Reading in the Smallest Room

For 5 or 10 minutes each morning, I am sat on the toilet and want something to read as a distraction. My reading in this, the smallest room is varied. I don’t usually take the novel I am reading but one of a number of other books, suited to the task.

The Top Gear years

Jeremy Clarkson “The Top Gear Years”


Jeremy Clarkson is a favourite because the book is a compilation of his articles for the Sunday Times, and is easy to dip into, I find he has got funnier as he has got older, his earlier books were just rather tedious rants. I reviewed it here: “The Top Gear Years” by Jeremy Clarkson

I like autobiographical books by comedians, too, which again I can just dip in and out of like those of Dara O’ Briain, Dom Joly and Jack Dee “Thanks for Nothing”


Look at me! Look at me!

I have always liked the designs of cars and have a set of Observer’s “Automobiles” books dating from 1959 to 1981, one of these is easy to grab on the way to the loo, in order to peruse the designs of years past.

Observer's Automobiles

The Observer’s Book of Automobiles


Observer’s Automobiles (1963)

I might take a factual teach yourself book, like “Take Your Best Shot” with tips for taking better photographs.


Take Your Best Shot

No writer owned the arena of toilet reading more than Henry Miller. He read truly great books on the lavatory, and maintained that some, Ulysses for instance, could not be fully appreciated elsewhere. Personally, I prefer lighter matter, although I am not averse to learning. In my own field of teaching English, one book I often take into the lavatory is Bill Bryson’s immensely entertaining and informative “Mother Tongue“, with its fascinating insights into language in general and specifically into the English language.


“Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson

Are there health problems related to reading on the crapper? Does reading material become irreversibly infused with nasty contaminants when carried into the toilet?  There is a theoretical risk but microbes don’t fare too well on absorbent surfaces, and might survive only minutes on the pages of a book or a newspaper. Shiny, smooth surfaces of Kindles, iPhones and iPads are more accommodating, and it’s likely bugs can live on those for hours. A recent study by Val Curtis suggests that in Britain as many as one in six mobile phones are contaminated by faecal matter largely because people fail to wash their hands after going to the toilet. ( Now wash your hands. ) I don’t have a Kindle or smart phone, and wouldn’t take them to the bathroom if I did, not for fear of contamination but for fear of dropping it in the pan.

Do you read on the toilet? In a survey in the UK; more than half of the men (64%) and 41% of the women confessed to being regular toilet readers. More often than not, they described their reading material as “whatever is around”.

Seemed a suitable topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun!


About jimholroyd365

Hi, my name is Jim, I am an Englishman living in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. I started this blog to share my interests, my photos and to make sense of my world. I take a lot of photographs of various subjects, some of which I intend to share here. I collect diecast cars and get the same thrill at 50 as I did when I was 8, when I find a car I'm searching for, Don't worry, I have a separate blog for this hobby. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on what I blog. I am quite new to this blogging, I was inspired by reading a book, which began as a blog of a London Ambulance Driver: "Blood, Sweat and Tea". I hope my blog will be entertaining and amusing, I did try stand up comedy in the UK and had seven gigs before I left to teach English in Georgia. I love reading and so the blog will include book reviews of books as I finish them.I don't know about which direction this blog will go, I am a great believer in serendipity...let the journey begin...
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5 Responses to Reading in the Smallest Room

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