It’s that time of year: Reading Week is upon us. But who really wants to read all day (and, let’s be honest, night)? To brighten these next seven days, WEEKEND solicited alternatives to reading. Come on, you know you’re tempted.

Mo Money, Less Reading


It’s that time of year when, full of turkey and thoughts of home, we long to be rid of work of all kinds and to snuggle up in bed for good. Instead, a seemingly unending line of final papers and exams awaits. Well, dear reader, there is no way the short period called “reading” week will be enough to complete all those daunting tasks, so your time would be better spent coming up with get-rich-quick schemes to ensure that the next exam period will be your last. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Shakespi in Love: an online matchmaking service for writers and mathematicians, putting together the quirkiest of both worlds. Slogan: “Well-rounded kids!”

Durfee’s Arbitrage: Go to Stop & Shop or Walgreens and stock up on the goods that are sold in Durfee’s. Stand outside Durfee’s with a vending cart and sell your goods. After a few months of profiting from the difference between Durfee’s prices and real world prices, you’ll be set for life!

And other possibilities abound. After all, I hear dropping out of college is the surest path to success in today’s world.

Bass? SML? Payne Whitney?


Remember that time you swore you were going to go to that tailgate and then actually watch the football game? Or when you had plans to watch the basketball team but got bogged down with that DS paper? Well, Reading Week is the perfect opportunity to make up for those lapses in Bulldog spirit. If you’re anything like any Yale student, you’ll need a chance to put down your books and get some fresh air — enter, the walk to Payne Whitney before an evening of basketball. Both the men and women play Wednesday, with the women tipping off at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m. against Boston University and Bryant University respectively. Both teams are off to a 4–2 start and have hopes for an Ivy title this season. And as anyone who has ever been to a volleyball game knows, a few fans go a long way in the John J. Lee Ampitheater. So grab a few of your friends, get fired up and go cheer on your fellow Bulldogs. That paper can wait.

Give language classes their due


At the start of each semester, as Yalies eagerly learn the words for ‘chair,’ ‘love’ and ‘I want you to GTFO’ in an exciting new language, they inevitably neglect one specific line on language class syllabi that seals their fate. The “Meets during Reading Week” condition is a secretive mistress, but a cruel one, hell-bent on exacting her tribute: any delusions your tragically unaware imagination had of raginnnnnnnn instead of reading.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel/Le Tunnel/the Chunnel(?). This reading week, show your language teachers what you’re made of in three easy steps.

Step 1: Figure out your favorite type of alcohol that originates in a non-English-speaking country.

Step 2: Look up the actual language of that country. Learn six to 10 phrases in it off Google Translate or ask that rando you lived with freshman year who took it ‘cause of how passionate he is about it’ or whatever.

Step 3: Attend class. Spout a random phrase in the aforementioned language every five minutes. Stare at language teacher defiantly. Repeat, with breaks in the middle to glug some of aforementioned alcohol from your handy-dandy metal-so-no-one-knows-what’s-inside ‘water’ bottle (invest in one of these — always useful, all the time).

Just do you


Reading week is all about you. Be you, care about you, do you. Don’t pretend you’re going to get shit done in five days. Definitely don’t down that super expensive bottle of tequila you promised yourself you’d save for graduation. Devote your time to the little things that matter and make you feel oUtStAnDiNg:

  • -Splurge on a new haircut.
  • -Call your parents, tell them you love them, ask for more money.
  • -Watch “Melancholia” and become a gung-ho nihilist.
  • -Pull a JLo and dance for your papi.
  • -Play six degrees of Wikipedia with the suitemate you like least.
  • -Eat a celery stick, it’s damn good for you (don’t choke on them celery strings, THEY CAN BE DANGEROUS).
  • -Curate your iTunes library — do you really like Coldplay or do you just hate yourself?
  • -If you’re a freshman, hook up with a senior and pretend it gives you campus cachet.
  • -If you’re a senior, go back inside your room: you look awful.
  • -If you’re a sophomore, LOLOLOLOLOLOL. (Same goes for juniors.)
  • -Go and rent some Redbox movies at Walgreens. Don’t be ashamed to rent “Precious.” Deep down, we all know you wanna cry.
  • -Most importantly, Nilla wafers and Chobani are now your new best friends. You can trust me on this one: I’m leaner than you, babe.

Spruce up Bass


When we first got here, Yale’s libraries seemed kinda cool. There were books and people and lamps. Computers, even.

