Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book Nerds Unite!

When I was listening to Sarah Vowell’s Partly Cloudy Patriot, she has a chapter on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and nerds, and it made me think about a conversation I had with a friend about online dating and the plethora of Star Wars fanatics, and I thought, “I’m glad I’m a book nerd.”

Unlike other types of nerds, such as the Buffy nerd, Star Wars, Star Trek, or a variety of other nerds from baseball statistics nerds to computer programming nerds, book nerds have an advantage over them all. The defining characteristic of all these kinds of nerds is their comprehensive knowledge. But thanks to the voluminous nature of the book industry, that is impossible for us book nerds! There are 250,000 books published every year (not counting self published) and in a lifetime, I can only wrap my mind around a small portion of them. When you are talking with a Superman nerd, they know everything about Superman and will correct you and you will quickly shut down in the conversation because they know everything and it eventually makes you feel like you know nothing and why bother having a conversation with them because you can’t tell them anything they don’t know and it eventually feels didactic.

But when conversing with a book nerd, you can ask them about certain books you’ve heard about and once you deviate from the top 200 bestsellers, you’ll frequently hear “oh, I haven’t heard of that one.” We’re a lot more approachable and we can actually have a conversation with give-and-take as we don’t know everything, and have no hope of ever having the grasp of knowledge about our chosen area of expertise, due to the sheer size.

So I am happy to be a book nerd. Beats other types of nerd-dom.


Kathy said...

Hear hear!

Jeane said...

Ha, that's great! and so true.

Kathy said...

I'm DEFINITELY proud to be a book nerd!

Valerie Troutman said...

I agree about book nerds and I think it extends to movie nerds like myself for the same reasons. However, trust me that computer programming nerds don't know the half of it.

Love the tower of books!

Lesa said...

Never thought about it but that is definitely true about book nerds-- we are a friendly bunch. (I'm a Starwars and StarTrek fan-- and I do have internal debates about which camp I owe allegience too.)