5 Ways to Cultivate a Love of Reading in the Kids in Your Life

I’ve loved reading ever since I was a little girl.

I probably wouldn’t love reading as much if it wasn’t for my parents cultivating this love when I was little. And I am so glad that they did! Books have not just entertained me. They have taught me so many things and taken me to so many faraway places and shown me so many truths. My life is better because I love to read.

If you want to cultivate a love of reading in the kids in your life, here are five ways to do it!

Please keep in mind that some kids just don’t like to read, and that’s okay! These suggestions aren’t given in hopes of forcing kids to love to read but to help kids discover a love for reading.

Make books available.

My parents made books available to my siblings and me in nearly every room of our house. A basket of books in a corner, a bookshelf in the playroom…. Everywhere there were books. And we read them. A lot! 🙂

Go to the library.

I loved when my mom would take me to the library, be it for story time or just to pick up some books. The fun decorations and rows of books about nearly anything and everything made me so excited, as did attending fun library events! Summer reading programs were always fun too.

Read to them.

Reading books with my parents is one of my favorite memories of my childhood. We read books ranging from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones to the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. Reading aloud to a child is special, and to a child, being read to is a comforting and special experience.

Set an example by reading yourself.

Seeing my mom read and enjoy it, as well as seeing my father’s multitude of books, encouraged me to read. If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing that you already set a good example by reading a lot. 🙂

Make Reading Fun!

There are lots of ways to make reading fun for kids. Here are just a few ideas!

  • One summer, my mother created a chart for me to track how much I’d read. A certain number of books would earn me a prize, from a small treat to a trip to Starbucks. You had better believe that I read as many books as possible!
  • Do book-related activities. For example, have a snack of muffins after reading If You Give a Moose a Muffin or make fox puppets out of socks after reading Fox in Socks. You can even do stuff like this with books for older kids! Seed-cakes and tea for The Hobbit, creating and acting out a play for Little Women, planting flowers for The Secret Garden… The possibilities are endless!
  • Talk about the books you read! Starting a conversation about books makes them more real and meaningful. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to talk about books and reading.

Did you love to read as a kid? Do you have any tips to share?

10 Christmas Gift Ideas For Bookworms

It’s finally time to blast Christmas music, chomp down on Christmas cookies, and kick back for some cheesy Christmas movies! THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS HAS BEGUN. And that also means that the time for Christmas shopping has kicked off as well. Christmas shopping can either be loads of fun or harder than rocket science. Either way, here are 10 Christmas gift ideas for bookworms.

1. Litographs

Litographs are such unique and fun gifts. They are literally the words of poems, books, and plays  that are turned into art and put on things such as scarves, shirts, posters, and bags. A Litograph product would be a perfect gift for a bookworm!

2. A Book Box Subscription

Book boxes don’t come stuffed with books alone. They also have fun extras to go with the featured book! How cool is that? The Four Anchors Anchor Chest is a great pick for readers of YA searching for good clean reads. I’ve heard good things about the OwlCrate subscription as well. 🙂

3. A Bookish Necklace

If the bookworm you’re shopping for has a taste for fashion, a bookish necklace would be a great gift! Etsy is a great place to look for unique and gorgeous jewelry.

4. Literary Themed Tea

C.S. Lewis once said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Even he knew that nothing went as well together as a good book and a mug of tea. So why not get some literary themed tea to go with a favorite book? Both Riddle’s Tea Shoppe and RosieLeaTeaUK look like good choices for this gift idea.

5. One Story/One Teen Story Subscription

Who doesn’t love getting a good story in the mail every once in awhile?  Both One Story and One Teen Story are great gift options for the bookworm on your shopping list! It’s a gift that will keep on giving all year long. And I just so happen to be a published One Teen Story author so… 😉

6. A Framed Book Quote

I can’t think of a single bookworm who would turn her nose up at one of her favorite quotes in a pretty frame. There are many places to find a print with a bookish quote, Etsy being my favorite. You never know what you’ll find there!

7. A Bookish Mug

My siblings got me a mug covered in quotes from classic novels last Christmas, and I absolutely LOVE IT.  As I said before, what goes better with books than a delicious hot drink? It’s even better if that drink is in an adorable mug! I think that a bookish mug and some literary tea would be a great gift. If your bookworm likes hot drinks besides tea, coffee beans or cocoa mix would be another great gift to go along with one of these mugs.

8. A Custom Book Stamp

If you all can’t tell yet… I like Etsy. A LOT. Etsy is one of my weaknesses. Luckily for me, my mom loves Etsy too. For my sixteenth birthday she got me the cutest book stamp EVER. Now, I can stamp all of my books so that people know that they’re mine! Click here to see the stamp I got.


Bookmarks are a bookworm’s best friend. And they would make a great stocking stuffer! There are lots of beautiful and unique bookmarks on… You guessed it. ETSY. Printable bookmarks, wooden bookmarks, paper bookmarks, metal bookmarks… BOOKMARKS EVERYWHERE. ❤

10. Books

I mean, what bookworm WOULDN’T want more books? If your bookworm has a Goodreads account, I would suggest browsing her Want to Read shelf to find books that she might want. Or ask her about what books she wants. But be warned. You may spend 5,000,000,000 hours on that subject with her. 😉

Which of these gifts would you wish for the most? What’s on your Christmas list?

