I am teaching an undergraduate reading seminar this semester and got a thrill Monday evening while reading one of the assignments for the class. It was the type of article that actually gave me an adrenalin rush as I thought to myself - 'Damn, this is brilliant.' I even went into class the next day and told my students about how a specific part of the article had 'Knocked me out of my chair.' A few of the nodded... they had apparently gotten the same rush.
Now that I am thinking back on it, however, I can't decide how geeky it is get such a physical reaction from reading a piece of non-fiction. Of course, geeky or not the real sad part is that it happens so rarely. I remember only a few other times when I've read something so illuminating that it actually made me sit up straighter and feel more alive.
Don't get me wrong, I've read lots of history articles that I agreed with, found interesting, and thought were well written. But this is something different.... maybe more primal. This is the feeling that drew me into the discipline (although at the time I was getting that feeling from lectures by my undergrad professors). And it is definitely a feeling that keeps me motivated to do additional reading and research. I just wish it wasn't so rare.