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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 December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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