I’m a geek, but love books first and foremost (# 1)


This is the first in a series of posts [1], [2], [3] that explain just how much I love reading, especially books. I’m a technologist, a digital media consumer, a gamer – but first and foremost, a reader. I often feel the need to justify this love, being involved in an industry that’s undergoing great changes – and being, to some, a representative of the great Disruption.

Getting lost and finding books

A book on Southern African Wildlife, by the Reader's Digest Association

I was a rather curious/busy kid, which meant I often got lost in shopping centres or other public places. On one such occasion, my parents exhausted most shops a typical parent of a 4/5-year old boy would: toy shops, pet shops, sweet shops or a local game arcade (though at that time most ‘arcades’ were in corner cafés, not malls).

They eventually found me in a local news agency – browsing through the Reader’s Digest Guide to Southern African Wildlife. Unable to read properly yet, I was still adamant that I wanted this book more than anything else.

A book on Southern African Wildlife, by the Reader's Digest Association

Based on the date of publication, I must’ve received that copy after I turned seven, so I don’t think this is the actual copy I was reading as a toddler. Still, it was such a striking thing to my parents that the story is mentioned quite often during family occasions.

22 years later, I saw it again in my parents’ library and decided to take it home. This book remains a cherished object.

My mom also recalls me getting lost at some party, at age three. There was an open pool – among other sources of panic – so a search party was organized. My bawling, terror-stricken mom eventually found me lying behind a covered table paging through magazines.

Asterix and Obelix and onomatopoeia

One of my fondest reading-related memories was when I was about 5. My sister and mom were doing onomatopoeia exercises for her English homework (we spoke Afrikaans at home).

They got stuck on the sound a donkey makes. I recall looking up from my book and answering :”A donkey brays”. They were quite surprised to know I knew this – but I wasn’t. I had read it in an Asterix and Obelix novel a few days earlier!

There are many more stories like these I recall from my youth – and which I hope to share. I’ve loved the written word since I laid eyes on it.


2 thoughts on “I’m a geek, but love books first and foremost (# 1)

  1. I remember asking my Dad to buy me those Dinosaur books/magazines when they went on sale around 1993. I was 6 years old. I had a dream to be an Archaeologist but after playing Final Fantasy VII I wanted to create CGI movies.

  2. Pingback: I’m a geek, but love books first and foremost (# 2) « E-reading, virtual worlds and HCI

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