The parlor may have its charms, but the Japanese toilet truly is a place of spiritual repose.
In the Praise of Shadows, Junichiro Tanizaki
It seems every country has a sort of skewed and hallowed reverence for the quietest room in the house. I’ve recently discovered, however, that the ‘library in the loo’ is primarily an English occupation (sorry I can’t speak for the rest of Britain), but my Scandinavian and European friends looked at me in puzzled amusement when I recommended a book for the loo.
It seems the best loo books either make you laugh or educate you. So, for those wanting to start their own or add to an existing collection – and in honour of World Toilet Day – here are a few suggestion for your loo-library. Some will keep you laughing long after you’ve washed your hands, others will ensure you are smarter and more-able to tackle your niece/nephew/offspring’s questions and, others, will do both.
- Bizarre England: Discover the Country’s Secret’s and Surprises by David Long (2015)
- Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favourite Songs by Erik Didriksen (2015)
- Homework for Grown-ups: Everything You Learned at School … and Promptly Forgot by E.Foley & B. Coates (2008)
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss (2003)
- Five-Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness and Wealth by Vivien Sung (2002)
- Damp Squid by Jeremy Butterfield (2008)
- 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions by Kenji Kawakami (1995)
- Children’s Letters to God by Stuart E. Hample/Eric Marshall (1991)
- The Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams & John Llyod (1983)
- Bushido – The Soul of Japan (A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics) by Inazo Nitobe (1900) (written in English)
- The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew (2016)