Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Common Courtesy

In a society that is increasingly becoming technological, it is not a surprise that library etiquette has suffered as a result. Though it does not come as a surprise, I am still appalled at how some of my peers can’t even understand the simple concept respect for others. Again, this may be a result of the emphasis on self-interest that is so characteristic of the materialistic society we now live in.
From what I understand, the purpose of a library is to contain a range of reference material, primarily books for to assist in the further education of the students of the institution in question, but as we are in a digital age, we are more frequently seeing digital libraries instead of the traditional cozy libraries of what has become antiquity. Now, there’s nothing wrong with digital libraries and making texts available to students online as I have used quite a few electronic journals in my university career. In fact, the less I have to see and interact with people the better, especially when I’m short on time and need to get a lot of work done. The logical side of me actually applauds this advancement in sharing information. However, the romantic and idealistic side of me mourns for the death of the traditional library. I spent much of my childhood dreaming of owning a library so comprehensive that I’d forget what books I already owned. I dreamt of late nights sitting up in my own library reading everything and anything in it. Heck, I still dream of doing that and will absolutely do it even when the age of hard copy books ends. The romantic side of me is still angry that my university closed off the main library moving all its resources to the new digital library, taking away twelve or so floors of potential study space.
Like many book lovers, I love the musty smell of old books and that provided me a lot of comfort to go up to the higher, quieter floors of the library and write, basking in the smell and silence of the library environment. To find a library like that is rare now. The closest I’ve found is kind of in a basement and is absolutely freezing, but freezing is good. Freezing keeps me awake and I would definitely rather freeze than boil to death. This library is beautiful too, but recently has suffered some reductions in quiet study space. Yes, there are signs posted everywhere saying: “This is a quiet study library,” but hardly anyone respects that anymore. Yes, it’s much quieter than the digital library, but not as quiet as it should be because of the new setup. When I first started at this university, there were rows of carrels upon carrels, next to each other and back to back, but for some reason they decided to bring in more tables to accommodate groups. This has encouraged more talking and it’s frustrating especially since I come to the library to escape from noise as I have incredibly finicky study criteria like the environment must be absolute silence barring some unseen circumstances because I know that sometimes I am noisy (like when I first get to the library and am getting settled). I can make exceptions for situations like that, but what I can’t stand is people who come into the quiet library and talk at full volume for over three hours while I’m trying to write a timed LSAT practice. I don’t care if you’re struggling to get a concept, you do not come to a QUIET library to talk LOUDLY and laugh and generally disrupt everyone around you. Unfortunately there were about six of them and I couldn’t think of a nice way to tell them to shut up. I was so pissed off that my score suffered slightly during my practice and that made me so physically angry that I wanted to kill them. Especially that girl who had a really high pitched and loud voice who wouldn’t stop talking. And if you haven’t figured out from everything else I’ve written, I’m clearly not the nicest person in my head, so I hope they fail that accounting test and everything else in their degree and get kicked out of the business program as a result of it.
Sometimes I wish I had had the courage to tell them to shut up, but I was probably pissed enough that I would have thrown in half a dozen swears and punched something and really, I don’t want to cause that kind of commotion in the library as that would be completely contrary to the result I was trying to obtain. Also, as there were like six of them, if it did get physical, I’d probably be dead.
More and more I am thinking of a future in which I am alone with a hundred million dogs because the more I interact with people, the more I’m finding that I absolutely hate them. Of course there are exceptions because there are people in my life that I absolutely love and spend countless hours talking to, but I am one person and the number of people in my life in comparison to how many people there are in the world is negligible. I know it’s horrible to make a generalization that all people are ignorant assholes who deserve to die, but I’m doing it anyway. This may seem like a bleak future, but I feel that I would be happier this way. As shown by a lot of my other works, I am a giant paradox as most people are and this is exactly how I am now. As much as I’d like someone to share my life with, I’m equally afraid of commitment. This is the constant war I fight in mind. The realist vs. the idealist. Maintaining peace between the two is enough to keep me entertained for a lifetime.

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