Bookworms is perhaps the most well-known of the UC cafes, but it’s also one of the most controversial ones. For all its good qualities, it has its drawbacks, making it hard to rate alongside the other cafes.
What Bookworms truly has going for it is its convenience. It’s located in the library, making it an ideal place to stop by when you’re studying long hours and need a caffeinated pick-me-up or a quick bite to eat. Its hours are also the most convenient on campus. While most of the cafes close at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., Bookworms stays open until midnight on weekdays.
Its sitting area is the largest of any of the cafes and is brightly lit, making it a great place to study. Bookworms is famous for this study space, as the sitting area is open to students 24/7. It’s a great place to go for late-night studying if you don’t want to bother your roommate by keeping your lights on.
The other thing Bookworms is famous for is its hot chocolate. They’ve somehow managed to put heaven in a cup and sell it to you as hot cocoa. It’s truly fantastic and probably the best drink you can get there.
Despite these positives, I have a lot of qualms with Bookworms, the biggest of which being their coffee. Bookworms serves Peet’s coffee, which is a different brand than what the other cafes on campus sell. To be frank, Peet’s just isn’t as good as the normal coffee sold everywhere else. It consistently tastes burnt, and while the cafe offers different roasts, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
The caffeine crimes go even further; because Bookworms doesn’t serve the normal UC Cafe coffee, they do not have the flavored coffee found at every other cafe and many of the dining halls. Instead, they offer flavor shots, which add an additional cost to your coffee. While a normal medium, french vanilla coffee costs me $1.90 at any other cafe on campus, a medium coffee at Bookworms with a vanilla shot costs me $2.80. And paying an extra dollar for a burnt cup of coffee is just ridiculous.
The flavor shots are also sweetened, so if you drink your coffee dark like I do, it’s impossible to get a flavor without sacrificing the darkness of your coffee. It is the flavor equivalent of adding two teaspoons of sugar and a dash of milk to your coffee, and that’s before you even add sugar or anything yourself.
And while Bookworms has soy milk, I haven’t often seen almond milk there, which is a hassle for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant.
Ultimately, Bookworms is kind of a nuisance. I go there because it’s convenient when I’m studying in the library, but even then I’ll try to avoid it if I can. If I have the time, I’ll just leave the library entirely to go to the Union or the Beanery instead. The extra two-minute walk is worth saving a dollar and getting a quality cup of coffee.
Courtney Gavitt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.