Because just being a nerd isn’t enough

I have a lot of books.  One entire room in my house (as well as a large case in my man cave) is dedicated to books.  My Goodreads account lists over 1200 read titles, and my Twitter handle is @bookwormjeff (feel free to add me on either platform).  When I was a child, I read through the entire World Book Encyclopedia (1977 version).  With a 8-year-older-brother and a not-too-close-back-then-younger-sister, books were my constant companion in my youth.  Since books were a lot safer than video games in my parents’ eyes, they encouraged me to read as much as I desired.  Weekly trips to the local library (an architectural treasure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) along with semi-regular trips to the local Crown Books as rewards for good grades further fueled my fire.  I often took books to the dinner table, more engrossed in the pages than in whatever discussions my family had.

Trips to the bookstore are very dangerous for me.  Though I like to gamble, I can walk into a casino without putting down a bet; I enjoy alcohol, but can resist an adult beverage if I have to drive home or get somewhere in the morning.  But it’s very difficult to walk by a bookstore without making a purchase.  Even today, I attended a sports collector’s show in my town.  I didn’t buy any baseball cards or autographed memorabilia (though I did find a Willie Mays bobblehead that I’ve been missing from my collection).   I mostly bought a bunch of sports books and magazines.  My favorite find of the day was a May 1995 copy of Physics Today; Jim Palmer is on the cover, with the title article “The Physics of Baseball.”  And for only $1.00!

I hope this wasn’t stolen from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab!

When I was in college, I read a lot more books for pleasure than I did for my degree.  After I graduated, I spent even more time reading, since I could focus on what I wanted to study versus what my professors wanted from me.  This continued on for years, until I started working at the Store.  6-day and 70-hour weeks sucked the life out of me, and my desire to read sank like an anchor in the ocean.  Coming home after 12 hours away, I only had enough energy to eat dinner and watch some TV.  Except for a few easy-to-read YA titles, I didn’t pick up a book for a good part of 4 years.

During my unemployment time, I starting catching up for lost time.  In those 3 months, I finished 11 books, completing my Goodreads challenge (12 books in 2016 total).  Even now that I’m working again, my new job is a lot more enjoyable, so I don’t come home so drained as before.  While I am not consuming literature as such a fast pace as the summer, I’ve seem to found that right balance.

I just started a new book (for me, at least).  Chris Hardwick talks about taking all the qualities of a nerd (like the “innate ability for overanalysis and hyper-self-awareness”) and focusing those energies into positive change.  Some of that can be channeled into becoming a “nerdist,” which he defines as an “artful Nerd”… someone who “doesn’t just consume” but “creates and innovates.”

As I contemplate these words that I read in this book’s introduction, I think I figured out why I blog.  Consuming media has never been the end goal for me.  While I do enjoy reading about philosophy and religion and pop culture and history and sports and sociology, I also enjoy writing and creating.  In my previous life as an IT Manager, I wrote an “IT Tip of the Week” email, highlighting easy-to-follow (or easy-to-avoid) tech tips for my co-workers.  And when I discovered Yelp in 2010, I started writing reviews for that  site (396 and counting!).  Now, I have this blog, which is the clearinghouse for my random thoughts.  While many blogs are focused on one topic or another, I don’t think I could do so at this point in my life.  My thoughts are all over the place, which is fine for now.  Maybe down the road, a single passion will surface.  For now, I will be satisfied with whatever pops into my nerdy head!

On a separate note, this will probably be my last blog post for a while.  My new job ramps up in December, as our industry is very seasonal.  I don’t imagine having much time or energy to blog for the next 3 weeks.  It will finally start to slow down the week of Christmas, so I hopefully will be back on a regular schedule then.


3 thoughts on “Because just being a nerd isn’t enough

  1. I was a big reader until I had my two daughters. Like you, I was too drained at the end of the day to read. It was great getting back to reading again. I joined Book Bub on Amazon this year, and I buy lots of books for $2 or $3. I love reading memoirs now. I find people’s lives fascinating, if the author is a good writer, and most of them have been.


  2. I haven’t gotten on the e-book bandwagon yet. While I miss out on a lot of free and discounted books (from Book Bub and other services), I still enjoy the feel of paper. Plus, I’m looking at my electronic devices so much already, it’s nice to put them down and pick up something that doesn’t need to be powered.


  3. I prefer paper books too, I just can’t afford them. Before Book Bub, I was buying used books from Great Britain through Abe Books online. They have a huge selection of books on Abe. Most of my books were $6 each.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s