Lifelong Member of the Nerdy Book Club

Hi, I’m Donalyn and I’m a reader.

For most of my childhood, I felt guilty admitting I was a reader, as if I should apologize. Reading was something only nerds did, and nerds weren’t cool. I was a member of the Nerdy Book Club even then, but it was a club with only one member—me.

That’s not exactly true. In my head, the membership of the NBC was legion. But how could I explain to my school friends that I belonged to a club with Fern Arable, Claudia Kincaid, and Henry Huggins among its members?

When I was ten, I begged my mother to change my middle name, a woefully deficient “Ann” that was clearly missing a vital “e” at the end. She had never read Anne of Green Gables and didn’t understand how much I needed that “e”.

It is definitely nerdy to admit that my seventh grade (book) crush was Calvin O’Keefe from a Wrinkle in Time. Hey, Calvin, I have mousy hair and glasses, too!

Wow, I don’t think I ever told anyone that until now.

Over time, my reading community grew. I married a reader (best decision ever). We raised two daughters who like to read. I became a teacher and now spend 9 months of the year with a herd of nerdy readers in my 6th grade classroom.

I know librarians—lots of them.

I discovered scores of other nerdy readers through goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and at my school. I have met many authors—first in their books and again in person. They are superheroes to me still, just like when I was ten.

I have found a home with my fellow Nerdy Book Club members. I have built a life around my book love and it seems to be working for me. I don’t have to apologize for being a nerdy reader anymore. I revel in it now.

Welcome to the Nerdy Book Club. I was waiting for you. I know that you were waiting for me, too.

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite 2011 books for the first annual Nerdy Book Club Best Books List.

Donalyn Miller is a 6th grade language arts teacher at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, TX. She currently writes a blog, The Book Whisperer, for Education Week Teacher. Donalyn lives atop a dragon’s hoard of unread books and spends her spare time traveling, visiting old friends, and daydreaming in the pages.