Taking a Break


I have been thinking a lot over the past few days about this blog. I started blogging nearly four years ago. Over those four years, my life has changed enormously. I don’t stay put for long, and I enjoy the challenge of changing my living and working arrangements on a regular basis. Happily, this hasn’t interfered with my ability to read, write and do all of the other things I enjoy, and it’s enabled me to share a variety of amazing experiences. However, my latest career change is much more demanding than anything I have done before, and the restrictions it places on my free time are considerable. I can’t see this changing for quite some time, and so, if I am going to continue to blog, I will need to work out a new system that will be sustainable with the lifestyle I have now.

I don’t know what that will look like. I don’t know whether it will mean posting less frequently, or whether I will write little and often. I don’t know whether I want to diversify from writing mainly book reviews, or go down a more general culture route. What I do know is that I need a little bit of time to take a step back, have a break, and work out what is going to be the best way forward. As such, I have decided to stop posting for a while until I have come to some conclusions.

Thank you in advance for your patience, and for sticking with me over the past few months. Once I feel ready, I’ll be back. In the meantime, if you find yourself missing me, you can still read my posts over at Old Fashioned Girls!



  1. I can understand where you’re coming from, as blogging regularly *is* a big commitment and your wonderful posts are always in depth. Do what’s best for you, but I hope you will not be permanently absent as I’ve enjoyed very much reading what you have to say about books.

  2. Very good luck in all your endeavours. I’ll be looking out for return. In the meantime, if you’ve not already read it, you might enjoy Ordinary Families by E. Arnot Robertson.

  3. Well, I completely understand! I’ve barely even logged on to Miranda’s Notebook since Sept, let alone thought about a blog post. I’m so glad we’ve got OFG as a simple, less time-consuming way to express a few enjoyments / ideas. I think it’s a good idea to take some time out and think things through…I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to make everything work, but sometimes you just need to take a step back and switch your focus for a while. Very much looking forward to seeing you soon 🙂 M x

  4. Please don’t stop for good! Like everyone else, I have every sympathy. There’s only so much time in a day and enough pressure anyway, as a teacher – I’m sure a very committed and inspiring teacher – but a new one, still learning. Hopefully after a break you’ll work out how to continue but without demanding too much of your time and energy. Meanwhile, good luck!

  5. I totally understand. It does take dedication to become a teacher, so you’re entitled to a break. I do hope you find a way through eventually that lets you blog a little. We’ll still be here.

  6. Good for you for knowing yourself and when you need to step back and re-assess/regroup/rest. I’m proud of you for doing so, and hopeful that when the time is right you’ll be back in some form or other. You know, we’ve been blogging for about the same time, bookends of sorts, you on your side of the pond, me on the other, your fresh perspectives, my more, shall I say, matronly ones, yet, I feel as if I’ve known you forever, Rachel, and I’ve learned so much from you, gleaned so many new perspectives, been introduced to new authors. Carry on, as they say, and here’s looking toward the future, seeing your return. In-the-meantime, I am enjoying Old Fashioned Girls!

  7. I am glad you have taken this decision but your lovely posts will be missed! I fully understand how tough it is and have marvelled at your abiIity to do as much as you have. Your posts have been a treat to read after a busy week and cannot imagine where you have drawn the energy from! Thank you for all the delicious book recommendations, I have loved reading every one. Now, go and have a restful and restorative Easter holiday!

  8. Best wishes. You are wise to evaluate your life from time to time. Just remember, you have many cheering you on.

  9. We’ll miss you, lady! You definitely need to take as much time for yourself as you require, and blogging should never get in the way of that. Hugs hugs hugs.

  10. I discovered your blog a few months ago and have enjoyed your insightful book reviews and accompanying pictures very much. I do hope you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated soon and so can resume your very interesting blog. I am confident that you will be an excellent teacher, so best wishes for your new career.

  11. Rachel, good for you, knowing when to step away.But, I do hope you return…since I found your wonderful blog a few months ago, my reading urge has been completely reinvigorated.Best of luck to you.Enjoy the Easter hols.Xsue

  12. Totally understandable and of course your interests evolve as your life changes, and whether you still decide to focus primarily on books or branch out in other directions is only exciting for the rest of us! Enjoy the break, you so deserve it, and how lovely to have the daily glimpses of what you and Miranda are doing/thinking at Old Fashioned Girls in the meantime!

  13. Life is the most important thing … and as it changes, we need to change too. Blogging is a great activity but, unless it’s your job, it should never start to drive you. You should always be driving it. That said, I enjoy your voice and hope to see you again, in whatever form you decide best suits the current you! Good luck with working it out.

  14. Like at least one other poster, I have lurked here for months without ever posting, but now I must tell you, from one teacher and reader to another, how much I have enjoyed and learned from your blog. I completely understand the time crunch you’re experiencing, but I, like the other commenters, devoutly hope you’ll be back. Intelligence and sensibility like yours are rare in cyberspace.

  15. Rachel, I just wanted to let you know that I completely understand your decision and reasonings but it won’t stop me from saying how much I will miss your blog posts. They are always full of descriptive details that have journeyed me into worlds that were alien to me! I too, wish I had more time even if it was just for following you on all your fabulous book recommendations. I know what a fantastic teacher you are, goodness knows we need some of those! A very hearty fond farewell and my best wishes for your upcoming months! You are nearly there, dig deep!
    Will welcome your return whenever it may be!

  16. Dear One, of course you must take a break when you need one. You, and you alone, know what’s best for you. So many of us will miss you and long for your return but we will wait until you are ready. I hope that in the meantime you will continue to write. You are a very, very talented writer. xxoo

  17. Thank goodness for Old Fashioned Girls then! You can take a rest from book reviewing (no one like you for that, Rachel) and just give us a glimpse now and then of things you’re enjoying. If you were to leave Blog Land completely, this would be a very sad thing.

    It’s nice that you and Miranda share OFG.

    Have a good break and I will certainly be among those who look out for your return. xx

  18. Yes teaching is one of those jobs that really time sucks you and when you have other interests away from writing on the internet it becomes hard to balance. One of my friends is trying to plan her wedding around a teaching job at the mo and it just looks so, so difficult.

  19. Of course, a break! Enthusiastic bloggers need a period of R&R too, and their enthusiastic followers will have to be patient. Take your time, Rachel. The mix of some very short missives and then the occasional longer post on things literary or other vignettes from your experience, be it travels or teaching is a very good formula for when you have regenerated a bit.

  20. Dear Rachel

    I have loved your blog, but you gave so much of yourself and, after all, there is only so much to go around. I’m glad you are taking a break.

    Whatever you decide to do, may I send you my fondest good wishes for great happiness and a big thank you for your thoughtful blogs. You have added to my enjoyment of reading especially the Jane Austen posts.

    Every good wish

    Sue Rosly

  21. Wishing a you lovely break but will very much miss your blog! Love Old Fashioned Girls by the way! Best regards

  22. Rachel – I only found your blog a few months ago and have found it really inspirational – I am always making notes from it of books to read, places and exhibitions to go to. I can see you put a lot into it and that you can’t keep that up when you have so many other commitments. Thank you for what you have given us all- I shall keep up with Old Fashioned Girls and look out in case Book Snob returns -I will miss it.
    Loads of luck with your teaching.

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