Going Forward By Going Back

Today’s post by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon | @MarybethWhalen and @ArielLawhon

Tap Tap… is this thing on? Is anyone there?


We admit… it’s been awhile. If you’re still hanging around, or if you’re looping back to hear what we have to say, let us start by saying thank you for being here. You’re the main reason we’re writing this post today. Let us explain:


We took some serious time this fall and into the holidays to do some She Reads soul searching. We’ve been doing this gig for lo these many years (ten to be exact) and… we were tired. Publishing multiple books, raising our respective children (many of whom are teenagers now– gulp!), taking on the role of event planners for the #Read event, and trying to keep up with She Reads left us overwhelmed.


In November we announced we were retiring our book club. And that brought a great deal of relief. But there was something we were missing still. We landed on what it was as we have landed on many things; accidentally and quite unexpectedly:


What if we got back to what we once were?


And so, we have decided to move forward with She Reads, by going back.


Back to those two moms who used to call each other to talk about a book we just read because we had to talk about it with someone.


Back to where we aren’t busy with the wrong things (numbers and promotion) and are focusing on the right ones (great stories).


Back to buying books with our own money that we want to read instead of getting buried under an avalanche of free books that have arrived at our house that we feel obliged to do something with.


Back to reading slowly, to savoring stories.


Back to simple and meaningful.


Back to connection, which is why we started the site in the first place– to connect with other readers out there who, like us, loved to read and wanted a place where they could talk about and share those great stories.


And so, that is what we are doing; that is our new direction for 2018. We are going back.


In the coming weeks we will be sharing in more detail what that is going to look like. We hope that you will join us. And if you are not already, please follow us and leave comments over on Instagram, as that is where we both spend a lot of time these days. You can also follow our personal accounts: Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon.


As we said, stay tuned– lots more to come! We are happy and at peace with this new direction and we hope that happiness and peace is evident as we go back, and forward. No matter which direction we’re going, we hope you’ll be with us.

26 Responses to Going Forward By Going Back

  1. Judith Bowman January 12, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you! Your old you(s) have been missed.

  2. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    Ah thanks, Judith. We’ve missed you guys too!

  3. Beverly January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    It’s interesting this is the direction you have chosen. I found this site not to long ago and I found I enjoyed your older posts more than the most recent. I definitely am looking forward to seeing what you have planned for this site! You have been missed!

  4. Susan Meissner January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I love this…

  5. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    That’s very good to know! And I think it’s easy to drift sometimes from home base. To forget what you do best. That’s what we’re getting back to. And we’re glad you’re along for the ride!

  6. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Oh I’m glad! We’re in this for the love of reading and that’s something we’re never going to let go of.

  7. Jane January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #


  8. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #


  9. nylse January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m glad you’re going back. I’ve always wanted to start a book club- I finally did it and Tangled Mercy is our first book club selection. I’ll let you know how our discussion goes, but I think it will be good because I enjoyed the book and each of our members have different perspectives.

    So thank you!

  10. Melissa Crytzer Fry January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Hip, hip, hooray! I was sad to see you go, but happy to see you “go back.” Passion is the key (and having stacks of books you ‘have’ to read vs. ones you WANT to read is a shame). Looking forward to seeing the old Ariel and Mary Beth!

  11. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Yay! How fun! Tangled Mercy is such an amazing novel. Please let us know how your discussion goes.

  12. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Exactly. Sometimes I think the key is allowing ourselves to rest so we can rekindle the passion. Glad to be back and glad to hear from you again!

  13. Leah DeCesare January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Amen to simplifying and being true to your hearts!

  14. Ariel January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Thanks! We’re really happy about this new (old???) direction. Sometimes you just have to hit the reset button, ya know?

  15. Deeann January 13, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    Well I just found She R ads last year, so your new beginning is The real beginning for me! I am one of those moms who reads and raises children and reads some more. Looking forward to this! Thanks for posting about your books and your hearts!

  16. Pat @ PFN January 13, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    Good luck with your new direction.

  17. Susan G. January 13, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m with you! SheReads is one of my very favorite sites!
    Thanks to both of you!

  18. JT January 13, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    This is exactly what we all need. Love your plan, and can’t wait to come along for the ride.

  19. Jencey Gortney January 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I completely understand and I am with you!

  20. Misty Barnes January 16, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Instagram…..now I’ll have to give in and get on it to keep up with you both. I’m behind the times with Instagram and Snap chat is still a strange mystery, also. So glad you didn’t decide to stop She Reads!!! I enjoy reading what your reading!

  21. Sue January 23, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I was so sad when I read about a final selection and I went OH NO!!! I always have gone to your site to see what was up with your books and reading~so glad to hear you are back and happy with your choice of what YOU can handle ~thanks for what you do ~ God bless you in this new direction!

  22. Diann Miller March 5, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    I am so happy to hear you have re-considered your departure and will be making this work for you! It’s a great resource and we have loved your selections (my book club). We will be watching for your next recommendations as we plan for our
    spring and summer selections! I will tell you, our last selection was a hit, it was a gripping story of female empowerment
    and suspense. Empress WU is a woman who rose from nothing to everything, changing the course of her family and countries future. It was fantastic! I found it at http://peachill.com.

  23. Sam March 7, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    I wasn’t a member before since I just found this group. The reset and revert back to the group’s origins you describe sounds like exactly what I’m looking for, so I’m excited to join you. I can’t wait to see what the first selection will be!!!

  24. Christie Wight March 14, 2019 at 10:17 am #

    Hi! Like others, I have just found you.I saw your article in a Costco magazine flyer of all things a few days ago! Alas, I don’t do Instagram or most social media venues other than Facebook and YouTube. I don’t want to add more social media to my life, like you don’t want to readjust to what works for you.

    I’m under the impression you’re ditching your website here to except for directions of where you actually can be found. Conundrum.

    Best wishes to you both! Maybe we’ll catch up somewhere along the lines.

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