Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Geek in Me

This post was originally published on February 16, 2006 at Weight of My World.

I had a few free hours yesterday, so after eating breakfast, checking my email and my favorite blogs, showering and feeding the cat, I grabbed my purse and headed out the door. Excitement rose in my chest as I started my car and put her into gear and headed out on the path of least resistance toward one of my favorite places--the library.

Yes, I said the library. The rows of shelves filled to the brim with stories. The sound of pages flipping gently. The quiet throat clearing and soft whispers. The silent thoughts of paper-writing students that purr in the air if you listen close enough. The smiles of the librarians, welcoming you to the one place they feel most comfortable. I love it all. And it strikes me that the only difference between myself and the librarian--that creature I once mocked and thought of as socially inadequate--is that she is assigned her time at the library and I get to choose the hours that I spend there.

I can easily spend a entire afternoon scanning the aisles of fiction and non-fiction, browsing the magazines and searching the online catalog for the newest releases. It's a sickness, this need to be around printed material. I desire words as much my body desires food.

It all started when I was a toddler and my mother read to me every time she had a chance. It grew into bedtime stories everynight before the lights went out. When I learned to read on my own, I started reading to my little sister. I read her books and then I'd read mine. I'd read out loud until I couldn't keep her attention any more and she'd move on to other toys and toddler activities. And then I'd curl up, in a chair or a corner or my bed, and I'd read silently to myself. I'd devour the stories of others, submerge myself in far away lands, live adventures through characters braver than I was, and when the story was over and the ending tied up in a perfect bow, I would mourn the loss of a new friend and long for more of his life.

My favorite bike rides ended at the town library that was housed in the Presbyterian church on the corner of Main Street. It was small and the selection was limited but it was enough for me. I read my way through the children's section and straight into the young adults aisles before I was old enough to really understand the subject matter. But my voracity for words had improved my reading skills far beyond the books that targeted my age group.

The book store became my second favorite place to be. I started visiting them with regularity, anticipating new releases, and buying them up with my allowance, developing a library of my own to supplement my limited choices at my local hangout.

This hunger for literature has never waned. In fact, at times it cripples me. I spend my entire day at work waiting for the moment I can get home, brew some tea and curl up with that book I couldn't bring myself to put down late the night before. I read away entire weekends, until it's Monday morning again and I don't know where my Saturday and Sunday have gone. But I love every moment of the escape that reading provides me. I love living vicariously through the characters, touching their lives briefly, and then returning to my own. I love learning from their mistakes and successes. I love talking about them with others and gaining new perspective from an intelligent discussion.

Does all of this make me a geek, a nerd to the nth degree? Probably. But ask me if I care.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post simply because I know I'm not alone in feeling this way and going these things. Have a great weekend!
~ Fat Chick

katy said...

I get almost HIGH from visiting the library.

Where else can I leave with 54 items and not have to pay a dime?!

Ami said...

Fat Chick - We've always been kindred spirits! Ever since I "met" you, I knew we were the same at heart. Nerdy is as nerdy does :o)

Katy - I KNOW! Isn't it the best? Retail therapy, without the retail. And it doesn't clutter up the house because it has to go back!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been here in so long. So you did the novel for November??

How did it go? P did one also and I know she was really happy with what she wrote, though thught she wold need to do major reewrites for quality.

I didn't even attempt it! (MAYBE NEXT YEAR)

Ami said...

gordman - Thanks for stopping by! I didn't finish the 50,000 words, but I did a respectable 38,000+. I was happy with most of what I wrote and will be working on finishing/revising during 2008. The think I liked the most was that I ENJOYED myself and my writing. It was FUN. Not nearly as much WORK as I expected, once I got in the grove. Now I know I CAN write relatively good stuff if I sit my butt in the chair and just DO IT!

You should definitely give it a try, even if you don't think you can do a full 50,000. I knew I'd be busy, so my goal was really 30,000 and I managed to surpass that.

Anonymous said...

I could spend all day at the bookstore. I have spent many, many weekends reading and reading and reading. Heaven help me if I get into a good book that I cannot put down. I have stayed up all night finishing books knowing full well that I have a busy day the next day.

That is awesome that you have gotten so far in your novel. That must be such an exciting accomplishment. One of my bffs, has written a novel (2 actually) and is working to get it published.

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