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

Facebook Twitter

YOUR PLACE OR MINE? WHAT THE CONTENTS OF YOUR BEDROOM SAY ABOUT YOU

What’s better than scoring a date with a woman? Getting her back to your place for the first time. Well actually, scoring a relationship with her would be better, but we’ll start out slowly. Baby steps.

So you’ve managed to lure her back to your lair with your smooth-talking ways, or better yet, your genuine honesty and likeable personality. But no matter – she’s there – good job. What you might not have realized is that as soon as a woman walks into your domicile, she immediately does a visual scan of the premises.

What is she looking for? Anything to give her further insight into who you are – for better or for worse. This is your chance to make a winning impression – or totally blow it – depending on the circumstances. So, a list is in order to break down the good, the bad and the you-should-probably-hide-that of what she’s thinking when analyzing your bedroom:

Cleanliness: The first thing she’ll ask herself – Is it messy? Don’t worry, most guys are messy. We can handle it. But is it reeeeeally messy? Like, she’ll be wondering if someone from Hoarders lives there messy? Oh dear, this is a problem. There’s a difference between clothes strewn about and mold growing on half-eaten snacks stuck to plates. If you can’t be bothered to at least clean up a bit before having company, we may not be inclined to visit twice.

Framed Pictures: This one’s a no-brainer. Pictures of your family? Good. Very good. Pictures of your ex? Check please! Pictures of you with your friends? This is favorable, just make sure you’re not doing anything horrifying in them. Oh, and if you have pictures of you holding babies, with children or doing anything volunteer-related, she may just sleep with you right then and there. We’re suckers for that stuff.

Bed linens: I think this one is better illustrated in photos. If you own this:

Or even this:

…if she’s like me, she’ll laugh. I think any guy who would own this is hysterical, and pretty awesome for what it’s worth. But that’s just me, and I definitely don’t represent the whole female population on that one sadly. Would I sleep with someone who owned these sheets? Probably not. And I think I DO speak for all women on that point, sorry guys.

Maybe it’s because we expect anyone who owns these sheets to also own a race car bed, a la Rick Schroder on Silver Spoons, but in general you should keep the nostalgia to a minimum.

And speaking of nostalgia…Trophies/Awards: These are great if they’re relatively recent or just for something really impressive. If your baseball team were state champions three years in a  row and you were the pitcher – even in high school – it’s still a pretty big deal. College and post-college achievements would be preferable, though.

Kindly avoid displaying things like your Perfect Attendance award from tenth grade or even your Cleanest Desk on the Sales Floor ribbon that the nice people in your office gave you last year. Award displays in general walk a fine line between being proud and narcissistic, just be careful which side of the line you’re on.

Visible Signs of Other Women: If we see any vestige of other females in your bedroom, it’s lights out – and not in a good way. Whether it’s finding discarded underthings from last week’s fling to spotting…other things (I will not elaborate, you get it), this is usually our cue to leave. Lipstick on your pillow, a number scrawled on your desk, these also fall into the same category: Thanks for playing, adios.

Speaking of women, if we spot things that are Obvious Ploys to Impress Us: rows upon rows of sneakers lined up like you’re a one-man Nike factory, a guitar that just so happens to be laying on your bed (and then you launch into a Mayer-style unplugged concert), expensive watches on display, etc., don’t think we don’t know what you’re doing there. Humility is a good thing – remember that.

And finally, your Wall Accents speak volumes. My general feeling is that men shouldn’t own posters – strike that, no one should own posters – after college. Unless you’re an extreme sports enthusiast and it’s of some snowboarder mid-insane air in some jaw-dropping stunt, it’s hard to justify. Sports are pretty much the only type of poster women would tolerate, if that. But if you display any images of scantily-clad girls, Pink Floyd album covers or Scarface imagery, you’ll probably be sleeping alone. We don’t require you to be sophisticated with your artwork (bonus points if you are!), but having a room that looks like it was decorated by Tucker Max won’t work in your favor, either.

That’s about it in terms of your boudoir, boys. I don’t want you to think that we’re constantly judging you (even though some women ARE constantly judging you), I’m just urging you to consider what impression of yourself you’re giving off to the world. No one says you have to live in Derek Jeter’s digs, just be a gentleman if you find yourself with female company. And please, whatever you do, don’t forget to make your bed.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Facebook Twitter