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10 Things Only Book Nerds Can Appreciate

10 Things Only Book Nerds Can Appreciate

“Why do you need three different editions of the same book?” “Will you stop correcting everyone’s grammar at the dinner table?” “Can’t we just watch the movie, please?”

Anyone who breathes books has at one time or other been on the receiving end of the above comments. Book nerds are the guardians of the written word and have probably gotten high from the smell of a library book. With the world going digital, I wonder if there’s a way to bottle that fragrance for future generations because I weep to think that someday I’ll stand before a class of student’s who’ve never smelled a book.

If you have ever secretly believed that god won’t let you die before you finish your ever-growing to-read pile, you’ll appreciate and celebrate these 10 things.

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1. You quote literature in normal conversation

Once, when I was in middle school, a classmate challenged me to a fight. I’d just finished reading Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights so it seemed entirely natural and just to respond to the threat in the manner that Heathcliff once famously responded to Edgar Linton:

“I am mortally sorry you are not worth knocking down.”

This probably explains my lack of popularity in school.

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2. You name your pets after literary characters

I once agreed to go on a date with a man purely on the attraction that he had a cat named Sherlock. This seemed an entirely logical basis for a lifetime of love, and I remain convinced that had I owned a cat named John, this man would be the father of my children today.

3. You’re everyone’s resource for book recommendations

A few years ago, a friend preparing for vacation called to ask me for book recommendations he could read on the plane. I replied via text and heard nothing for three days. Just when I’d begun to think I might have accidentally killed him, he called back. “Thanks,” he said. “But I told you I’m going on vacation for two weeks, right? Not to spend an eternity in purgatory.” I mumbled something about variety and then quickly ended the call on the pretense of having to walk the dog.

4. You consider it a deal-breaker if your date doesn’t read

People fall back on the “read any good books lately” question as a cliché conversation starter, but we really need to learn to harness the power of this relationship Litmus test. Dating a book nerd is serious business, and only a fellow bibliophile can keep pace with the obscure Jane Austen references or the conversation sprinkled with the witticism of Oscar Wilde.

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5. You’ve had crushes on literary characters

Three words: Edward Fairfax Rochester. I read Jane Eyre when I was 12. Nothing seemed more romantic than a dark, brooding hero with a richly furnished mansion and a mysterious secret. Okay, so there was that tiny problem of keeping his wife locked in the attic, but a girl can make a mistake. Live and learn, and next time, choose your heroes more wisely.

6. You’re everyone’s official grammar checker

About once a week, someone asks me when and when not to use a semicolon or the difference between a run-on and a fused sentence. (They’re one and the same, by the way. You know, because you asked). It might seem tedious, but the people who make a living as professional editors probably aren’t complaining.

7. You feel you’re doing things backwards if you don’t read a book before watching its film adaptation

There is a natural order to things, and reading the book before seeing the movie is a cardinal rule of book nerds everywhere. Literary adaptations, when handled well, are often brilliant, masterful works of art in and of themselves, but some familiarity with the original story can lend greater enjoyment to the viewing experience. Not to mention, it creates fertile ground for debating such questions as the overwhelmingly unnerving presence of all of those shrunken heads in the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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8. You’ve christened your house or apartment after a famous fictional residence

I may or may not affectionately refer to my apartment as “Little Pemberley.” Perhaps it doesn’t quite measure up to the size and splendor of an estate in Derbyshire complete with Mr. Darcy, but imagination can work wonders.

9. You own multiple editions of your favorite books

Hardcover, paperback, annotated, anniversary – name it, you own it. Critical editions are your guilty pleasure with their moderately tangential footnotes and reproductions of original manuscripts in the author’s handwriting. Don’t judge.

10. You occasionally have a panic attack about dying before finishing a book

I generally make it known that I want to be buried with a book, probably Charles Dickens’s Bleak House because I’m going to need something to pass the time in purgatory. This is irrelevant, however, because I’m convinced that if I continue adding books to my “must read” list, I’m never going to die.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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