Once Upon a Story
June 4, 2012

While those more fortunate are at Book Expo America ( heads up: music at link), I’m at home taking care of two snotty noses and lathering up with hand sanitizer.  It’s a glamorous life I lead, yes?

Fortunately, there’s Armchair BEA for people like me.  And so if you’re visiting for the first time, welcome.  And if you’ve been around for a little while, maybe today’s post will give you a little peek into the beginnings of Once Upon A Story, as well as a little more about me.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Who am I?  I’m a Northern Virginia suburbs resident with small-town roots.  I am a daughter, a sister, and a wife.  I am a former classroom teacher, with a graduate degree in library science, now staying at home with a 3 year old (Preschooler) and a 6 month old (Baby).  That combination role of teacher/librarian/mom is the driving force behind this blog.  I’ve been blogging for 7 years, but only here at Once Upon A Story for a little over two years.  This blog comes from both a desire to chat books with others, and also to encourage/support parents who want to read with their children at home, but feel overwhelmed by the task.   You can read a little more about me here.

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I’m currently reading See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles.  Two of my favorite chapter books that I’ve read in 2012 are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy.  In the world of picture books, my recent favorites include The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool for it’s amazing illustrations, the Bear series by Karma Wilson for fun bedtime read-alouds, and Pretzel by Margaret Rey for a new-to-me classic.

3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

My husband and I are big fans of Virginia wines.  Before we had children, we used to do wine-tasting weekends.  That doesn’t happen very often anymore, but we still manage to search out some good labels.  My blogging and reading often occurs after the kids are in bed, where you’ll find often find me kicked back on my own bed, laptop at the ready, and a glass of wine nearby.  We recently discovered moscato, which may be my new favorite summer drink. Yum.

4. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

This blog is a reflection of me.  I’m not fancy over here.  I don’t have a tremendous following.  But those who know me in person can attest to the fact that the “voice” of this blog is my own.   You’ll find book recommendations and literacy tips because that’s my passion, but I’m also a parent of two small children and I want that reality to come across as well.  So in the spirit of keeping it real, I offer a personal confession every Friday.  Because while I do think literacy is fundamentally important, my kids are kids, and I’m a regular parent, and sometimes we have failings and very, very non-educational moments.  You’ll find those moments here, too.

5. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

I don’t think that they have changed, but I would say that they’ve certainly broadened.  The wonderful thing about being involved in this community is how willing people are to share.  In the past couple years, I have picked up and enjoyed many books that I might not otherwise have heard of, or been drawn to.  While I appreciate professional reviews, I really enjoy hearing the thoughts of other bloggers, many of whom are teachers, librarians, and parents just like me.  It’s these recommendations that tend to drive my book choices for both myself and my children these days.

Thank you for stopping by!  Please, please let me know you were here!  I’m pretty good about responding to comments.  After bedtime, when I’m enjoying that glass of wine.

22 responses to “Armchair BEA: This Is Me”

  1. Jordyn says:

    One thing that keeps coming up in the intro posts is how much everyone loves the recommends from other bloggers, and I totally agree. Book recs from fellow bloggers have led me to some of my favorite reads in the past few years.

    my intro post.

    • novalibrarymom says:

      Exactly! It’s so nice to have the blogger-world resource out there. Thanks for dropping in!

  2. Libby says:

    Nice to meet you!

    I have The Book Thief on my TBR list. I need to move it higher up the list. :). Wine sounds good right now but I would no doubt fall asleep!!!

    • novalibrarymom says:

      The Book Thief is amazing, but very, very intense. It sticks with you for awhile. Worth reading, just make sure you have a lighter read on standby for the nights you need it, or as your next read. You’ll want something a bit less heavy.

  3. I love wine too! I don’t drink it nearly enough though. I’m also currently breastfeeding so I don’t make a point to drink too much. We have, however, been trying out new beers! I wasn’t a fan of beer but now I’m finding quite a few that I really like. Mostly stouts and a few fruit infused ones!

