Bathroom Book Club: Best Reads for Bathroom Time
We all know reading is a great way to pass the time in the bathroom, even if it’s not somethingwe talk about openly. Reading takes your mind off the mundane task and may even make you laugh or teach you something while you keep yourself regular. Explore our picks for best bathroom books to read if your current reading material is lacking.
Characteristics of a Good Bathroom Book
What books are good for bathroom reading? The best books to read in the bathroom are easy to stop at any point with the option to pick right back up again the next time nature calls. Complicated plots or progressive steps are out.
Instead, opt for quick reads with funny twists or simple storylines you won’t forget between bathroom sessions. Collections of short stories work well because you can read just a few each time.
12 Great Bathroom Reads
Without further ado, here’s our list of best bathroom books to keep you occupied while you occupy the nearest bathroom:
If you’re a fan of the Onion, “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central or random ridiculous — mostly made up — trivia, this book needs to have a place on the back of your toilet. “The Areas of My Expertise” showcases the dry, offbeat humor of John Hodgman, who has appeared many times on “The Daily Show.”
The book covers many important areas you never realized you needed to know, such as “Things You Did Not Know About Hoboes” — complete with an extensive list of hobo names, “Jokes That Have Never Produced Laughter” and “Secrets of the Mall of America.” The information in each section may or may not be true. In fact, the majority of the information in the book is completely fabricated with no research or documentation, but Hodgman runs with it, including intricate charts to illustrate the “wisdom” he shares.
Why should you read this book in the john? This bathroom book club suggestion features a completely unique sense of humor presented in a way that makes you want to keep reading. Since it’s broken up into various topics, it’s a book that lets you easily pick up where you left off or make it to the end of a section before reaching for the toilet paper.
If you love this Hodgman collection, don’t shed tears when you finish. He has two other books that make up his Complete World Knowledge trilogy: “More Information Than You Require” and “That Is All.”
2. “Toilet Paper Origami” by Linda Wright
Toilet paper is strictly for wiping, right? Not according to Linda Wright, author of “Toilet Paper Origami.” You’ll see toilet paper in a whole new light when you add this book to your bathroom library collection. The book provides step-by-step instructions with over 300 photos showing you how to make 30 different origami creations out of toilet paper. Some of the shapes include hearts, fans, butterflies, flowers and bunnies.
Why do we recommend this book for the bathroom? The theme of the book fits perfectly in the bathroom, of course, but this book gives you a hands-on way to pass your time on the potty. Grab a few squares of toilet paper, and fold up a little paper boat. Where you float it is up to you. Keeping this book close to the toilet also means you can leave behind a little surprise for the next person who uses the bathroom — and not in a gross way.
Wright takes her toilet paper origami expertise to a new level in “Toilet Paper Origami on the Roll” where she offers even more designs, including bows, mountains, fish and palm trees. Your bathroom will never be the same once you master the art of toilet paper origami.
3. “The Expert’s Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do” by Samantha Ettus
Ever wondered how to change a tire, hit a tennis ball, apply lipstick, house train a puppy, tie a bow tie or set a formal table? These topics sound simple, but sometimes those everyday tasks are the most difficult. Learn how to do all those simple tasks and more while taking care of business when you keep “The Expert’s Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do” in the bathroom.
Samantha Ettus searched for the top experts on each topic to put together a guide of 100 skills that everyone can use. Bobbi Brown tells you how to expertly apply lipstick. Jennifer Capriati teaches you to crush your tennis swing. Each essay comes directly from those who know best — no, your mother did not write every section, as much as she may think she is qualified.
Why does this book work in the bathroom? Each lesson is its own self-contained essay, which means you can easily stop and start the book as your time in the bathroom demands. Skip ahead to the lessons that interest you or that are relevant to your current situation. Reading these essays makes your bathroom time useful because you learn while you use the loo.
4. “Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters” by Mallory Ortberg
Escape from the boredom of a trip to the bathroom through the imagination of Mallory Ortberg. In her book “Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters,” she delves into the personalities of famous literary characters to imagine what they would have said had texting been around in their day. Prepare to laugh as you experience a modern take on such classic characters as Jane Eyre, Daisy Buchanan and Scarlett O’Hara. Each text exchange fits the personalities of those characters, but with a 21st century twist.
Why does this title make the list of books to read on the toilet? “Texts From Jane Eyre” leaves you in stitches with the hilarious text conversations in the book. Expect to take a little longer than necessary, as you’ll find yourself fully engrossed in the creativity of this bathroom read. The layout of the book looks like your cellphone screen with bubbles from both parties to show the back-and-forth conversation, adding to the concept of the book. This format also makes each story a quick read, so you can fit it in easily when you use the facilities.
Friendships come in all shapes and sizes — sometimes with the most unexpected participants. This non-fiction selection highlights the amazing stories of friendship from the animal world. You’ll meet best friends Owen the hippo and Mzee the tortoise and 46 other unlikely animal duos. Each pair has a heartwarming story of friendship overcoming any differences the participants might normally have.
Why should you keep this book handy? It’s suitable for all ages. Your kids will love it. You’ll love it. Your grandma will love it. You can’t deny the appeal of animals, and seeing them forming bonds with unlikely animals from different species makes the book even more appealing. Since it’s made up of 47 different stories, you can meet as many or as few animal duos as you have time for in each bathroom session. You just may find a little inspiration in these animal friendships. Just make sure you wash your hands before you rush out to start new friendships.
