Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture” as Want to Read:
Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,467 ratings  ·  208 reviews

Computer nerds are our titans of industry; comic-book superheroes are our Hollywood idols; the Internet is our night on the town. Clearly, geeks know something about life in the 21st century that other folks don’t—something we all can learn from. Geek Wisdom takes as gospel some 200 of the most powerful and oft-cited quotes from movies (“
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Quirk Books (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Geek Wisdom, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Geek Wisdom

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams1984 by George Orwell
Best books for geeks
201 books — 235 voters
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RiggsHollow City by Ransom RiggsWilliam Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian DoescherHorrorstör by Grady HendrixWilliam Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
Quirk Books
153 books — 82 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,467 ratings  ·  208 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nov 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be far more amusing. It takes itself far too seriously. I don't really need the quotes of my generation and my culture explained to me in black and white. I doubt that anyone not embedded in this culture would find it in interesting enough to pursue. This book feels pretentious.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books where I often found myself thinking "I wish I had written that." It is a collection of quotes mostly from popular cultures, science fiction,and fantasy books, movies, and video games that most fans of the genre know. With each quote is an explanation of what those quotes mean in a larger context. This book is likely to do a number of things: provoke many arguments among fans of each of the entries, lead to late night dorm room discussions, and make a lot of people thin ...more
else fine
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm not going to finish this. I'm not actually sure where I put it. I didn't particularly like or dislike it. It was enjoyable for a few minutes, but didn't have much substance. Segal's tone was a little wary, which I thought gave the book a tinge of defensiveness and a little too much detachment, but who can blame him? No geek wants to discuss Geekdom with normal people within earshot, not really. And if this book fails to give an accurate depiction of the sincere and deeply held ethical belief ...more
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'll admit, I was intrigued when I saw the title and description of this book on I'm very much a geek, and anything including the pop culture references with which I am intimately familiar must be worth investigating.
Yes, it was worth investigating, but it wasn't what I expected. To tell truth, I'm not sure what exactly I DID expect - perhaps a collection of quotes, where they came from, some humorous anecdote - but what I got was a very in-depth, sometimes stretched, application
Zain Hashmy
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
After a few heavy reads, this book seemed ideal to relax with. As I guessed, it was light reading, with pop-culture and science fiction references all over the place. It's a very short read, but the writing style is just right, it never takes itself too seriously or goes into being too preachy.

Simply put, this book is a small collection of quotes and references from all of Geekdom, ranging from Terminator to Doctor Who to the famous "Leeroy Jenkins" from World of Warcraft. Those quotes have been
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A life manual based on nerdy quotes that is surprisingly profound. I felt in-the-know when I knew the quotes, and educated when I didn't. Geeks are definitely my people, and those who love them should read this, too, for insight into the geek personality. The footnotes, index, and up-to-the-minute trivia are amazing. If nothing else, I am convinced that I need to get acquainted with Dr. Who, which is mentioned about 627 times.

Favorite bits:

"What is religion?...It's a framework of ideas -- a bod
Oct 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I only got 23 pages into the book + a full-book-skimming before giving up. I couldn't figure out who the intended audience was (it's not me, though) - was this written for people who are confused by geeks and nerds and want to know why they quote the things they quote? Was it written as a geek reflection, opening the door to a more thorough understanding of why geeks and nerds are the way they are? Whatever it was, I didn't feel the title matched the content; this was not a collection of sacred ...more
Aaron Maurer
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This is a great read to have on your bedside or bathroom or in your work bag. It is not one of those books where you sit down on page 1 and just read straight through. I found myself bouncing around finding a quote that struck a chord with me and then reading the short essay.

This book will be in my collection and will be read over the course of a long time. Not because it is bad, but because I will read at moments when I just need some good old geek talk. I really liked reading the various quote
The Sacred Teachings of the Nerd Culture: Really what more needs saying- snippets of our favorite movies, comix, and novels are blazed across the top of each page with a bit of back story or commentary supporting it.
From Jefferson to Darth Vadar; Vonnegut to Wolverine pithy statements that evoke pondering or a smile. Fun.
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
“Computer nerds are our titans of industry; comic-book superheros are our Hollywood idols; the Internet is our night on the town…Yes, this collection of min-essays is by, for, and about geeks—but it’s just so surprisingly profound, the rest of us would have to be dorks not to read it. So say we all.”

