I’m not gonna lie. This week’s topic? It’s been causing me much angst ever since I first saw it, innocuously blinking at me from The Broke & The Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday page. I read (and reacted to) it in stages.
“Websites i love” – oh, this will be fun!
“that aren’t about books.” – <crickets> <blink blink> I’m sorry…. what? I don’t understand what you mean by “websites that aren’t about books.” <crickets> <blink blink> Does Pinterest count? Facebook? Twitter? What about Etsy?
So then I put up a facebook status, sharing my inner book nerd’s stress level over this upcoming TTT theme, and it immediately sparked much discussion amongst my fellow bloggers and readers. Some of the comments I got were as follows:
Is this a trick question?
um, I’m at a loss. What else do people do online besides look up info about books? I seriously don’t know.
Uh …. I don’t understand that prompt.
this is like the most difficult theme ever lol
Oh, wait. Actually, that last one was mine. 🙂
And then we all got into a debate over which sites might count and which sites might be thrown out on a technicality. I really think it was one of my most commented-on statuses on my personal FB page haha! Every comment had its own sub-thread that went on for several replies.
So…. all that to say … I DID IT! Yes, I came with some non-book-related websites and even went over the requisite 10!! High fives all around.
These websites are some of my favorites to browse for blogging tutorials and helpful tips, etc. In the interest of full disclosure, I recently became an affiliate of these first two that I’m going to talk about (as well as The Dating Divas a bit farther down the page) but it’s BECAUSE each of them have helped me so much! In fact, if you like the look and layout of ReadingIsMySuperPower since I moved to the .org site – it’s because of these first two ladies and their websites.
(Being an affiliate just means that I will earn a small commission if you sign up for their services. This is provided at no extra cost to you and keeps ReadingIsMySuperPower sustainable. I will never become an affiliate of, or recommend, a product that I have not tried and which I do not think will benefit you.)
1. DesignYourOwnBlog – Marianne has some amazing tutorials and resources! One of my favorite posts when I was redesigning this site was her information on what to include in the sidebar and what to leave off, as well as how to write an excellent “About” page. She makes the information accessible and easy to apply to your own situation.
2. Nosegraze – When I started to make the move from wordpress.com to a self-hosted wordpress.org site, I searched for too long trying to find a theme that was “me” or would let me customize the design the way I wanted it – without me having to know a lot of html (because I don’t…and I’d rather read.) I discovered the TweakMe theme from Nosegraze and loved that no two TweakMe sites look the same. It allowed me to take what I learned from DYOB and apply it to my blog design. Easily. Without tears. lol. Leaving time for reading. 🙂 Ashley is also the brains behind the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, but I’m not mentioning that right now because it’s book related. Oh… ummm…. Shoot.
3. Problogger – this is another incredibly useful site for tips and resources and tutorial-type articles. Darren stays up on all the current trends and knows what works and what doesn’t. I’ve especially found his social media tips helpful as well as his recommended blogging resources.
4. Pixabay – Looking for free-to-use images for your blog? Pixabay is by far the best resource I’ve found. Be warned, though, it is far too easy to spend hours browsing for pictures on the site instead of actually blogging or reading 😉
This category of websites are people whose posts edify and encourage me in my day-to-day life. I’ve tried to pick an assortment of “life areas” when choosing these particular sites to spotlight. Spiritual. Marriage. Home. Stuff to Ponder.
5. A Holy Experience – This is one of my most-visited websites. I adore Ann Voskamp’s way with words – she has been called a modern day psalmist and I completely agree! Everytime an email comes in, telling me that I’ve got a new post of hers to read, I get a little giddy lol. I also grab the tissues because I inevitably get “tearful” while reading Ann’s exquisite posts. She speaks grace so beautifully and it’s inevitably exactly the grace I needed to hear. Some of her most recent posts include when it feels like everyone else’s life is sorta kinda better than yours, how to love the people who have hurt you, and when you’re finding it hard to keep up.
