Probably like most people, my favourite place to do my course reading is in bed. There’s nothing more cosy than being wrapped in my duvet with a cup of tea as I settle down to attempt to conquer my reading for the week.
Unfortunately, I get easily distracted when reading at home. There’s no one there to judge me as I log into Netflix and begin binge-watching Queer Eye. So I’ve taken to reading on campus in an attempt to turn up to my seminars having done the reading rather than relying on the Wikipedia summary.
Luckily, we have plenty of spots to choose from at Warwick and each place has its own benefits to make your course reading a bit more bearable.
Warwick Arts Centre
Warwick Arts Centre is my favourite place to do my course reading while on campus. The café and seats dotted around the building mean I’m never stuck trying to find somewhere to sit for a couple of hours. Although it can get quite busy occasionally, the atmosphere is surprisingly calm and, when it does get busy, headphones can easily drown out the noise. Even though there are people constantly moving around the building, they’re very rarely people I know and I’m less likely to get distracted. After a few minutes of people watching (a habit I can’t shift) I eventually find myself engrossed in my reading and it’s finished a lot quicker than if I was in bed.
There are people moving through the building constantly, especially before lectures start, but the atmosphere is more work-focused
On days where I have a lot of course reading to do I tend to find myself spending several hours in the Oculus. Like the Arts Centre, it’s quiet but never completely still and (when it’s not too busy) there are plenty of seats to choose from. There are people moving through the building constantly, especially before lectures start, but the atmosphere is more work-focused. If you like being surrounded by people who are similarly focused on getting their reading done but without the intensity of reading in the library, the Oculus is definitely the best place to make your course reading slightly more bearable.
Milburn House sofas
(Also applies to the sofas in Humanities if you can’t face the trek). I spend a lot of time in Milburn House as most of my seminars take place there and the sofas have become a firm favourite for doing my course reading. I’ll often arrive early for a seminar and finish off the last few pages of my reading there. Only a few departments use Milburn, so it’s often quiet with few distractions, plus the sofas are unbelievably comfy so it’s perfect for finishing my reading without feeling too stressed. But Milburn is a trek. So, when I don’t have to be there for a seminar, I’ll often make the most of the sofas in the Humanities building.
Even if you’re really enjoying your course reading, the experience can only be made better with easy access to coffee and cake
Curiositea (and other cafés)
Even if you’re really enjoying your course reading, the experience can only be made better with easy access to coffee and cake. Out of all the cafes on campus, Curiositea, with its comfy armchairs and weekly specials, is definitely the one place that will make your course reading more enjoyable. If you’re off campus, there are plenty of places in Leamington and Coventry – my favourite in Leamington is Procaffeinate (they have great cake there too!).
The Learning Grid
If you like being surrounded by lots of people but not in a silent environment, you might find that the Learning Grid makes your course reading that bit more enjoyable. It’s especially great if you like sitting with friends as you try to finish your reading. That being said, it’s definitely not the place to go if you get easily distracted.
Outside (Weather permitting!)
There are so many more places you can go to make your course reading a bit more bearable at Warwick, depending on how you work and how easily distracted you get. But in the summer months, or when the rain holds off, reading outside in one of the various green spots on campus is the greatest way to make your reading more enjoyable.