Finally, a book of witticisms and wisdom for those of us who grew up entrenched in science fiction, computers, robotics, and so much more. “Geeks are passionate fans of stuff, and particularly of stu
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: geekdom, philosophy
I picked this book up in the humor section of my local Barnes & Noble. But, in reading it, I found it grossly misfiled. This collection of various pop culture quotes from everything from movies to books to historical figures is not just a collection of cool quotes (which it is). It is an exploration of what exactly these quotes actually mean, exploring the meta-meanings very profoundly, revealing the deeper meanings of statements which everyone, geek or not, has heard in their lives. I often ...more
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I’m kind of glad I read this but I’m also kind of glad I didn’t pay for it. This book is basically made up of well known sayings from nerd culture and each has a little paragraph of wisdom relating to each quote. It’s an interesting read but don’t pay full price for it.
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. My family and I have been ripping this book out of each others hands and reading aloud from it. My teen son loved it so much that he bought a copy to give as a birthday gift to another teen!! What teenager gives BOOKS as presents!?
Aug 07, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I only got about 20% of the way through this book before dumping it. I was hoping for more thoughtful essays, but instead I got little blurbs about iconic geek quotes that I’ve figured out for myself. I just don’t feel like skimming through the ebook version to find something deeper, which is why I gave up so quickly. I only picked it up because NK Jemisin was listed as one of the writers, but as far as I could tell, none of the chapters have writer names on it, so I couldn’t even look for her s ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I like the premise of this, and some of the short essays, but I had qualms about the broad use of a supposed dichotomy "we" meaning "Geeks" and everyone else who just doesn't understand. I preferred the selections that focused on what a particularl quote says about humanity rather than geekdom.

I kept thinking of a line from a song by the band We're About 9. The song is called "Human Experience" the line is "if the nerd is still the odd man out / then it's cool to be a hypocrite." We can apply t
Rick Giles
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun little book of inspiration and support for all of the geeks who love sci-fi, fantasy, and pop culture. It doesn't say we will rule the world, but it does let us know we can happily exist on it.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One line in Geek Wisdom sums up my childhood, my teens and my twenties: "Sometimes it's hard to accept one's inner weirdo."

Geek Wisdom brought back memories of forgotten moments in my life; I didn't expect the trip down memory lane but was grateful for it. It reminded me of books and movies I want to revisit. The book also introduced me to some bits of geek culture that I missed somehow.

It's impossible for a book like this to cover all available material out there. I'm hoping for another volume
Nov 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Facts about me: my water bottle and lunchbox have Superman logos on them; I've read the Lord of the Rings trilogy about a dozen times, and have seen the movies about thirty times each; for my birthday this year I got a plastic Captain America shield; about fifty percent of the daily blogs I read are tech blogs and I'm not in the tech industry. In short, I am a geek, which is why I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. The book is essentially a series of short (VERY short) musings about ident ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Copy received through the Goodreads First Reads program.

If you're a geek, you probably enjoy quotes. If you're an especially nerdy kind of geek, you might like your quotes annotated. If you're beyond that (like me), you will certainly enjoy that many of the quotes in Geek Wisdom also have footnotes.

