Monthly Archives: February 2012

For the love of reading (a nerd story)

      In elementary school I was, how do you put it, a giant nerd. As my mother so gracefully told my boyfriend this weekend, I was the epitome of an ugly duckling. Bad teeth, bad hair, add in the glasses … you get the picture. Not only was I not beautiful, I also had no social grace, which unfortunately for me meant zero friends. So in between fits of crying and begging my parents for ridiculously expensive clothing, I soon found other ways to pass the time. I built forts with my brother, played in the woods, and when I was old enough … I learned to read. 

     Reading did not come naturally to me. In fact I was almost held back in first grade for not being a strong enough reader. I was taught how to read in a trailer outside of my first grade classroom. I still remember the old woman who taught me how to hold a pencil and sounded out words one by one. What was once frustration soon became utter liberation as the light in my attic suddenly clicked on. I could read! And did I. Once I learned that letters connected to make words, and words connected to make sentences, nothing stopped me. I quickly surpassed my classmates in all things reading. Book reports were a breeze and soon I began to write my own stories. 

     My parents supported my vivacious love of the written word by purchasing me a used word processor (gasp!) and driving me to the local book mobile. Sometimes, if I was very good, my mother and father would allow me to pick out a couple of cherished items from the Scholastic Book Club magazine at school. Every day I would grip my desk in anticipation hoping that Scholastic books would be delivered to my desk by my teacher. When the books arrived it was like Christmas Day for one. Since none of the ‘cool kids’ were big fans of reading, I was the only one to receive these gifts. While they had their L.A. Lights and Starter jackets, I had my Edgar Allan Poe and Scary Stories. 

      To this day you will probably find me with my nose in a book while other ‘kids’ are playing beer pong. Once a nerd, forever a nerd. Luckily for me my story ‘ends’ happily. My family moved after sixth grade and I made lots of friends at my new school. I did lots of stuff that didn’t involve reading but I always seemed to go back to a book at the end of the day. Some of my best friends are characters in books and some of my fondest memories are of reading or writing. Whether curled up in bed or in the middle of a cross country adventure, you’re never truly alone as long as you have a book by your side. 

     So why did I decide to write a post about reading? For a couple of reasons. A while ago J told me about a site called Goodreads. It allows you to rate books and share your reviews with your friends online. While I know not everyone is on Goodreads you should definitely check it out if you have time. Also, if you have a book that you have cherished and wish to share with the world please post it in the comments section below. The most recent book that I fell in love with was The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The book was so good that I actually missed it while I was at work or with friends. I literally could not wait to come home to it and continue reading. 

     All of us have our inner ‘nerd story’. Today take the time to embrace your inner nerd and do whatever it is that makes you feel loved and special. For me it’s reading, and communicating positively with other people. For you it could be building action figures, or playing extremely nerdy video games while scarfing down Omaha steaks. Whatever it is, embrace it, and share it. Unless it’s Omaha steaks … you can save all of those for yourself. ❤ ❤ ❤