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Top 10 Bathroom Reads

Jamie Frater

It is during the process of excretion that a book seems most useful for some people. Somehow, many in our modern culture have embraced the idea of reading while using the toilet. We take a look at some books which are tailor made for that purpose. The subjects range from the seemingly trivial to the a philosophically astute, but always with the characteristic of adaptability to the commode…

10

Kamasutra

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Buy it: Buy the Kamasutra at Amazon

Vatsayana may never have imagined his treatise on the art of lovemaking to make this list, but that’s what you get when a book written in the sixth century continues to hold the public imagination. All of the positions, all of the erogenous zones and all of the techniques are explained in so complete a manner that you might spend a lifetime practicing the art. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a book only about sexual intercourse – Vatsayana’s aim is to set kama (enjoyment of the senses) in the context of a complete Hindu life.

9

1001 Books to Read before you die

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Buy it: Buy 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die at Amazon

Because you won’t read them all, but you will have some idea of what that cute girl who studies linguistics is talking about. A compilation from Herodotus to Halldor Laxness and everyone in between, the book is the combination of recommendations of over one hundred literary critics. The pathway to faking great knowledge? You bet.

8

Poop Culture
How America is Shaped by its Grossest National Product

 

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Buy it: Buy Poop Culture: How America is Shaped by its Grossest National Product at Amazon

A scholarly investigation into toilet culture, this book is informative, to say the least. The author, Dave Praeger, has delved deep into the depths of this source of national embarrassment and shame to produce an all encompassing study which dares to be funny. And through it all you will witness the history of poop and the various factors which have led to it being such a subject of shame. One thing is for certain, you’ll never look at poop the same way again.

7

The Art of War

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Buy it: Buy The Art of War at Amazon

Wisdom for the battlefield is what Sun Tzu intended his short book to be about, but today the ideas are applied to business, management and beyond. Its application to almost every enterprise is one of the hallmarks of this examination of human behavior, making it a must-have of any bathroom shelf. Lucid and short but with layers of penetrating thought and discerning ideas, it’s an excellent book to reread every once in a while.

6

Grossman’s Cyclopedia
The Concise Guide to Wines, Beers, and Spirits

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Buy it: Buy Grossman’s Cyclopedia: The Concise Guide To Wines, Beers, And Spirits at Amazon

Have you ever wondered how to say ‘Cheers’ in Gaelic or Korean? Did you know why experts always recommend drinking Single Malt Whiskey pure, or with a tiny bit of water, at room temperature? You will find all the answers in this book. You may also encounter Ouzo, Palinka (a Hungarian brandy) and Dongdongju (a Korean liquor) on the way. Need I say more?

5

Make the Most of Your Time on Earth

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Buy it: Buy Make the Most of Your Time on Earth at Amazon

Over one thousand experiences, from spotting lemurs in Madagascar to the camel fair in Pushkar, this book caters to the Phileas Fogg-type characters – those seeking great adventure. You’ll be thrilled, exhilarated and titillated as the authors take you on a journey of those spots in the world where you wish you’d rather be. And what’s more – you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

4

How Soccer Explains the World
An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

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Buy it: Buy How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization at Amazon

Whether you call it Soccer or Football, play it in the favelas of Rio or at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the beautiful game has influenced millions – and not always for the better as the author of this book, Franklin Foer, claims in his exploration of world geopolitics through the sport. His conclusions may sometimes seem overreaching, but when the regulating body, FIFA, can boast of more members than the United Nations, the arguments seem plausible. Especially in a bathroom.

3

1001 Movies to see before you die

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Buy it: Buy 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die at Amazon

‘Time is the lens through which dreams are captured’ , said Francis Ford Coppola, and what better way to spend time than to rummage through some of the best that moviedom has to offer. You’ll be introduced to Satyajit Ray and Francois Truffaut, reacquainted with Bogart and Bacall and taken on a joy ride with Charlie Chaplin. For romantics there is always Cary Grant’s charisma and Rudolph Valentino’s nonchalant sensuality.

2

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Buy it: Buy Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at Amazon

Robert Pirsig’s magnum opus, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, was called by the Times Literary Supplement ‘profoundly important, disturbing, deeply moving, full of insights, a wonderful book.’ No wonder then that it was rejected 121 times by publishers before it was eventually published. Perhaps you will need several sessions in the bathroom to get through the whole book, but his discussions stir something in every soul. And along the ride he gives you pearls such as ‘the only Zen you find at the tops of mountains is the zen you bring up there.’ Of course, the same can be said about the bathroom.

1

What’s your poo telling you?

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Buy it: Buy What’s Your Poo Telling You? at Amazon

‘Know thyself’ said Cereventes, ‘for that is the hardest thing to do’. No philosophical dilemmas here, though. Only Anish Seth and Josh Richman dissecting your poo. Anish is a trained gastroenterologist so take him seriously – if you can that is. Hysterically funny at times, but always educational, the authors have managed to weave a comic masterpiece around a subject which has been relegated to the point of scorn. Tailor made for the bathroom.

Bonus

The Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists

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Buy it: Buy The Ultimate Book of Top Ten Lists at Amazon

This is a bonus because it is not only good for a bathroom reader – but for any time and place. The Ultimate Book of Top 10 Lists combines all of the best lists from Listverse, and presents them in a very easy to read format. In addition to enjoying many of our lists at times when the computer is not available, every entry in the book has been professionally edited and checked. This is the perfect gift for the person who has everything – and Christmas is just around the door!

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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