January 26, 2012

The Berry Patch: Who Needs Books?

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Cornellians are reading fewer books for pleasure, according to the results of the New Student Survey, and professors have noted the troubling trend of students putting less and less time into their academic work. We at The Sun wanted to shed some light on this mysterious phenomenon, so we sent out a crack team of Berry Patch reporters to uncover exactly what students are doing in the library. They may not be reading books, but they are still engaging in some just as intellectually stimulating activities.

Browsing the Web

Facebook has words on it. And it has the word “book” in its name. Who says students are reading fewer books for pleasure? What could be a greater pleasure than cracking open a nice Facebook by the unlit fireplace in Uris Library? There is so much magic waiting to be discovered in a good Facebook. There are a wide variety of genres, like adventure (“back to the 305! miami today!!!!!!!”), fantasy (“Robert Pattinson is so HOT. Def marrying him!”) and romance (“Mark and Sarah are now in a relationship”). The possibilities are really quite endless.


Nothing could be more comfortable than sleeping in the library: the feeling of the soothing blanket of your favorite hoodie and the soft pillow of an Olin library table (thread count zero).  However, this activity, like reading, may be on the way out. The only professor who actually cared how much sleep Cornellians got — Prof. Jim Maas, psychology — retired in December. Now, we have no heroic defender against the perils of sleep deprivation. We might as well give up on sleep entirely.

Writing Cover Letters

Librarygoers, especially upperclassmen, spend hours perusing Career Net, hunting down employers that might actually hire them with their deflated GPAs. This search for employment has ensnared Cornell students in a vicious cycle: If they don’t write cover letters, they can’t get a job. But if they spend all their time writing cover letters, they won’t be able to achieve the high grades that employers want. What is a Cornellian to do?! This library activity may quickly degenerate into another similarly entertaining pastime: finding a nice cardboard box and a spot on the sidewalk to sleep on. And don’t worry: We at The Sun have your back. If you need a blanket, you’re reading it right now.

Playing Video Games

Games on your iPhone are good substitutes for reading and can easily help you pass your class on Pre-Columbian civilization. Without Temple Run, Cornellians would have never learned about the history of the Aztecs and how they built temples with golden idols in them and genetically engineered a set of monkeys to chase after potential invaders. A riveting fact of history would have gone tragically undiscovered.