In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself
Unless you’re Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, or the other guy whose name no-one can ever remember, encountering a full torso apparition of a creepy librarian ghost is unlikely to be a major obstacle in your library visit. There are, however, an almost infinite number of non-supernatural occurrences that can turn your page-perusing trip into an almighty pickle.
But because, realistically, I don’t actually have time to write an infinite list, and you probably don’t have time to read one, here are five of the most irksome things about spending time in libraries.
1. Libraries and their code of silence inevitably induce that thing when you haven’t used your voice for several hours, you attempt to whisper something to someone, and instead accidentally make a sound that no human has ever made in the history of everything ever.
2. Libraries make you realise that people are, on the whole, very upsetting. They have overly loud conversations about stupid things, they sit in the wrong places, their bodies make strange involuntary noises and emit funny smells, and they never ever notice when their nose has developed a squeak. Libraries, like shopping centres and very long queues, are dens of misanthropy and resentment.
3. In the highly pressurised, slightly too hot, slightly too well-lit environment of the library, tiny, benign noises turn into the most irritating sounds that have ever been created by this vast and unknowable universe. Like breathing. When all around you is silence, you realise just how annoying it is that people breathe. Especially when they have the sheer audacity to be breathing near you, loudly, when you’re trying to write a bloody masterpiece.
4. Upon entering a library, you will, without a doubt, realise that you have accidentally put on all of your noisiest clothes and everyone now hates you. You’ll notice that the shoes which seemed fine outside actually squeak louder than a mouse shouting down a very small megaphone (which is really quite loud indeed, trust me) once inside a library. The coat which seemed nothing but appropriate out-of-doors now makes you sound like someone very inexpertly playing pass the parcel when you attempt to surreptitiously remove it.
5. One final piece of advice – always go to the library with a friend. Not for moral support. Not so that you have someone to eat lunch with. Not even so that they can keep an eye on your things while you avail yourself of the bathroom facilities. But because it is a tense environment involving tables, bookshelves, and multiple flights of stairs, and therefore there is a very high chance that you might walk into something or fall over. And walking into something or falling over is infinitely more embarrassing if you don’t have a convenient friend stationed nearby to laugh hysterically at you and then help you up.
Also, your friend might walk into something or fall over, and in about 200,000 years of human history there has never been anything funnier than someone you love falling over. As long as they don’t actually hurt themselves too much, obviously. How much they hurt themselves is inversely proportional to how much you’re allowed to laugh at them. Them seriously maiming themselves – not funny at all. Them accidentally bumping their head on an overhanging edition of “A Comprehensive History of Shellfish” – absolutely hilarious. So you wouldn’t want to miss that.
The Awkward Guide accepts no responsibility for adverse reactions to the implementation of advice supplied herein. Side-effects can include: smug laughter, mild disdain, and temporary irritation.