I Was a Geek

On April 7th, Savanna Quinn over at Have Coffee…Will Write wrote this great blog post about the connection between books, parenting, and puberty (go here).  I loved the post, and think it’s important to support our blogging buddies, so I left a comment…

…which turned into a treatise on what a geek I was as a kid because of the books I read back then.

Then I realized my comment might make a pretty good blog post, so that’s what you get today…Me…proudly declaring “I was a geek”!

(I might still be one but I’ve assimilated into society so I think that counts for something.)

I’m pretty positive other people knew I was a geeky kid, but I sailed through childhood in happy oblivion at the true depths of my geekness.

The truth is I was deeply geeky.  Fathoms deep, people, fathoms!

My parents love to read.  Growing up, my mother frequently bemoaned that her reading time was seriously curtailed after she had me, then my brother.  Once we grew up and left home, her reading habit came back as evidenced by the stacks of books on her nightstand.

Because of their love of reading, they supported mine with all their hearts.  I don’t recall that they used books to generate conversation about “controversial” subjects as some parents do.  Mine are of a generation where “those things” weren’t discussed.  It actually freaks me out a little if either one of them makes a sex joke, which they’re going to get a good chuckle out of when they read this post. 🙂

Growing up, I read constantly.

I still do.

I read books, magazines, street signs, billboards, the sides of buses, graffiti.

You name it, I read it.

It’s like I can’t ever fill up on words.  There’s always a gnawing hunger for more.

I was able to read by the age of 6 and was a very advanced reader for my age.  My favorite author as a child (we’re talking pre-teen here…) was:

(Drum roll, please.  The depravity of my childhood reading habit is about to be exposed for all the world to see.)

James Michener.

Yes, you read that correctly.  How many 8-10 year olds read that stuff?  This is what I’m talking about.  I was a geek extraordinaire.

But I loved those epic sagas.    I would root through my parents’ bookshelves and scurry off with books I could barely lift to the nearest cozy spot and read in every single spare moment.

My Dad had a little bell he liked to ring when it was time for dinner.  He’d dangle that bell in front of my nose, trying to block the pages, and I’d keep on reading, my eyes darting around the bell to soak in more words.  He usually had to forcibly remove the book from my hands to get my attention.  I would then blink owlishly at him, truly shocked that the book was no longer in my hands.  He’d shake his head and say, “Dinner.  Now.”

I’d say “Just one more paragraph?”

Um, no.

Dinner took precedence.  It was family time so the reading had to wait.  Until the food was eaten, the table cleared, the dishes washed.  It took hours!

I was also a huge fan of John Jakes and read his Kent Family Chronicles series, all 8 volumes.  This series starts with The Bastard which did raise a question in my young mind…what exactly was a bastard?  My parents answered, but I don’t recall it being a comfortable conversation.  I also loved Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds.

When I was a tween (dating myself here…that term was not in use in my youth 🙂 ), the movie Grease came out and I got my hands on the book.  I read it 5 times in a row and finally worked up the courage to ask my Mom what “frigging” meant.  She went through the roof, wanting to know where I’d learned the word.  That was the only book I was told not to read (anymore).  But who are we kidding?  I read it again.

I know I also read more age appropriate stuff (like Judy Blume’s books and Charlotte’s Web) but I could read those in an afternoon.  (Did I mention I’m also a very fast reader?  The geekdom just keeps a-coming!)

There was something infinitely satisfying in starting, and finishing, a book that ran well over 500 pages that took several days or even a week to read.  My memories of favorite childhood books all revolve around sweeping historical sagas.

I still enjoy “heavy” reading but I don’t have as much time for it.  Today, I gravitate toward romance and mystery novels.  Books I can read on a lazy Saturday or in bed before turning out the light.

Books I can devour rather than savor.

The loss of my geekness changed me from a lover of gourmet meals (those giant sagas) into a fast food junkie (quick, easy reads).  That’s actually makes me a little sad.

Maybe I need to re-read Michener.  That won’t be geeky now.

What did you read as a child?   Is there anything about you that’s a little geeky?

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7 thoughts on “I Was a Geek

  1. I was a late starter when it came to reading, but when I did start to read I pretty much read everywhere and all the time. But my love was in fantasy novels like Mercedes Lackey’s MAGIC’S PAWN or Simon R. Green’s BLUE MOON RISING. Now that I’m older I like reading almost all fiction genres, plus historical novels (especially ones about Ghengis Khan). But I do miss having more time to read.

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    • I agree that there’s not more time to read. It’s a constant source of disappointment to me that I can’t read every single minute of every single day. I keep hoping to find a way to make it pay the bills. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    • It’s funny…as I’ve gotten older, I’ve actually embraced my geekiness. If people want to think I’m weird, let ’em. I can’t be anyone but who I am and if who I am includes a geeky side, so be it. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I am also a life-time member of the geek club. In elementary school, I read a lot of Greek and Roman mythology. In junior high, I was into reading nonfiction books about serial killers and murders. (I wanted to know ‘why’ they were how they were.) I also liked the Anne of Green Gables series.

    Now my brain gets an off-balanced diet of veggies (educational/inspirational) and sweets (mystery/romance),

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