Now, library floors seem paved with shattered bits of our souls. Walk in to one of the quasi-cute residential college libraries and you’ll discover a typography that’s as depressing as it is ubiquitous: the kid who’s concentrating so hard it’s a wonder his laptop screen hasn’t shattered yet, the gaggle of ultra-besties in the corner alternating ridiculous algebra with pictures of High Street hunks, and those weird freshmen who keep crawling out of the woodwork to panic about their first non-A grade. Not the most exciting bunch.

You know what you don’t see in libraries (other than that annoying athlete who already has all the notes for the class)? Color. Joy. Bizarre costumes.

So, this reading week, let’s assault the gloom head-on with a little creativity. I personally challenge you, dear readers, to bring out the freak deep within your North Face. The harder you plan to work a specific day, the weirder your outfit should be.

There exist, as for any terrific activity, rules. This isn’t Halloween — let’s try to keep the spilling out of our shirts minimal. Also, if you’re going to be depressing and don some pseudo outfit straight out of a Smiths album, just stay at home. You’re adding to society more that way, trust me.

If we all just make a little effort, we might yet create a new library landscape, I dare you, Yale, to believe. Believe in a future where you’re fighting for study carrels not with Science Hill rejects but Dutch milkmaids who really should’ve shaved before wearing that skirt. Believe in your own beautiful randomness. And maybe, just maybe, believe that the end of finals is a real thing (the News will report on the validity of this claim as soon as we can).

Dreadlocks and magenta onesies


Reading week is the best time of the entire school year. Yeah, sometimes I have to write sixty pages in one week, but the benefits of no class heavily outweigh long-ass papers. Now, you might ask, “What could possibly make writing sixty pages about Castro, Exodus and sex trafficking tolerable?” Well, for one, the fact that I can wear my magenta onesie with metallic hearts all day everyday makes life pretty great. Let’s be real. The only reason I shower is to not offend my professors. The only reason I don’t wear my pajamas to class is to make up for the fashion mistakes of teenagerdom. The only reason I wear make-up — at all — is to keep the hope that someone, some day, will find me attractive enough to ask out. During reading week, nobody expects anything of me and the pressures of being a Victoria’s Secret model lookalike disappear. My hair could develop dreads from lack of care and nobody would give me shit. Room, dining hall, library, room, repeat. What a relief. And I dare you to say something about my pink fluffy house slippers … I dare you.

Procrastination 101: Super Smash Bros


As Reading Week is meant to be wasted, naturally you should play Super Smash Bros. The whole time. Both a caution and an incentive: it will absolutely infect and monopolize your week. Your suitemates will want in, leading to one vs. one’s, team battles and four person free-for-alls that end with the victor screeching his taunts as he questions your manliness. (The above hasn’t happened to me. Honestly. I swear.)

Once you’ve mastered Kirby, there are 11 other characters to explore. Here are the most salient moves of some characters that you ought to master: Ness’s sneaky grab, Yoshi’s prominent headbutt, Jigglypuff’s cute but devastating lullaby, Captain Falcon’s brutal Falcon Punch, Fox’s tricky reflector shield, and Luigi’s big-fisted uppercut. Stat pset, I hardly knew you.

After 50 hours of game play, do not stop! Contrary to popular belief, you can never get “too good” at Smash; you can always find somebody better and more learned.

But there’s more than ample reason to practice. Much like arithmetic, being able to Smash correctly is a fundamental and necessary skill (unlike, say, analyzing the Major English Poets). Do you really think anyone will respect you if you can’t edge-guard?

Even if you’re a total newcomer to Smash and this is the first time you’ve ever heard of it, have no fear: you’re learning about it at the right time of the semester. You have your entire Reading Week to master this fine art of procrastination.

Acing the Freshman 15


This reading week, explore the restaurants and food trucks of New Haven! This is especially important for freshmen. Gaining that Freshman 15 is right up there on the list of Yale traditions, right next to the semi-annual Bass naked run and Freshman Screw. Haven’t quite gotten those last few pounds? Never fear. Dare to leave behind G-Heav and Yorkside, and venture out into New Haven to try the gorge-licious food it has to offer. If you still haven’t had a Wenzel (the blasphemy of it all), try one. If you’re really determined to be a part of the 15-pound club, go for all-you-can-eat-sushi, or buffalo wings. If you’re feeling classy, go to Zinc to enjoy 6 loaves of their free bread. If you’re adventurous, try some kettle corn. If you’re trying to sober up the night before your exam (I see you), go to and order the greasiest, cheesiest, unhealthiest thing they have to offer. By this time, you’re probably running low on Benjamins. Good thing Yale loves free food. Make a schedule of all the groups hosting study breaks, dress up in role to pass off as an Asian, Latin America, ballroom dancer et al, and eat all the ice-cream, chips and cake you can. You know you want to.