6. “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader”
You’ll find many different editions of “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” from the Bathroom Readers’ Institute. Each edition comes packed with a wide range of fun and interesting facts, such as obscure history, the origins of everyday items, brain teasers, riddles, urban legends and weird news. You can even get a version for the youngest bathroom users in your house called “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids Only.” It’s never too early to develop a love of reading… in the bathroom.
If you prefer short stories over trivia, opt for “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Presents Flush Fiction.” This book features a collection of 88 short stories covering a range of genres, including sci-fi, horror, adventure and mystery. The short nature of the stories lets you dive quickly into a plot yet complete the story by the time you’re ready to wipe. Skip around to find the genres and story lines that interest you.
Why should you consider this title? With “Bathroom Reader” in the title, it’s a natural choice for occupying your time on the toilet. The short tidbits make it easy to pick up the book at any point. You’ll leave the bathroom a little wiser and ready to strike up a conversation about your newfound knowledge.
7. “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” by Josh Richman and Anish Sheth
If we’re going to toss modesty out the door and talk about bathroom reads, we might as well go for it with a book on poo. After all, what better time to learn about your poo than while you’re sitting on the toilet?
This book covers many different types of poo, based on the characteristics that make it special. Expect a witty, playful approach — some of the descriptions include The Deja Poo, The Hanging Chad and The Glass Shard — with a serious dose of scientific data to back it up. A doctor wrote the medical explanation for each type of poop, so you will walk away with some real knowledge on your bathroom habits.
Why does it work in the bathroom? The subject matter is an obvious reason. This book makes you laugh, but it also helps you learn a little more about your bowel movements and how they relate to your overall health. The trivia, sidebars and unusual case histories round out the information to make this the perfect book for bathroom learning.
Andy Borowitz takes us through a collection of comedic writers in this book “The 50 Funniest American Writers.” This anthology covers Borowitz’s top picks throughout history, stretching back as far as Mark Twain. You’ll also find more modern literary comedians, such as Bernie Mac and Wanda Sykes. Since Borowitz is one of the funniest people around, you know his picks are spot on.
Why should you keep this book in the bathroom? This anthology gives you a taste of many different hilarious writers through various time periods. It’s a sampling of works from people you’ve heard of, but the book gives just a bit of the work, so it’s easy to digest. The collection of several shorter works makes it easy to start and stop as needed. And while all of the included writers have a witty flair, each has a unique style, so you can find something that fits your mood on any particular day.
9. Archie Comics
Comics are the ultimate bathroom read. You’ve got your humor, and the stories are short and to the point. The pictures make it more interesting, too. You can’t go wrong. Archie comics give you good, clean, classic comic book humor to enjoy while in the bathroom. Grab an anthology of the best Archie comics to keep on hand for a lighthearted read on the toilet.
Why should you call on Archie when you get bored? The comics are easy to pick up and read. Skim through as many of the comics as you want in the collection. If Archie isn’t your style, go for an anthology of a different comic strip, or opt for a longer superhero comic book.
10. “The Greatest Stories Never Told” by Rick Beyer
You learned about World War I, the invention of the light bulb and Rosa Parks’ contribution toward the Civil Rights movement. This book covers none of that. Instead, “The Greatest Stories Never Told” searches for much more obscure moments in history that completely changed the world but never got the fanfare. The stories are sometimes funny with some strange twists. Whether you’re a history buff or don’t know one significant date in world history, this book will get you interested in the past.
Why does this book make the cut? Each story is a very quick read. Check out one or two stories during a quick trip to the bathroom, or take in a wide range of history for longer visits. The interesting nature of the stories makes time pass quickly and keeps you reading. Related titles by Beyer include “The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told” and “The Greatest War Stories Never Told.”
If you’ve ever had dreams of being on “Jeopardy,” you must get “Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac” for your bathroom immediately. Written by the all-time “Jeopardy” champion, this book features an entry for each day, full of random knowledge on any topic you can imagine. The entries include trivia questions ranging from easy to hard, plus facts about things that happened on that day in history.
Why should you read this book while you use the facilities? You’ll challenge yourself in a fun way while you learn something new. Since it has a daily entry, so you automatically know where to go for the day’s trivia, too. Plus, it could be your ticket to winning the game show if you ever earn yourself a spot. If not, at least you’ll crush it at trivia night.
12. “100 Wonders of the World”
Travel the world from the comfort of your porcelain throne with “100 Wonders of the World.” This book highlights 100 of the most amazing landmarks, from natural to man-made wonders. Along with amazing photos of each landmark, you’ll find fun facts and history on the location. Think of this book as geography class for adults — but much more interesting.
Why should you read this book on the toilet? The bathroom has long been a place to dream, ponder life and make plans for the future — or is that just us? Reading this book in the bathroom fills you with worldly knowledge and may even inspire your next dream vacation. Of course, you can plan the whole trip during your regular visits to the bathroom.
Which titles are you adding to your list of books to have in your bathroom? While we may not give John Hodgman a run for his money on made-up facts, and we won’t likely win a trivia contest against Ken Jennings, we can answer any questions you may have about bathroom partitions. Contact us for all the details, so you can sneak away to practice your toilet paper origami in the privacy of your own stall.