    Blogging is a great outlet for us mothers! It’s great that you find time to do what you enjoy and yet still be an amazing mom. 🙂

    Here’s my Armchair BEA post for today!

    • novalibrarymom says:

      We all need outlets to relax…I’ve found blogging and wine to be a great combination 🙂 Not a big beer drinker, but I do like Blue Moon in the summer. Yum…

  4. Good to meet you! I’m glad you’re so transparent and up front about what you do here and I think it’s great, good luck!

  5. Yay! Great write up, and I LOVE that this blog reflects who you are as person–mother, wife, teacher. I am so excited that See You at Harry’s finally came in to the library. We’ll have to compare notes when I’m done. I saw you posted at It’s Monday!, too. I skipped it this week with BEA posts and guests in town. Have a great week.

    • novalibrarymom says:

      I’m having a hard time getting around to my reading this week, but See You At Harry’s moves quickly. Sad, but so very well written.

  6. I love that you review children’s books! I have an early reader at home (6 years old) and she’s inspired me to launch a Children’s section of my site (possibly separate from the rest of it…I haven’t ironed out all the kinks yet) because it’s so hard to know what Children’s books are worth giving to your kids!

    Also, I’ve never been to a wine tasting but I really would love to. Mmmmm….

    Nice to meet you! Here’s my Armchair BEA Intro!

    • novalibrarymom says:

      My oldest is 3, but it’s fun to watch her develop her own tastes. We’ve explored a couple new authors together (like Karma Wilson), and I’ve also introduced her to older books that were my favorites. Fortunately, she still let’s me pick 🙂

  7. Love children’s books just have a hard time finding ones my son will like sometimes.

    • novalibrarymom says:

      My kiddos are both too young to have really strong opinions yet, fortunately 😉 It gets a little harder when they’re older. I taught 5th graders, and they could be a little bit tougher, especially the boys. Are you familiar with Guys Read? It was begun by a wonderful author who saw the need for boys to have a resource just for them and it has taken off from there. http://www.guysread.com.

  8. I keep meaning to read THE BOOK THIEF. THE HERO’S GUIDE is so much fun! Have you read the picture books A DIGNITY OF DRAGONS or THE MAN IN THE MOON? They’re two of my recent favorites!

    • novalibrarymom says:

      The Book Thief is still on my mind and it has been several months since I finished it. That’s usually the sign of a good book, right? The Hero’s Guide is the exact opposite of intense, but I’m already looking forward to another installment. I haven’t read either of your suggestions, but I’m to check them out now. Thanks!

  9. Heather says:

    I loved The Book Thief. What a wonderfully sad book. I read it so quickly and I must have cried for 15 minutes while reading the end of the book, and another 15 minutes after I’d finished it. But it was so good. My daughter loved it, too.

    Nice to “meet” you!

  10. I really like that you include your 3yo’s reading on your blog. Maybe I should include more of my daughter’s reading materials on my blog – although I face a language issue. Hm, I’ll have to ponder this a bit before I start on that.

    • novalibrarymom says:

      The books I read with my 3yo constitutes much of the reading we do in this house, as I’m sure you know. I try to fit my own reading time in after both kids are in bed, but sometimes I’m just too tired to do more than watch an hour of television and pass out. But I’m a lover of picture books, so it works out well for us 🙂

  11. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m a wine loving mama up here in Ohio, nice to meet you! I lived in NOVA for three years after college and loved it, always considering moving back someday.
    I have one rugrat running around and can barely find the time to read and blog so I applaud your awsomeness 🙂 Hope to be back soon.

    • novalibrarymom says:

      My husband went to college here, we moved away and then came back. Like anywhere else, it has its perks and drawbacks. Lots of (free!) things to do with little ones….but also traffic and higher cost of living. His job means we’ll be here for the forseeable future, so we try to explore as much as possible and find our favorite non-tourist spots 🙂

  12. Nice to meet you. I love your header!

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