BLOG The Age Of The Geek

With so much great genre content to choose from, reader blogger Stacey Whittle doesn’t know how best to spend her precious time…

I am now in my mid-thirties and something strange has begun to happen to me: I find it harder and harder to try new things, particularly in books and television.

I have a lot of stuff and I like it. I like my books and my boxsets that I like rereading and rewatching. It isn’t that I’ve stopped buying new things altogether, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought a book by an author I don’t already read, or watched a series or film by a writer or director I don’t already admire.

We are in a golden age of geekdom. Geek is chic, we aren’t shunned by the cool kids – we are the cool kids. There is a plethora of new and exciting telly and storytelling and we are awash with choice; as fans we’ve never had it so good or so plentiful.

And maybe that’s the problem for me: choice, coupled with the on-demand nature of our lifestyles these days. Can you remember the last time you watched something when it was actually on? I can actually! It was the Torchwood: Children Of Earth series that was on nightly for a week. It was an event, and though it had flaws, it made me watch live television. An exciting breathless wait: I miss that, anticipating that Tuesday night is Red Dwarf night or whatever.

I think also as I age, time becomes such a precious commodity; with two children and work plus the many commitments that are part of being a flipping grown up, I really am picky about what I invest my time in. I think, “Shall I watch this lauded new American TV show or shall I wait a few weeks and see what the reviews say?” Or, “Shall I see if the bleeding thing is cancelled during the first series before I grant it my attention?” And the downside to that is, even if it gets rave reviews I may well have forgotten about it – or let too much time pass so I can’t easily get hold of the thing.

It’s exactly the same thing with books. “I have a limited amount of money. Shall I try that new book with the ever-so-pretty cover? Or will I pick up the latest by my favourite author who hasn’t let me down yet?” I used to think naught of pulling down a telephone directory-sized book, which is part one of seven, and diving right in. I enjoyed it; I used to love exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new authors to lavish my time upon.

If you ask me about my favourite programmes and authors I will give you a list identical to one five years ago. Or even ten years ago. Where has all my time and excitement and daring gone? I have become a safe geek. A tried-and-true only girl.

I can absolutely see the reasons why I do it, why this whole piece so far has been a giant justification for my terrifying and mortifying staidness, but how to get out of this hole? If I take on more shows or books then how will I find time to edit my podcast, read things for review or write these blogs? How can I even think about putting together another comic book or shout from the rooftops about the wonders of the UK indie press scene? These are things I love doing.

So how do you choose? How do you decide what to read and what to watch and when to fit it all in? Help me you geeks – you’re my only hope!

Stacey Whittle

Stacey Whittle is one of our reader bloggers . SFX would humbly suggest that the best place to start for recommendations and ideas on where to invest your time is SFX (opens in new tab) magazine (opens in new tab) ‘s Rated section. For other suggestions about how to decide where to focus your attention, please comment below or on our forum .

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