Have you been spending absurd chunks of time hiding out in Butler and leaving your papers strategically scattered when you take a lunch break? Feeling guilty? Don’t! Camping Connoisseur Katherine Nevitt is here to defend you.

We’ve all complained about the impropriety of pitching tent in Butler. And yet at the same time, we’ve all been Milstein imperialists at some point, leaving strewn looseleaf and an empty coffee cup as territorial markers. As people who are imaginary would say, let’s be real. The only time Butler camping is terrible is when you can’t find a seat. Otherwise, when you’re the camper–gather ’round the proverbial fire and sing a little Kumbaya, because life is pretty great.

First of all, camping is not only great for the obvious reasons of convenience, but it also has ~cosmic perks~ (*Stephen Hawking cringes*). You transcend space and time by being in two places at once! For all anyone in the library knows, you could still be in the building–getting coffee-flavored poison in But Cafe, or experiencing printing difficulties in the computer lab.  But in reality, you are actually out to lunch with a friend, or, for the truly profligate among us, back in your dorm room, sleeping while your peers scourge the sixth floor, with a dispair as great as the lenth of the reading room names they pass through (I’m looking at you “Papyrology, Epigraphy & Paleography” Reading Room). But you, my friend, are ever-present and yet ever-absent at the same time.

You already have enough uncertainties to cope with (will there be curly fries in JJ’s tonight??), so the guarantee of having a spot in Butler is at least one infinitesimal weight off of your shoulders. It’s also nice to know that there is at least someone in this world who will sit and wait for you. Even if that someone happens to be an inanimate table.

Speaking of being forever alone, camping strengthens friendships! Hey Sally, I’m going to Butler. Hey Betty, mind saving me a seat? No problem, friend! And then you strategically place a three-quarters way open book on a table in 209 even if that book is Ethics and we’re well past that in the CC curriculum because WHO CARES. You have a real-life real-person human-being friend. And then when the friend shows up an you remove the book, everyone in the library quietly hates you. The best is when the friend doesn’t show up. And everyone watches you take the book with you. But you leave your shame behind.

I take a detour for a manifesto against squatters. How dare you breech such a sacred trust between cubicle and man! No but really, if you see stuff at a desk, don’t sit there, because when the person comes back and sees you sitting in his/her seat, it will inevitably be awkward. For you. That was a pretty terribly supported argument. But I digress.

Camping in Butler is a rite of passage. So, like they say in showbiz–I actually don’t know what they say in showbiz. Just accept camping for what it is because it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

Fun for the whole family via Wikimedia Commons