This handy, pocket-size volume claims to explore the wisdom to be found in the holy texts of geekdom. Never fear--said explorations are bite-sized, keeping to a single page. Inside, you'll find a bit
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
Think of every great geek movie quote ever (well at least through 2010 when this book was published). And consider what it's meant to you. Why might you toss it into a conversation, dare to utter it during an important presentation, call upon its sentiments in your hour of need? That's what this book does--in a tongue-in-cheek yet serious manner, finds the wisdom even as it laughs at such phrases as (if you can't finish the quotes, you probably wouldn't like this book...) "By Grabthar's Hammer.. ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Geek Wisdom is a collection of mini-essays that expand on, interpret, comment upon, and philosophise about, some of the most well-known quotes from movies, television shows, literature, games, science, the internet etc. Some essays are humorous, most are profound, and as a collection, I’m sure that they all speak to our inner nerd.
The fact that most of these quotations are now a part of everyday pop-culture says it all - maybe "the geek shall inherit the Earth". So get your geek on and read thi
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*Goodreads Giveaway*
This is a great book that anyone who considers themselves a "geek" will love. The quotes are pulled together, in an enjoyable way, from all sorts of sources (cartoons, sci-fi, movies, comicbooks, etc.) The writing is witty and humorous. Where else can you find quotes from The Kids in the Hall, Firefly, Simpsons, Star Wars, and Clue? The insight that is shed on every quote is wonderful. I recommend Geek Wisdom to anyone (self-proclaimed geek or not) and would make a perfect gi
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
I picked this up on a whim while at the library, and I still don't know why. The authors take a defensive tone in some of the short blurbs and that really turned me off. I don't feel the need to self proclaim myself as a "geek," I am a person who happens to like geeky things. So maybe I am not the intended audience. The section on the universe also made me slightly uncomfortable because many of the snippets were written with a bend towards atheism and its superiority to religious belief.
Irene McHugh
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A perfect read for those times when you're too tired or too busy to read a chapter of another book. Each page has a geek quote like "As you wish," "I find your lack of faith disturbing," or "I have been, and always shall be, your friend" from books, movies, video games, comics, and the Internet. I usually only read a few pages at a time because I liked thinking about the points Segal made with his analysis of each quote. Definitely going to have to read this book again to absorb even more.
Cameron Meiswinkel
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I consider myself a partial geek. I certainly contain geek DNA. And though I did not get every reference this book talked about, it wasn't truly necessary that I did. The author took an interesting idea and executed it wonderfully. Life themes are exemplified through our favorite childhood movies, books, and comics, and Geek Wisdom lays them out in a nice, neat format.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. Poignant, brutally honest, moving. Supposed to be a quick fun read, which is definitely is, but it also makes a lot of very good observations about the world we live in and the way we interact with one another. By far the best book I've read in a long time!
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This was not the book I was looking for. But . . . it ended up speaking to me in a sort of spiritual way the author promised in the introduction. If you are a geek, you will know the lines and enjoy the life lesson/interpretation/laugh.
Lady Lioness
I loved this book. As I was reading it, I kept wanting to revisit some of the quoted source material, like Ghostbusters. The little footnotes were hysterical. I'm buying a copy for myself & I think this would make a great stocking stuffer for the geek in your life.
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lots of food for thought. Not nearly as self-congratulatory as I expected. Anyone who considers "geek" and related cultures as part of their identity should find at least a few insights here.
Ben Truong
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture is an anthology of essays edited by Stephen H. Segal and focused on the pearls of wisdom that anyone could learn from geek culture. It is a collection of approximately two hundred mini-essays from five different contributors, who are notables in geek culture.

For the most part, I rather liked most of the contributions in this anthology. It takes approximately two hundred of the most powerful and oft-cited quotes from films, television, literature,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Geeks' Guide to World Domination: Be Afraid, Beautiful People
  • Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction
  • The Geek Atlas
  • Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
  • Niubi!: The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School
  • Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America
  • Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction
  • Don't Be That Guy: A Collection of 60 Annoying Guys We All Know and Wish We Didn't
  • She's Such a Geek!: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff
  • How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture
  • Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008
  • Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside
  • Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S.
  • Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullshit
  • mental floss presents Instant Knowledge (Collins Gem)
  • What Language Is: And What It Isn't and What It Could Be
  • Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
See similar books…
“Luckily, growing up "unfinished" can make geeks the very best people to guide and nurture the next generation of outsiders: We know you don't have to be finished to be awesome.” 18 likes
“Why do women love The Princess Bride so much? Here's a thought: because its hero, Westley, is able to simultaneously fill the roles of dashing romantic adventurer and seriously devoted (maybe even borderline henpecked) fiance.” 11 likes
More quotes…