NERD-STALGIA: HMM…BOOKS? NEVER HEARD OF ‘EM.

Is nothing sacred anymore? After hearing yesterday’s shocking news that the folks at Encyclopedia Britannica will be ending their print edition (insert sad trombone noise here), I was struck by two things. First, the overwhelming nostalgia-slash-am-I-getting-that-old? sense that settles in when we realize something in our lifetime has come and gone already. Secondly, I, like most other people, wondered out loud, “Wait, they were still making those?!” Whoa. Mind Blown.

But, much like other things that confound (why do they still print phone books? does anybody ever really use payphones anymore? and on and on), one thing was pretty clear. Women – at least this woman – loves books, bookshelves, and guys who own them.

No, you don’t need to go out and buy a monocle and start wearing elbow patches, but guys who read – and keep – books are charming in an old fashioned way. So, the only acceptable thing to do now is to highlight some of the volumes that would impress us if we were ever to walk into your apartment and find that glorious piece of furniture known as the bookshelf. Hey, you can tell a lot about a man from what he reads (or doesn’t). And if you own these, you’re already ahead of the game.

The Classics - I don’t mean this in a run-out-and-buy-every-leather-bound-edition-by Fitzgerald-Tolstoy-Twain-or-Hemingway” kind of way. I just mean that, if you happen to have kept your high school edition of “Catcher in the Rye,” tattered pages and all, that’s kind of endearing. Sadly, Cliffs Notes don’t have the same effect, sorry boys.

Biographies - Whether it’s about Steve Jobs, Keith Richards, or Abraham Lincoln (bet you’d never see those three next to each other in a sentence), reading about other people’s lives is fascinating. Just as long as it’s not the biography of Osama bin Laden or Hitler. Those are less charming.

Interests/Hobbies - If we see a few titles about mountain biking, shipwrecks, punk rock pioneers or even green architecture, it’s a good sign. It means that your life isn’t just about work. Women love a well-rounded man, in the mind, not the midsection.

Nostalgia - There is nothing sexier than a man who hung onto a book that he used to read with his parents, or to that faded copy of “The Giving Tree” or “Peter Pan” from childhood. *Miss Wingman note: This is not to be confused with actually being a Peter Pan, we find enough guys with that syndrome on our own, thankyouverymuch.

Sports - Whether you read about legendary surfers, the Ali/Frazier rivalry or Murderers’ Row, books about sports are awesome. So much so that sometimes even girls read them, too. Just don’t own anything about cockfighting or elephant tusk poaching, that’s a little too intense for most of us.

Think Pieces - Whether it’s oft-read titles like “The Tipping Point,” “Outliers” or even “Freakonomics,” books that get your mind going are a solid choice. Both for displaying and for actually reading, should you be so inclined. I’m not saying to shun fiction, I’m just saying that sometimes examining how and why we think a certain way is sexy. In more ways than one.

And that’s about it. Obviously it’s not a complete list, you can add your own personal favorites like that riveting Tucker Max compilation (I own his books, I can make fun), or political manifestos like “Game Change.” (Nothing by Sarah Palin, obviously). Or even photography books if that’s what you’re into – not to be confused with picture books. It would be nice if you had more than a third grade reading comprehension level.

But whatever pages you prefer to peruse, sometimes it’s best to ditch the e-readers and go old school. Even if you didn’t jump on the encyclopedia bandwagon before it was too late, you can still impress us with your book smarts. Just remember, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but women can’t promise to always say the same in return.GEEK WINGMAN

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THE BOYFRIEND’S GUIDE TO TELEVISION: ROUND 2 – THE BACHELOR

The last time we met, I took you through the finer points of the male-repellent Fox hit “Glee.” This time around, gentlemen, I promise that your girlfriend/wife-inflicted television torture won’t involve any singing or dancing…at least not intentionally, we hope.

Since this round of pop culture Cliffs Notes has to do with latest installment of “The Bachelor” (therefore no real plot, per say), I’ll instead provide you with five handy phrases to make her think you were paying attention. Then you’re free to send out “SOS” texts to your buddies on the sly.

Hear that? That’s the sound of your single friends NOT envying your life. Sorry, I had to, it was too easy…

For what it’s worth, being forced to watch whining, weeping girls (albeit hot ones) last night when you should’ve been watching the LSU/’Bama game is grounds for a break up, in this girl’s opinion. But, if you were watching Ben and his harem instead, you were probably thinking more WTF than BCS, and sorry to hear it, boys.

Key phrase 1: No matter what girl she’s talking about being a head case, regardless of the episode, just say, “That’s nothing! No one could ever be as crazy as that Jenna blogger girl. I’m so glad he got rid of her.” *Miss Wingman note – thanks for making us all look bad, Jenna, you just made me want to give up writing and my other X chromosome. Nice work!

Key phrase 2: If she asks what girl you think Ben will end up with, you say, “The really hot one (who’s name is Courtney, btw). He’ll ignore how mean-spirited she is because she’s a model. Guys are helpless to such power,” and then quickly assure her that she’s much prettier than Courtney. And a much better person. Chances are you’ll be 50% right.

Key phrase 3: If she says anything about Ben’s hair, just say, “It’s a good thing he has that going for him. And the wine thing, too, because he’s turning out to be one of the worst Bachelors they’ve ever had.” Sorry, Ben, sad but true. I used to be a fan…

Key phrase 4: If she says anything about the two girls who pretty much swapped teams on the first episode, nearly falling in love with each other instead of the Bachelor, just say, “Whatever, I support it. I’d rather see them in a relationship together than with Ben, he’s too boring.”

And finally, Key phrase 5: No matter what girl she’s talking about, whether it’s during a rose ceremony, group date, etc. if she asks you anything – any question at all – just say, “I’m sorry what? I didn’t hear you, I was too distracted by Blakeley’s boobs.” I know you’re thinking that will make your woman mad (or make you look like a pig) but trust me, it won’t. I’m not even into breasts and even I can’t look away, it’s borderline uncomfortable.

The only other things you should know about this season are that the girl who rode in on the horse the first night and the model hate each other, everyone hates the girl who brought her grandma onto the show, and Chris Harrison and Ben keep dressing alike. That’s it, in a nutshell. But if I were you I’d make a point of being conspicuously absent on Monday nights (read: watching football/basketball/hockey somewhere far away) to preserve what little testosterone you have left. And for that, you have ABC to thank.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

Have a show you’d like me to decode? I take requests! Misswingman@gmail.com, get involved.

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