Tips on how to spend your spring break nerd-style

At the Library: Keri Mills

By A Contributor

For those of you lucky enough to get a few days off from work or school, spring break is a great time to relax with a stack of books or have a movie marathon. Why not celebrate your inner nerd by focusing on techie books or movies?

There are many great techie books out there but here are a few of my recent favorites:

•Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One”

It is the year 2044, and the world is a pretty bleak place. Like many others, Wade Watts prefers to spend the majority of his time in the virtual reality world of OASIS, rather than his poverty-stricken real world. For years, Wade and countless others have been searching OASIS for hidden clues that will lead to the billions of dollars amassed by the late OASIS creator, James Halliday.

To find the clues, Wade has immersed himself in the life of Halliday, including his obsession with 80s pop culture. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, suddenly the whole world is watching him and Wade realizes that some will stop at nothing, including murder, to be the first to find Halliday’s fortune. If you grew up in the 80s, this book is particularly enjoyable, since it is filled with references to video games, movies, TV and music from the 80s.

•Daniel Wilson, “Robopocalypse”

Set in the near future, this chilling read recounts the history of a massive war between machines and humans. Dr. Wasserman has created an artificial intelligence named Archos who finds a way to kill off his creator and begin his plan to destroy humankind from the earth. Archos slowly takes control of machines all over the world, including toys, factory equipment, domestic service robots, cars and military equipment.

Few humans notice until it is too late. By then, Archos has launched a full-scale coordinated attack all over the world. Millions are killed instantly and human annihilation seems likely. Be aware that reading this could lead to significant paranoia!

•Conor Kostick, “Epic”

Welcome to a planet where violence has been banned and disputes are settled in the fantasy computing game, Epic. Status and wealth are also dependent upon winning in the gaming world. Things seem to be running along smoothly, until Erik’s dad is unfairly punished by the Central Allocations committee that rules the entire planet.

Erik and his friends embark on a quest to bring an end to Epic but must face dangers within Epic and in the real world. This book is great for middle school grades and older. After you read it yourself, share it with your teens.

If you need a break from reading, check out some movies. Revisit one of these classic techie movies:


In a future world, Sam Lowry, a bureaucrat, tries to correct an administrative error and inadvertently becomes entangled in a revolution.

•“Blade Runner”

Deckard is a blade runner, a cop who tracks down replicants (human clones) and terminates them. He comes out of retirement to track down four replicants who have escaped from an off-world colony and returned to earth.


A cyborg is sent from the future to find and kill Sarah Connor, whose son will grow up to lead humanity in a war against machines.

•“2001: A Space Odyssey”

Humans find a mysterious artifact buried on the moon. With the intelligent computer HAL 9000, they set off on a quest to Jupiter to try to find the source of the artifact.

Or, try a newer techie movie like one of these:

•“The Social Network”

This is the story of how Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student at the time, who created Facebook and became the youngest billionaire in history.

•“Star Trek” (2009)

Newly commissioned James T. Kirk and his crew of the USS Enterprise head to Vulcan when an emergency arises. Watch this before “Star Trek Into Darkness” comes out in theaters in May.

•“The Prestige”

At the end of the nineteenth century in London, two famous rival magicians battle it out to be the greatest, which results in tragic consequences.

All of these techie books and movies can be found at Manhattan Public Library.

Be sure to check out the techie books display in the young adult area for other great techie reads.

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