(Meta = about, or self-referential/self-aware.)
I've written over 150 Nerd Church posts since I started this series in February 2015.
Yes. That's how long ago I started Nerd Church.
(Please don't look at those first posts... it's not good! 😅)
It was one of the first features on this blog - and honestly, it surprised me, when I looked back over my posts, that it was that long ago.
In my head I started this like... a few months ago - not over 3 YEARS ago!
I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I started Nerd Church.
(Much like starting this blog tbh, but moving on...)
I had some vague notion of wanting to talk about life and the world around me via the lens of nerd and pop culture.
I literally called it: 'a small weekly space of deep thinking for the nerd community.'
See? I had no f**king clue what I was talking about.
(Kind of like now, except in the halcyon days of pre-2016...)
I also sounded a little pretentious which... I don't like coming over as pretentious.
If you know me at all, my dear nerdlets, you know that I work v. hard to be as genuine as possible online. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't *shrugs* - them's the breaks!
Since I started back then I've talked about anything and everything that I felt I needed, or wanted, to talk about:
politics, human rights, equality, mental health, personal beliefs, and any other random thing that popped into my head (including my favourite Welsh-language songs!)
And somehow... you like it?
Like, when I ask what people like about Dora Reads, the answer usually involves Nerd Church in some way.
And while that's amazing and deeply, deeply, flattering, it does leave me with a bit of a conundrum.
...What does it mean, for me, as a book blogger, if the posts everyone loves are my non-bookish posts?
(Yes, I'm aware that I've written a few book/reading-related Nerd Church posts over the years, but they're largely in the minority for this feature/series/whatever-we're-calling-it.)
Like, I overthink things a lot, I know, but is this a sign that I should be a more general/lifestyle blogger?!
Maybe... but I don't think so.
Lemme tell you why.
The way I see it, it's not possible to be a book blogger without talking about other stuff.
Because books aren't generally about reading (although, I have read some good books about books!)
They're about people, lives, families, countries, cultures, magic... you name it, somewhere there's a book about it.
Books are about life.
Books are the filter through which we interpret the world around us.
(Sorry if I sound pretentious, but I do honestly believe this - promise!)
Books are a fantastic medium for capturing pieces of life, examining the world we live in, and perpetuating the life of the ideas, dreams, and journeys, of all us hooman beans.
To talk about books is to talk about life.
(I was raised by hippies. I can't help it.)
Basically, it's not possible to split art (in this case, books,) from the world in which it was created.
And as a reviewer, it's not really possible for me to entirely separate the book from my perception of the world.
Likewise, books shape the way we think about the world - along with other media like films, TV, YouTube, etc.
What we read and what we think about is our way of 'reading' the world. And it's a feedback loop of a sort - what is existent in turn plays a part in what will exist, e.g., what we'll create.
Of course, then there's the other side to Nerd Church - I really want you all to have the information you need for this weird world we live in.
So, yeah, I damn well want to put forward my political views... but I also wanna help you take care of yourselves, and to think about the world around us.
Because I think we all need lessons on how to think differently every now and then.
Maybe I'm not the most qualified for that, but I'm hardly the least qualified person spouting advice and opinions over the internet either!
I'm really hoping that you at least half-understand what I'm talking about, and why I feel like Nerd Church and Dora Reads are totally compatible moving forward.
I don't know, maybe this entire post comes across as me rationalising - which I'm not gonna deny, I kinda am - but I think it's also important to kinda take stock every so often, y'know?
So I think that there's a place in the book-blogging world for a little Nerd Church. Maybe you don't agree, but then, I've always been something of a Bookish Rebel. 😎
Recent Nerd Church posts: