READING ON THE TOILET : A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

Have you ever met a woman who keeps a library in the bathroom and sits on the toilet and reads for 20-40 minutes every day? I haven’t. But my grandfather did it, my husband does it and so do the husbands of most of the women I know well enough to ask about it.

I have never understood this practice. or why is it almost exclusively men who do it. If a woman was going to read for any length of time, the last place she’d choose to spend this precious “alone time” would be on the friggin’ toilet! No woman wants a red ring around her butt when she finishes a chapter.

I think I get why, in general, men think farts are funny and women don’t. It’s because men never outgrow the scatological humor of an eight-year-old boy. I also have a theory as to why men, in general, love slapstick humor and women don’t. Since we don’t have gladiators or jousts as an outlet for male aggression, men need a form of socially acceptable violent entertainment where the pain or humiliation can be laughed at and enjoyed publicly. This also explains violent video, which are also played predominantly by men.

But — I have no clue about the etiology of reading on the toilet. Maybe it’s a way to make goofing off appear legitimate — it shouldn’t count as “me time” if you’re performing a necessary bodily function. Yet men have no trouble sitting on the sofa with a beer and watching ball games for hours or playing video games endlessly. So I think it’s unlikely that they feel a pressing need to justify their pursuit of leisure activities, as women often do.

Maybe women shouldn’t try to beat them, but join them instead. So, ladies, the next time your husband wants you to start dinner, do the laundry, feed the dogs or pick up the kids, just grab a book, run into the bathroom and shut the door. Your husband can’t question or interrupt your toilet time without threatening the sanctity of his.

Try bringing a pillow and a glass of wine in with you to make the surroundings more user-friendly and relaxing. Let’s see if two can play this potty game!

This is the sculpture and the books in my powder room

21 thoughts on “READING ON THE TOILET : A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. Taswegian1957 January 15, 2018 / 12:20 am

    Not the most comfortable place to enjoy a good book I’d have thought. The bath maybe with some magazine that you are not worried about getting wet.

    Like

    • Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 2:48 pm

      I’ve never understood the appeal of bathroom reading either.

      Like

  2. cagedunn January 15, 2018 / 12:30 am

    Where can I get one of those sculptures to gift to my hubby? He already has the books, and the shelving, just needs the right light-creating sculpture

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 2:50 pm

      I think I got it at a craft show. So you could try online at Etsy.com under metal sculptures. You might find someone who will customize one for you if they don’t have the specific sculpture you’re looking for. I’ve had good luck dealing with Etsy craftspeople. They are very acommodating.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fandango January 15, 2018 / 1:10 am

    I read on the toilet. The bathroom is my sanctuary, a place I can go, sit, and not be disturbed. It’s my own, personal “man-cave.”

    Like

    • Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      That’s the way my husband feels. I’d just prefer to have a more comfortable ‘woman cave’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • tomcurley1 January 15, 2018 / 3:25 pm

      Exactly! It’s a man cave, with indoor plumbing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reflections of an Untidy Mind January 15, 2018 / 3:50 am

    I’m afraid I do this. But I don’t seem to be able to get through more than a couple of paras at a time, whereas the boys in my family can practically get through a novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 2:52 pm

      It really doesn’t seem like a comfy place to spend a lot of time. Maybe the fact that the door is closed is what makes the men feel safer and cozier. They can be seen and walked in on in other parts of the house. So that may be what makes the bathroom special.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. swo8 January 15, 2018 / 9:40 am

    My husband does it too. He reads his books and they are all in French. Often I can hear the readings aloud from the bathroom. chuckle…. I notice you have a book by George Carlin. I’d love to read that one…
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      Carlin’s books are favorite bathroom books for my son and my husband. We all love Carlin. You should get the book – every one of his is worth reading. That would be a nice present for your husband too – an addition to his bathroom collection!

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 January 15, 2018 / 3:21 pm

        Does it come in French, Ellin? chuckle…

        Like

    • tomcurley1 January 15, 2018 / 3:26 pm

      It’s called Brain Droppings. Perfect bathroom book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 January 15, 2018 / 3:29 pm

        I’ll have a look for it. Carlin is a card….

        Like

  6. Marilyn Armstrong January 15, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    Garry doesn’t read in the bathroom. This is just as well because he is very serious about the bathroom. He does listen to the radio in there … sports, naturally. He sings. He trims. He shaves. Scrubs. Does teeth — twice. By the time he is done, if he also started to read, I’d NEVER get in there. However, to be fair, he doesn’t read much. Now, if there was a TV in there with streaming …

    Like

  7. Ellin Curley January 15, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I think that doing your grooming chores in the bathroom is totally separate from reading in the bathroom. everyone brushes their teeth, but you’re either a bathroom reader or you’re not. My father would never read in the bathroom. But my grandfather, who was the same age as my father, took the whole Yiddish paper into the bathroom with him. One day, he was reading on the toilet and the stove blew up, catching my grandmother on fire. She screamed for him but he took his time getting to her. When he realized it was a true emergency, he called 911. But he would have gotton to her much sooner if he had not been reading in his man cave.

    Like

  8. lifelessons January 18, 2018 / 12:28 am

    Not exclusively men, Ellin. The way my mom potty trained us was to give us a book. To this day, I require a book on the throne!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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