6. Relevant Magazine – Since 2002, RELEVANT has been the leading platform reaching Christian twenty- and thirtysomethings. Covering faith, culture and intentional living, the stories we tell are at the intersection of where a Christ-centered life is really lived. (from the editors) I don’t watch the news anymore. I rarely read our local newspaper. I do however read Relevant Magazine. (I also follow several news sources on Twitter. Don’t panic.) I like their take on what’s going on in culture, in faith, and in intentional living – as their purpose statement said. I don’t always agree with every article but I’m almost always challenged in some way. A few of their most recent articles include “9 Reasons Harriet Tubman is a Perfect Choice for the New $20 Bill“, “Why Christians Should Create“, and “5 Things Healthy Couples Do When They Fight“.
7. The Inspired Room – I love thinking about decorating my home. I’m terrible at actually executing it. Come to think of it, “executing” is a pretty good descriptor for what happens when I attempt a decorating project. Fortunately, people like Melissa Michaels are stellar at it, and she has put together several resources for people like me. People for whom the phrase “you killed it!” usually doesn’t come with a positive connotation when paired with a home or garden project 🙂
8. The Dating Divas – I love their date ideas! Particularly, as my autoimmune illness doesn’t allow for a lot of gadding about town, I enjoy perusing their “at-home date ideas“. I also very much appreciate their “inexpensive date ideas” – super creative! They have a wealth of ideas for special occasions and romantic gifts, as well as marriage tips and practical guides for things like Summer Fun, Couple Photos, etc.
These websites don’t really fall into any of the other categories, so I grouped them all together in this “Just For Fun” heading.
9. Bangor, Maine Police Department Facebook Page – Yes, you read that right. Whoever writes their social media stuff is hysterical. You really must go check it out.
10. Ancestry.com – I am such a history geek and this site is right up my alley! Since researching my family history, I learned that William Shakespeare is my 1st cousin (14x removed, but who’s counting?), one of my ancestors was Abraham Lincoln’s neighbor in KY and used to lend him her books (I LOVE!), and another relative was a colleague of Marie Curie (there’s even a photo!).
11. JoshBoothPhoto – My brother is an awesomely talented photographer, and this website showcases some of his work. When I posted that “what do you mean not book related” status to facebook, he so helpfully suggested his page as an option. (Brothers. lol.) But in all honesty, I would have come up with it on my own when I started seriously thinking about this topic. Plus it was his birthday yesterday 😀 Some of my favorite galleries are his Tetons/Yellowstone work as well as his pet photography (you may even see Zuzu a time or two) and everything except the chickens in this Featured collection. Because… chicken phobia.
I couldn’t help it! I had to mention these too! And they’re only distantly related to books… kinda like me and William Shakespeare.
12. The Grove Story – The Grove Story is a collection of authors who contribute posts across these four areas: Connect, Grow, Rest, and Prayer. I love their takes on each of these, as well as how “story” fits in. Notice I didn’t say “book”. It’s about “story”. There’s a difference 😉 The authors include Beth K. Vogt, Cara Putman, Courtney Walsh, Katherine Reay, Katie Ganshert, Kristy Cambron, Melissa Tagg, and Sarah E. Ladd. One of the most recent posts (from the adorable Melissa Tagg) is titled “Permed Bangs and When Dreams Let You Down“.
13. Modern Mrs. Darcy – Anne does talk about books, yes, but she also has sections on her own life, “house & home”, “work & family”, “beauty & style”, and “the examined life”. I so enjoy her “Links I love” posts every week as well as her recent “What I Learned in April” post.
14. Amish Wisdom – This website is a radio show-turned-blog, moderated by author Suzanne Woods Fisher. But it’s way more than about Amish fiction. There’s a Cook’s Corner, Travel Tips, an Ask the Amish section (my favorite!), and much more! Have you ever wondered what holidays the Amish celebrate? Or, do the Amish actually make Amish Friendship Bread? If so, check out Amish Wisdom!
WHEW! That’s pretty much an exhaustive list of all the websites I visit (besides social media) that have nothing (or very little) to do with books. Did anyone else come up with some? I’m eager to expand my website repertoire in case this theme ever returns. Give me some suggestions and/or link to your TTT post in the comments!!