Resources That Helped Me Make the Switch From Blogger to WordPress

Before I made the switch from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, I was terrified by the mere thought. The process seemed to complicated and hard! I spent a lot of time doing research on the process. Emphasis on a lot of time. I’m so glad that I discovered many helpful resources during my research. With these resources, I was able to make the switch easily. Here are some of the resources that helped me make the switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Transferring a Custom Domain From Google to Bluehost.

This help article from Bluehost and this help article from GoogleOne of the things that I was most nervous about was transferring my domain. It seemed so intimidating. Luckily, I was able to transfer my domain with the help of the two articles listed above. I would like to note that you might have to switch out your primary domain on Bluehost after you purchase hosting. If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask me, and this not-so-tech-savvy girl will try to answer them. 😉

Switching From Blogger to WordPress.

This tutorial from Chasing Foxes and this tutorial from Making Sense of CentsI honestly don’t think that I would have been able to start this blog without the help of these two tutorials. Both are super informative and helpful. If you’re starting a blog or moving it, I ‘d definitely suggest these.

This article from Angie MakesI used this article when I imported my blog’s content from my Blogger blog to WordPress. It was very helpful. And speaking of Angie Makes…

Making Your Blog Beautiful.

Angie MakesAngie Makes is the design company that I purchased my current theme from. They sell pretty and feminine WordPress themes, as well as graphics, fonts, and logos. I couldn’t be happier with how my blog looks. The support that I received from Angie Makes was fantastic. Angie answered my questions and helped me customize my theme. If you’re looking to make your WordPress blog beautiful, you should definitely look into Angie Makes.

Restored 316This is another design company that offers pretty and feminine WordPress themes. However, unlike the Angie Makes themes, these WordPress themes require the Genesis framework, which will cost a little more money.

Do you have a blog? Have you considered making the switch?

4 Reasons Why I Made the Switch From Blogger to WordPress

Blogging is one of my favorite things. I love sharing my thoughts on stories and faith with the world through my blog, as well as making connections with other writers through the blogosphere. In my blogging journey, I’ve blogged on three different platforms. These platforms include Blogger, WordPress.com, and self-hosted WordPress (which I shall refer to as WordPress in this post). My most recent (and last!) move was from Blogger to WordPress. And y’all, I AM SO GLAD THAT I SWITCHED. But why DID I switch platforms? Here are four reasons why I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. 

1. Blogger was acting up for me.

For some reason, Blogger had been acting up for me… A LOT. For example, I was not able to comment on my Blogger blog or other people’s Blogger blogs for a long time. I resorted to using my phone to comment. That is, until I couldn’t comment on my phone either. I contacted Google about the issue but never heard back. I also stopped getting emails about new comments on my blog rather randomly and could not resolve that.

I haven’t had problems like these with WordPress, and I am happy to say that I don’t really have any reason to anticipate them. WordPress is running like a dream and I couldn’t be happier.

2. Blogger’s security was sorely lacking.

I got SO MUCH SPAM on my Blogger blog. I honestly was at my wit’s end deleting spammy comments that told my readers to visit certain websites and blabbed nonsense. I hated the fact that, if I randomly combed through my posts, I would find these spammy comments. And the worst part? Blogger was doing nothing about it. I had to find and delete these manually. What a headache!

With WordPress, I feel much safer from spam and other security issues. I use Sitelock, Wordfence, and Jetpack for my blog’s security. These plug-ins and services help keep my blog safe and secure. And guess what? Spammy comments have already been intercepted and I was able to get rid of them! Meanwhile, my blog gets scanned for things such as malware by Sitelock and Wordfence. These services can get pricey, but I think that the security provided is worth it.

3. Blogger can delete your blog at any time.

I learned this only AFTER I got my Blogger blog. One blog that I really enjoy reading is Chasing Foxes. In one of their posts about blogging, the authors of Chasing Foxes, Silas and Grace, talk about a fellow blogger, Michelle of Making Sense of Cents (her blog is great too!), who started blogging on Blogger. Michelle’s blog was deleted by Blogger… For no reason whatsoever. Ummm…. What?

I didn’t think that my Blogger blog was going to get deleted any time soon, but I preferred the idea of a self-hosted website much better than a website that can get deleted at any time. I use Bluehost to host my blog. I am so pleased to say that the support and service provided by Bluehost has been great. I would definitely recommend Bluehost to all of my blogging friends.

4. I wanted my blog to look more professional.

Take a look at my Blogger blog:

Yes, there are blogs using the Blogger platform that look AMAZING. But honestly, I found it easier to make my WordPress blog look better (many thanks to Angie Makes for all of the support!). Now I know you’re looking at it, but for the sake of comparison, take a look at my new blog…

There’s a noticeable difference, right? And it’s not just in the design. There are differences in the “little things” as well. Take, for example, my contact page’s URLs…

Blogger: http://www.notebooksandnovels.com/p/loading.html

Self-Hosted WordPress: http://www.notebooksandnovels.com/contact/

My new contact page’s URL looks so much cleaner than the one I had with Blogger, even though I bought a custom Google domain for my blog. And this is just one example of the “little things” differences between the two platforms. It’s the little differences that help make a website and brand look even more professional.

So there you have it! Four reasons I made the big switch. I hope that you’ll stop by next week as I share three resources that helped me make the switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Are you a blogger? If so, what platform do you use for your blog?