When I was a kid, being a nerd (and boy, was I ever a nerd) was about loving a lot of different weird stuff.
That’s it. You just went out there and loved stuff. The concept of nerd culture wasn’t formed enough “a thing” to do anything else.
You’d find things — in the back of book stores, in the bargain bin at K-Mart, in the musty halls of the Compleat Strategist on 33rd (yes, that’s how you spell it). Things no one else knew about.
Finding such things was like capturing some special kind of wildlife. Something you’d bring back in a box and take care of and study and take notes on. If you met like-minded people, you’d bring it out, you’d show it to them. Sometimes you’d even lend it to them.