As an avid daydreamer and a voracious reader, I find it quite easy to get buried in a book no matter where I am. And I admit that a great place to catch a quick bit of the old literature is on the bathroom throne.
Truth be told, on more than one occasion I have been buried in a book for so long my butt gets sore and my legs begin cramping. I’ve heard other bathroom readers make similar complaints, but I don’t see any of us giving up this habit.
Bathroom Reading IdeasI draw comfort in the fact that I’m certainly not alone in this lavatory avocation. Here’s some fun facts, gleaned from an American Standard survey:
- A full 63 percent of respondents said they regularly read books, magazines and newspapers while on the throne.
- Men — and all of those ages 34 and younger — are more likely to read in the bathroom than those from other demographics.
- A whopping 75 percent of Americans have used their mobile phone in the bathroom and, in fact, 30 percent of men and 20 percent of women won’t even enter a restroom without these devices in hand.
- A Nielson survey shows 40 percent of young people are on social media sites while perched on the throne, compared to 21 percent of their parents. These folks are reading Facebook posts, and tweeting. Hopefully, they aren’t taking selfies.
See why we call these “fun facts?”
Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. Being an unselfish man, I like to ensure there is plenty of good reading material within easy reach of guests to my home bathroom. And because reading material is a matter of personal choice, I carefully consider the content of the material on hand.
I think we can all agree that “The Great Gatsby” may not be the read for your bathroom guest.
Here are a few of my own recommended reads that you might want to provide, or suggest to your guests:
- A favorite newspaper, or unread portions of that paper are always good to have around the loo.
- Magazines are always appreciated, with maybe a selection of sport, fashion and entertainment mags.
- As long as your guest has a phone with a search engine, you might suggest they look up why they call bathrooms “the loo.” Here’s a good source: http://kottke.org/05/02/loo-etymology
- You also might want to order a book from Amazon that has been termed “Uncle John’s Ultimate Bathroom Reader.” Ironically, the book is titled “1001 Facts That Will Scare the S#%t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader.” It’s a compilation by Cary McNeal.
- And, of course, it’s always nice to have another good read close by for your know-it-all friends who can’t be bothered with facts and trivia. I tend to rotate this, whether it be a magazine or a book of interest. Currently, I have a subscription to Time magazine.
Picking up a book may be a little old fashioned these days, and maybe less friendly to our trees. But there’s just something satisfying about a quick read in the loo that resets my day and allows me to escape from some of the chaos.
About The Author: Paul O’Grady is the founder and general manager of O’Grady Plumbing — San Francisco’s multi-generational residential and commercial plumbing company. O’Grady grew up in the plumbing business and his company is backed by three generations of plumbers. At O’Grady Plumbing, Paul manages a team of master plumbers who build, repair, maintain and retrofit plumbing systems and equipment throughout San Francisco and San Mateo.