I’m never bored because I can always read!

 

giphy-8

You know I’m a Book Lover because I stay up way too late reading (and writing reviews). An additional sign that I’m a Book Lover is that I love to read “books about books”!

 

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You know I’m a Book Lover because I think the book is better than the movie 99% of the time.

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You know I’m a Book Lover because I have a Bookstagram account on Instagram with over 1,000 bookish friends and scroll Goodreads twice a day.

(more…)

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: March #blogauditchallenge2020

March 30, 2020

March’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in a Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

Well….March was a bit derailed due to Covid-19! I hope that if you are reading this that you are well.

On the subject, I found this video clip very helpful, reassuring, and comforting!

March found me preoccupied with finding paper towels and toilet paper! Because of orders to stay home and isolate, I spent many reading and blogging hours ordering food and paper goods online. I had difficulty reading books with heavier content and had a serious case of the “blahs.” How about you? Thinking strategically about the blog became nonexistent. So, I don’t have too much to report unless good intentions and reflection count for something!

March’s Challenge is to focus on The Trimmings:

1. The Header

In anticipation of the March Challenge, I contacted an artist friend in February and inquired about designing a new header for the blog. The header needs to reflect my site and my personality and set a tone. When I first started the blog, I set it up quickly and impulsively and grabbed some generic graphics from Google images….I realized later that this is not recommended and I’ve known for some time that I need to come up with my own original artwork or pay for the right to use an image.

My header reflects me and my personality, but I don’t think it reflects what I DO. I know I need to think about branding.

  • My style– I’m a casual person. I love informal, warm, and welcoming. My current floral header reflects my love of nature, lots of color, and gardening, and it sends a warm vibe. So I’d like to keep that feel but stylize it so it’s uniquely me and doesn’t look like I pulled it from Google images! I think I’d like a pen and ink drawing and water color.
  • My mission-My header needs to convey a clear message about what I do….it needs to reflect my mission (from the January Challenge). Right now I have some words that suggest what I do, but I’d like my header to also visually reflect what I do.
  • My branding– I need to match my header to the rest of my branding. I definitely want my branding to reflect the informal, friendly, warm, and bookish vibe.

Definitely, I have a great deal of work to do in this area, and after the Covid-19 situation dies down, I will have more brain power to devote to this task!

2. The Side Bar

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Blog Audit Challenge 2020: February

February 28, 2020 

February’s Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020 (picture of a woman's hands on the keyboard of a laptop)Blogging Friends,

This year I’m participating in a Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by Jo Linsdell. The plan is to work on making our blogs even better and setting our goals for the coming months. Each month will have its own challenge to work through. Join us!

February’s Challenge is to focus on Information Pages:

1. About Page

One of the first things I look for when I land on a new-to-me blog is the About page. I’m disappointed every time there isn’t one. Jo Linsdell states that the About page is statistically one of the most visited pages on a blog, and I’m adding to those statistics every time I visit a blog. Before I give a follow, I like to know just a little bit about the blogger. I’m looking for a picture, points of connection, and a smattering of compatibility. One item that Jo Lindsell suggested is including a CTA (call to the action on the About page), so I edited mine to include that. I hope you’ll give my About page (found among the menu tabs) a glance and that you find it helpful.

2. Legal Disclaimers

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