Guess who’s back with a BRAND NEW LOOK?!

September 13, 2019

Helllllllloooooooooooo, beautiful people… I’m BACK! And holy hell, you have no idea how much I missed you all. ♥ (By the way, say hello to my 1,000th blog post!)

I announced a couple of weeks ago that I was going on my first ever hiatus so that I could switch my blog over to self-hosting and overhaul the entire layout and design of the site. I originally planned on coming back on either the 16th or the 23rd of this month, but I’ve missed you all too much to wait any longer! I’m still making some tweaks here and there (mainly with updating old posts to match the looks and feels of new posts), but for the most part, this is what we’re working with now, and I could not possibly be any happier to share it with you all! I loved my old look but I can’t help feeling like this new color/graphic scheme and overall “vibe” suits me better, and I hope you’ll agree!

Since the move to self-hosting (which you can read more about in my hiatus announcement post here) is a pretty big one, there may still be a few broken links or glitchy spots here and there. Don’t be alarmed, but if you do find anything that looks unusual, please feel free to message me and let me know! I would be eternally grateful for the help in making sure Howling Libraries runs more smoothly than it ever has before. ?

Now that the move is complete, you might be wondering:

What’s going to be different about Howling Libraries moving forward?

And that answer is both a lot… and not much at all, friends!

The core of this site is going to be what it’s always been: just me, chatting with/rambling at you — mostly about books I love, with a few “meh”s and the rare but popcorn-worthy Epic Wow-I-Hate-This-Book-So-Much Rant™ thrown in. Oh, and lots of weekly memes because ya girl can’t get enough of those fun, chit-chatty formulaic posts.

That said, moving my site over and looking at my old posts made me realize a few things around here do need to change. When Howling Libraries first kicked off, and for the first 12-18 months of its existence, it was 90% book reviews. Nowadays, it seems like I do anything I can to get out of writing thorough, complete book reviews, and I don’t know why that is. I usually LOVE writing book reviews — so where the heck are they?!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that a few things happened around the time I stopped writing many reviews:

  1. I started letting myself become overwhelmed with ARCs, while totally neglecting to write reviews on backlist titles I was reading at all
  2. I stopped taking reading notes (which have always helped me tremendously with the review-writing process!)
  3. I started reading way too many books at once (as many of you will remember all too well that I spent a couple of months earlier this year keeping my currently-reading shelf at 15+ books at any given time…)

So, these feel like pretty simple fixes I can work on, and I’m hoping they’ll help me return to that review-writing fiend most of you first met me as! I’m going to be focusing more on backlist titles and requesting way less ARCs (by the way, expect the first ARC Ban Update in this weekend’s Sunday Post!), I’ve already started taking reading notes again (AND I HAVE MISSED THEM SO MUCH, OMG, I CRY), and once I get my currently-reading list to 5 or less, it’s staying there, dammit. No more exceptions or excuses.

Beyond these little changes I’m making to my own outlook on Howling Libraries, the other changes you can expect to see will be mostly stylistic. I do have a few exciting new details I’ll be adding to my reviews moving forward that I think you’ll really like, but I won’t spoil you for those — you’ll just have to take a peek at my next book review post coming bright and early next week!

And finally, in case I didn’t say it enough…

I missed your beautiful faces so damn much.

This blog is such a massive outlet for me, but even more than that, this community means so much. This hiatus made me realize I truly can’t fathom ever ending my time as a book blogger because I don’t know what I’d do without it! I even mentioned on Twitter a few days ago that my spouse even commented on how sad my hiatus was making them, because they could tell what a negative impact the lack of a creative outlet + the lack of discussion with my bookish family was taking on my mental health. I guess all I’m saying is…


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I never thought to take notes, that’s such a good idea! I’m just figuring out my blog so this post helps me a lot. Congrats on being back and 1000 posts!!!

      1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad it helps. I keep a dedicated notebook on my desk, but I also will take notes on my phone sometimes (like if I’m just reading in the car or whatever) and it definitely helps keep up with the details! Plus sometimes, I’ll write down something that I really liked in the beginning of the book, that I might have forgotten by the end, but when I go back to my notes I’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, that was awesome!! Gotta mention that!” haha!

        1. It’s useful because I struggle to write reviews and I’m wondering to myself, why is this so hard? Magic answers,

    1. I’m so happy for you, the blog looks amazing!! Happy moving day! I’m giving you an imaginary plant as a housewarming gift ? And I totally feel your pain on requesting too many ARCs and losing the reviewing will power. I have to keep myself in check too and remember why I started book blogging in the first place.

      1. Thank you so much~! Lmao I love the imaginary plant. ? *pets*
        I’m glad I’m not alone! But I’m sorry you’ve dealt with / are dealing with the same issues. 🙁 It was really a good refresher, though, to look back and see where I’ve come from and where I want to get back to.

    1. Welcome back! Love the new look ?
      I stopped taking notes as well lol I just blegh everything out once I finish it and edit it later but I’ve been reading only one or two books at a time so it’s not that hard to keep up. With 15 it would be a disaster ?

      1. Thank you so much! 🙂
        LMAO, you’re telling me! Yeah, if I read one book from start to finish without picking something else up, I do a lot better with remembering details. But even doing just 2-3 at a time for me can sometimes make me forget little things, whoops! ??

    1. Angel!!!! You’ve done a fabulous job here, I LOVE the new look and it makes me SO happy you’ve returned. I send you the best energy and all the love for this new beginning ❤️✨?

