The Reading Period


To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

In the brief notes on the Reading Period from the Library's point of view I contributed to the CRIMSON earlier in the week, one point was not mentioned which is worth calling to the attention of men who are planning their work carefully. The so-called Reading Period of two weeks follows directly after the Christmas Recess, which is often used as a reading period, and immediately precedes the examination period, which is most distinctly a time for reading. In fact, if we choose to regard it so, we are to have a "reading period" covering six successive weeks (Dec. 23 to Feb. 4) during which the ordinary routine of College life will be ordinary routine of College life will be interrupted and every man will be free to plan his work as he will, subject to a minimum of interference from stated College engagement's. It would be wise therefore to handle these six weeks as a whole and to distribute one's work accordingly. I would suggest therefore:

1. When practicable, do what reading you can during the recess. If at home, you may be able to get some of the books from a local library or from your family collection. If in Cambridge, there is likely to be less pressure then on the stock in the College Library and, the Reading Room being closed in the evening, you can have uninterrupted use of books in your own room from five o'clock until as late an hour as you wish. The Library, moreover, will be inclined to lend its books to be taken away from Cambridge somewhat more freely than usual, and so far as it can be done without prejudice to the wants of those who remain in Cambridge.

2. If your examinations fall at favorable times, you can do part of your review work in the Reading Period and part of your extra reading in the examination period. Anything that extends the limits of the Reading Period diminishes the pressure on the Library and thereby improves the service which the Library can render.

3. However well you make your plans, you are liable to be blocked unexpectedly at some point. The longer the period over which you extend your reading, the more elastic your plans can be and the less they will be disturbed by occasional failure.


4. If you are interested in building up your own library and can buy some of the books you need, do so in the case of the more attractive ones. Enjoy the luxury of reading your own book (and of marking up the margins if you like) and leave the Library copies to be used (without marking) by a smaller number of readers. William C. Lane.   Librarian.