People watching in the library

AKA every type of person you’ll see in there


Libraries are fantastic places to people-watch. When the going gets tough, just sit back in your chair, and take in the vibes of communal despair. If someone catches your eye, don’t worry – it probably means they’re doing the same thing.

So here are my observations. I present to you a comprehensive list of every type of person you are likely to encounter…

The heavy typer

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In his own little world.

First of all, chill out mate. You sound very, very angry. Find another outlet to vent your frustrations.

Second, please consider the impact of your actions on others. Actions speak louder than words, and by actions I mean the sound of your aggressive typing is stopping me from processing the words on the page in front of me.

The aesthetic one

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A true inspiration.

Silver MacBook, coffee in hand, round glasses, edgy haircut, edgy clothes, flawless makeup, sitting cross-legged on their chair… you know the type. They always look so. Put. Together.

And then there’s the rest of us with our chunky Lenovo laptops, midweek hangovers, baggy trackies, purple rings under our eyes and manspreading tendencies.

It’s no wonder we all feel somewhat inadequate in comparison.

The hungover one

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Same.

This will probably apply to about half the people in the library, to varying degrees. It is most likely a Thursday.

They will be attempting to do work. Or, at least, attempting to give off the impression they’re doing work. They will almost definitely be wondering why on earth they bothered to come in – they should have stayed in bed a bit longer and got five hours sleep instead of three.

They will be knocking back coffee by the gallon. Their head will likely be obscured by a hood or a cap pulled low over their face. They will probably have a book open in front of them, but won’t turn a single page for the duration of their time in the library.

Bonus points if they might fall asleep on the desk.

The loud eater

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Crisps are definitely the worst offender.

That crunch as you bite into your first crisp may be satisfying to you, but it’s extremely grating for the rest of us, I’m afraid.

Are you oblivious to the disapproving frowns of everyone else in the room who is judging you? Do you realise how loud you’re being? Are you aware you are behaving in contravention of the numerous signs around the room instructing you not to eat in the library?

Evidently not.

The annoyingly focused person

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Obviously aesthetic girl is also focused.

So you’re sitting opposite someone. They’re typing furiously, referring back to an open book every couple of minutes. They have their headphones in, and a determined expression on their face. They’re absolutely in the zone.

You keep glancing over at them to see if their focus breaks, to see if they’re truly human and not secretly a study machine. Their unwavering commitment to whatever evidently fascinating piece of work they’re doing makes you realise just how slow and unproductive you’re being as you trudge your way through your essay.

The procrastinator

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The temptation is too hard to resist.

Procrastinators are incredibly amusing to observe. (The irony, of course, is that people-watching is also a common form of procrastination.)

Procrastinators spend more time looking at memes on their phone than the book they’re supposed to be reading. They will send countless snapchats to their friends complaining about how bored they are. Facebook will be permanently open in another tab. As will Buzzfeed. They will almost definitely be clutching a coffee, and will probably proceed to go and buy another one, just to pass some more time. They will spend long periods of time gazing into space, because doing absolutely nothing is somehow more interesting than getting on with your essay.

This probably rings uncomfortably true with most of us.