    1. I don’t know what I would do without reading notes, I use an Index Card as a bookmark and can just jot down notes as I go It need be I can switch index cards out.

      This reminds me though why I love my kindle, and need to use it more as I can highlight and make notes as I go there as well.

      Finally, Welcome back you were missed!

      1. I love the index card idea! That’s such a convenient way to make sure you always have your notes with your book. Sometimes I forget my notebook if I take my book somewhere and then I have to take notes on my phone and add them back later, and it’s a whole thing, lol. Might have to try that!

        And yessss to the kindle highlighting, LOVE that feature! It’s so helpful. At any given time, half of my highlights in an ebook or eARC aren’t quotes but are just moments I want to think back on or specific details about characters.

        Thank you so much! I missed you all! ♥

    1. Welcome back, Destiny! I know how hard it was for you to step back a bit but I am so glad you did because your blog looks AMAZING and I definitely think you’ll be refreshed now! I love the introspection on your reviews – I am suffering from ARC fatigue and it’s affecting every aspect of my reading experience.

      Also how ICONIC to come back on Friday the 13th! ILY!

      1. Thank you, beautiful friend!! You were such an incredible help through the whole process and I seriously can never thank you enough for holding my hand and keeping me sane. I don’t know what I would have done without you! ??

        I’m sorry you’re also suffering from ARC fatigue! The issue is REAL and I wish there was some way to magically cure ourselves of it in an instant. :/

        Ha! I was going to come back on Monday until I remembered this was Friday the 13th, and that sealed the deal for me. 😀 I love you!

    1. DESTINYYYYYYYYYYYYYY THIS IS MAJESTIC! Absolutely stunning! I literally had an audible gasp moment when I clicked over here and first saw it earlier this morning. *flails arms and legs about because what exactly are words*

      I am so incredibly excited for you and this next step/chapter you are taking in your Howling Libraries journey! And I am so incredibly happy you are back (I have missed you like crazy)!

      So in short–I stan a legend…no! Wait–I stan a QUEEN.

      No lowercase needed.

      1. Awww SAM! You are too sweet, thank you so much ? I was so nervous this morning and your comment honestly gave me the biggest smile and sense of relief!!! I’ve missed you like crazy too and it feels SO DAMN GOOD to be back. It feels like coming home ? I know it sounds cheesy but I may or may not be tearing up over how good it feels to be back!!

        And you, my love, are a GODDESS among mortals. I adore you <3 I truly do. Thank you!!!!


    1. AHHHHHHHHHH this is much exciting – a new look AND a huge milestone! Congrats, Destiny! I’m loving the new look. “I truly can’t fathom ever ending my time as a book blogger because I don’t know what I’d do without it” – SAME. It’s practically a part of me now??? (Also I really miss popping by in a blue moon???)

    1. wow Destiny everything looks incredible!! i’m awed. wow. i can’t wait to nosy around and investiage it all. it is seriously stunning. i hope you love it as much as we do! and the move wasn’t too strenuous?? ??

      i love the idea of having a notebook to take notes while you read. i’ve pretty much stopped reviewing this year because i couldn’t find a style i liked. maybe that key is to not rely on my shitty memory to word vomit at the end of the book?? i should investigate this…. thanks for the idea!

      and i really hope cutting back on arcs helps you feel less fatigued and more inspired (as well as the fresh design!). from your posts, i could tell that it was really affecting you so i hope you find a new balance that works for you.

      1. Thank you so much love!! <3 Haha just don't poke around TOO much yet as I'm still reformatting old posts and some of them look pretty rough! ? the switch to self-hosted went smoothly except for when most of my images were lost in the transfer.

        I hope it helps if you do try it!! but for what it's worth you could even just do bullet-point ramblings and I'd still happily read them! ??

        Thank you, it really has been having such a huge impact! Oof 🙁

    1. Destiny is back!!!!

      Everything is looking absolutely fantastic and I love that you are taking a step back to see how you can make things smoother and easier for you. You should do a discussion post about how you take reading notes! I have recently concluded that this is something I want to be doing more so I can invest a little more in my reviews, but I am yet to come up with a system.

    1. Welcome back!! I’m so glad the move to self-hosted was quick!! The new blog looks lovely, and I can’t wait to see all the new bits and pieces!!

    1. DESTINY, THE NEW SITE IS SO BEAUTIFUL!! I’m so happy for you, and I hope the self-hosted migration has been going smoothly for you! Also a huge congrats for 1,000 posts!! You’re such an incredible blogging inspiration! Love ya, sweets! <3

    1. Welcome back! I absolutely LOVE the new layout! It’s so shiny and pretty and fills my dragon-hoarding-crystal-heart with SO MUCH JOY! ♥ As much as you missed us, we missed you. I’m so happy to have your posts back in my feed!

    1. Welcome back! I missed reading your posts, so it’s wonderful to have you back! I’m excited to see these new surprises you’ll be throwing in with your reviews and I hope the switching over process was smooth and painless! <3

    1. WELCOME BACK!! Everything looks absolutely incredible! Tbh, your blog is a big inspiration for mine, and seeing you take this step has been really motivating :’) ♥

    1. I love the new look Destiny! It’s so clean and easy to navigate which I always appreciate!

      Also, how on earth you managed to read 15+ books at a time, is a mystery to me! I get confused with one book for each format as soon as characters in different books have the same name ahah

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