It’s a family habit, one passed down through Reader’s Digests and mystery novels that sat ready and waiting on the porcelain tank.  My particular unit of Cumbos – we are bathroom readers and proud of it.

Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair from Flickr via Wylio

Maybe don’t stay this long with your reading. © 1900 Powerhouse Museum, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

I read with every spare minute I have, and because I have female anatomy, I always have some spare minutes while I’m using the facilities.  So I take advantage.  It’s a small luxury, but it’s mine and mine alone . . . for obvious reasons. 🙂

When I was in college and living in Hess dorm, I found it really hard to read in my room.  Of course, I did manage it sometimes because it was necessary, but with a slew of 18 year old friends coming in and out of the room to ask questions or swoon over Johnny Depp or sing Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Son” at all hours, concentrated time to focus was rare. Plus, my roommates – kind women for sure – were elementary education majors.  Their worthy, important studies required a certain amount of socialness and bulletin board construction that was a bit antithetical to the study habits required of my English and history double major.  Somehow, my beautiful friend’s need to practice the recorder just didn’t mesh with a close reading of the allegory in The Lord of the Rings. 

So I went to the bathroom.  Sometimes, I just perched myself on a throne behind a metal door and read Madeline L’Engle’s Walking on Water, and sometimes, I tucked myself onto the changing room bench in a shower stall with Sir Gawain and his green knight balanced on my knees.  I remember those places with more joy than is usually linked to a college bathroom.

Bathrooms – of necessity – are places of quiet and solitude and thus are ideal for reading.

Yeah, I know, there are hygiene issues to consider, and I also know that some people find this habit abhorrent, but still, I’m a big advocate, especially in our culture today where we are tied to our phones for most waking minutes. . .  even in the bathroom.  In fact, I’d be a supporter of using cell blockers in bathrooms so that people can either read a few pages or at least grab a few minutes of disconnection.

So invest in a comfortable seat, leave an easy read on the tank, and relish those few minutes away from email and maybe even the voices of your toddlers.  And for the record, Murder on the Orient Express makes for very good bathroom reading. 😉

Are you a bathroom reader?