Deadline season: this is not a hotel

There should be a special circle in hell reserved for people that nap in the library.

Forum library library napping reserved seats Sleeping the tab the tab exeter University of Exeter

It’s the end of term, deadlines are mounting, and revision lectures have piled up a high list of expected learning outcomes. It’s a stressful time of year and understandably library attendance swells as Exeter’s populus struggle to get everything done in time and ahead of their looming flights to St Anton, or whatever the rest of you plan on doing with your holiday.

We’ve all been there – rattling away on the keyboard trying to string coherent, relevant sentences together, even though you’re still hungover as dick from last night and all that jager has started flushing through you as if your liver is running a bath. You’d rather be in bed, and I can sympathise.

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Sleeping Beauty has no idea what’s coming for her

However, today I was confronted with a pretty rank evil, with which I am sure by now the majority of you are already familiar with. I stroll into +1 after lunch to take up my usual throne (you know the one; table full of stellar broads and me). Surprisingly though, not only had someone had the cheek to contravene established library protocol and move all of my stuff, but the sod was also asleep in my seat: ‘Goldilocks and the 3 wake-the-fuck-up.’

I had half a mind to wake him up to dutifully remind him that this isn’t a fucking hotel, before I realised I was late for a meeting anyway, and so had to leave in a huff.

My story, I’ve decided, can’t be an isolated case, and the more I think about it, the more I realise how common library napping is. As phenomena go, it’s certainly not new, but that doesn’t make it any less unacceptable.

I could understand in the case of an all-nighter when the libe is pretty empty. But this is the middle of the day in the peak of D-lines, and that was a primetime, real-estate desk that I had arrived early in the day to secure, à la stereotypical holidaying Germans with their sunbeds.

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The delicate ecosystem of silent study

This is much worse than reserving a desk with your things, and yet these are the people aren’t even hassled by library staff? If library services staff can give out those patronizing temporary absence cards, then I reserve the right to wake these people up, force-feed them a continental breakfast and condescendingly enquire as to their expected check-out time.

I honestly feel like there’s a special place reserved in hell for inconsiderate people like this; and I’m not talking about the velvet rope-bound areas in which I usually reside.

So my message is this: stop doing it. It’s inconsiderate, someone else could be using that desk while you’re catching some winks, and if you’re that tired, you’re not going to get any meaningful work done, so you may as well home. The next person I catch face down in my seat better be dead, because otherwise you’re in for a shock.