Books Made Me A Nerd
I was always the nerd at school because I was the one who loved books.
I loved sitting and reading, writing my own stories, and going into English lessons. I hated PE, Art and IT. So I never really fitted in right from the beginning of secondary school.
My secondary school’s library was my favourite place to spend my time. I was an introvert all the way up until my last year, and the library was my little bubble of protection. My older sister used to sit in there with her friends at dinner time and break, so I would join her when I had no friends. This turned out to be a social-life killer. I didn’t have many friends before, but then spending my time in the library made sure that I wouldn’t ever have many friends.
I was labelled as a nerd. I was a nerd because in my head, books were better than people. The librarian was a better friend than any of mine could be. And to be honest, I would rather be sat inside and warm on my dinner than wandering around aimlessly outside.
But why was I labelled as a nerd? And this is something I’ve always been curious about – why do kids hate the kids who like reading?
I’m not sure there is one answer to that.
Reading has almost always been the ‘uncool’ thing to do in schools. I feel that maybe it’s because bookishness is related to being educated, and nobody in schools ever likes the clever one in the class. And I hated that people judged me for being bookish. I entertained myself with books when at the same time the rest of the people I went to school with entertained themselves with the latest funny video or gossip going around the school.
I always made myself believe that they thought I was uncool just because I had a hobby and they wished that they could have one. It’s one of those things in school – you put any bullying down to jealousy. But now, I feel like it may be because I never explained myself to anyone. I stayed quiet when I should have explained to them why I loved books and why I chose to spend all of my free time in the library.
Things changed though. Things changed because I found out that I wasn’t actually alone. The librarian started up a book club – an after school club that I eventually ended up volunteering to run after I had left the school. I met people who loved books as much as me, as well as people who wanted to be able to love books. We read books together, played games, and had a good natter.
To quote Matilda when she discovers a comforting world inside books, ‘you are not alone.’ I was no longer the bookish nerd that everyone avoided. There was a group of us who became close friends just through our social outcast status and our love for books.
Being the nerd at school, or even in life, is never a bad thing. You do what you want to do, no matter the labels. If you love reading, carry on reading even if you face the bullying that comes along with it. Nobody can steal your happiness from you, so keep going.
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Until next time ❣