Tab guide to: The worst people in the library

Rosie Brown peers over the books and realises she hates everyone.

annoying Cambridge Library people

We’ve all been there. We’ve sat down in the library only to realize we have made a massive mistake with our choice of study buddy.

But what can you do? Get straight back up? Chose a different seat, whilst knowing the offending ‘buddy’ is watching you make the walk of shame?

You should probably wait until five to the hour and then get up as if you are going to a class or lecture, but then just sneak into another seat far away. Seems legit.

To provide more procrastination on a dark, stormy day, here’s my run-down of the worst people to sit next to in the library, and tips for each kind of awful person, because they are undoubtedly reading this article (except perhaps the last one who has probably never heard of The Tab).

Gimme all the books.

The Book Hoarder

There’s always that one person in the library who has made a small fort of books around them. As though re-enacting a medieval castle scene will aid information-absorption. But why? It isn’t possible to read 20 books in one day, unless you’re going to read a couple of lines from each, and even that’s pushing it.

HOT TIP: By all means hoard all the books in the world, but make sure someone else isn’t writing exactly the same essay as you (definitely more of a problem in the early years when everyone seems to be set the same essay in the same week!)

The keyboard basher.

I have come to the conclusion that the biggest offenders in this category are those who use the elephantine computers provided by the library, or those old-fashioned windows laptops (sorry!) I think people like to show off the fact that they are writing absolutely loads, that they are completely inspired and achieving something with their day. But seriously…tap quietly.

HOT TIP: Buy a Macbook (1,000x quieter) or just take yourself to a small corner where no one can hear your offensive bashing.

The couple.

Surely you guys spent enough time snuggling last night? PDA in the library is just not cool. Well, maybe it’ cool for like one second and your heart fills with joy because there is love in the world, but then it’s definitely not ok. It’s bloody distracting, plus it makes me feel cold and bitter because  I am going to die alone.

HOT TIP: Have morning sex before you hit the library to satisfy the horn.

Lemme just enjoy my tap water which has been beautifully filtered for my pleasure.

The Slurper/ Chewer

I don’t mean a subtle chew at the back of the teeth. I’m all for a small snack in the library. In fact I live for library snacking.

I mean those people who smack their mouths wetly together with each chew revealing their mashed up Kit-Kat. I mean, haven’t you any manners? Weren’t you taught to eat with your mouths shut? We aren’t even allowed to eat in the library so at least be discreet about it! And don’t even get me started on people who can’t quietly sip their water. Slurping, glugging and just general moist sounds are just not ok when I’m trying to write about Mindfulness and Buddhism.

HOT TOP: Just buy a bottle a day and contribute to global warming. Chew with decorum. Learn some manners.

The Chronic Sniffer.

The rattley kind of sniff; at once dry and husky but at the same time oh so wet and kind of sounds like you have a whole ocean up your nostrils. I mean the odd sniff is fine, it’s a cold time of year and we all get a slight nasal drip,  but if you’re averaging 30 sniffs a minute then you have to leave.

HOT TIP: Stay in bed, work isn’t worth it.

The Smelly One. 

There’s really not much excuse for this one so I’ll keep it short. It isn’t fair to plague the public with your presence if you don’t understand personal hygiene. Being smelly is gross. If I ever find I have perspired more an average and am starting to get a bit ‘wiffy’ I extract myself form the library with immediate effect. Please do the same.

HOT TIP: Take a shower, chew chewing gum and pack extra deodorant.

The Talker. 

Look I get it. Life is interesting. There’s ALWAYS something to discuss. But libraries are there for a reason. To provide a safe haven for academic work. By all means share a small piece of gossip or ask a question about a particularly complex piece of text, but don’t sit and have a full conversation about what you and your boyf got up to last night. I don’t want to know. And neither does the rest of the library.

HOT TIP: Try to set yourself small goals, for example, ‘I won’t talk for half an hour’, and build up your self-restraint. Alternatively just learn to live without hearing the sound of your own voice once in a while.

But the WiFi is better in the library.

The Distracting One. 

It’s so annoying when people have their headphones in and they just start giggling to themselves, or worse pull off a massive ‘LOL’ moment.

If you want to watch Zoella’s latest haul video, or an episode of ‘Made in Chelsea’, why don’t you watch it whilst eating your breakfast (which you should do because it’s the most important meal of the day)

HOT TIP: Either watch your programme or browse social media before and after the library OR just train yourself to look like you’re working and learn how to laugh silently.

The One Who Works Harder Than You. 

And finally, perhaps the worst offender of them all. This person just makes you feel like a small smelly poo. You spend your whole day wishing you were as focused as them, admiring their neat notes and wondering what grades they’re receiving. Meanwhile, you’ve reached Level 123 on Candy Crush and applied for a few roles on CamDram.

HOT TIP: Carry on being awesome, but be less obvious about it.

If you do not recognise some of the above habits, then I strongly suggest you take a long look at your own library decorum.