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As much as you try to pretend otherwise, there’s no more denying it: Finals are less than two weeks away, and that means that it’s time to hit the books. Contrary to popular thought, however, there’s no need to temporarily haul your sleeping bag (and life) to a Butler reading room. Instead, get off the beaten path this finals seasons by taking your study guides and that pesky paper to these perfect hidden (and not so hidden) gems, courtesy of Spectrum.

For the coffee-holic: Hungarian Pastry Shop

I know, I’ve said it several times before and I’ll say it again: There’s probably no better study spot than the table at the very back left-hand corner of Hungarian. After all, if you’re gonna grind, you might as well go at it between quality spoonfuls of whipped cream (shoutout to Russian coffee!) and a healthy dose of eavesdropping.

For a slow weekend morning: Absolute Bagels

It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, you’re hungover, and studying is the last thing you want to do—sound familiar? Don’t worry, this just means that it’s prime time to take a friend and some study questions over to MoHi’s very own schmear heaven: Absolute Bagels!

For group work: Watson Business Library (in Uris)

If you study best in groups (or, let’s be honest, just enjoy downplaying the misery of cramming with some good conversation), your best bet is probably one of the many study rooms in Watson. Aside from escaping from undergrad stress culture for a bit, you can also talk and eat to your heart’s desire. The only con? An overabundance of finance bros.

For the lazy adventurer: New York Public Library

Looking for a way to escape the almost palpable stress in the air, but don’t want to hop on the subway? Take a trip over to 2900 Broadway: It’s different enough to count as a change to the palate, yet familiar enough to feel comfortable.

For the undercover NYU student: Bobst Library, NYU

If you’re curious about college life downtown and are desperately in need of an adventure, finals are the perfect chance to impersonate an NYU student. Since NYU libraries take Columbia IDs, ride the N, R, or W trains to 8 Street–New York University, and walk over to Bobst, NYU’s main library. Hopefully, you won’t regret living up here in MoHi.

For the hipster: Brownie’s Cafe (basement of Avery) and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library (in Kent)

If you’re looking for a more niche library experience but don’t have time to explore off-campus, consider visiting Brownie’s in Avery or the East Asian Library in Kent. The former has the best coffee that Dining Dollars can buy, and the dim lighting and long wooden tables in the latter give it a unique, unrivaled Hogwarts feel.

For the desperate: Butler Stacks

We’ve really tried to push the other options, but if you’ve got eight hours before your chemistry final and haven’t even cracked open the book, ButStacks is probably your best bet. We won’t sugarcoat it—your all-nighter in Butler’s deepest circle of hell will probably suck. The only silver lining is that since it’s such a quintessential Columbia experience, you’ll probably be able to better relate to columbia buy sell memes afterwards.

There you have it: a comprehensive list of one-of-a-kind study spaces that’ll hopefully save you from the Butler seat scramble next week. Best of luck for finals, and if you’re interested in finding even more study spots on campus, visit

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