The 3 Best Books to Read in the Bathroom

Hi, my name is Carrie Slager and I’m a bathroom reader.

There, I’ve just admitted it and I realize that I don’t want to be cured.  So, like Shaun in Deadline, I’m going to nurture my madness and to heck with what other people think.  What to know what the best books are for bathroom reading?  Read on!

1.  Any of the Bathroom Reader series.

This is what started it all: a birthday present from my uncle.  He gave me a Bathroom Reader and I’ve never looked back.  Each of the numerous books the Bathroom Reader’s Institute produces is filled with bizarre trivia that is conveniently divided into sections depending on how long each article is.  Some articles are only one side of a page while the longest are three or four pages.  Along the bottom of each page are little ‘running feet’, which are basically random facts for you to spout at parties to impress everyone.

2.  Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

Marcus Aurelius, the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, wrote these messages (or meditations) to himself.  They were meant to be read only by the emperor himself as he was trying to use his Stoic philosophy to console himself while campaigning along the frozen Danube.  As a result, they don’t read well in the traditional linear fashion, so what you have instead is a bunch of short reminders you can read very quickly.  Perfect for bathroom reading.  Here’s a sample:

To pursue the impossible is madness: and it is impossible for bad men not to act in character.

In my experience, that’s absolutely true.

3.  The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.

Depending on your personal interpretation, Niccolo Machiavelli was either the most ruthless man ever or one of the most sarcastic buggers (see #4) that ever walked the Earth.  Either way, The Prince makes for good bathroom reading because it’s short and really gives you something to think about.  Especially if you love history like I do and whatever interpretation you subscribe to, you definitely get a good look inside the minds of princes back when such people held all of the power.

Well, there you have it: the three best books to read in the bathroom.  At least, in my opinion.  What do you like to read in the bathroom?


  1. Grace

    I always keep an old paperback under the sink. At the moment it’s “The Sands of Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke, although I haven’t read more than a chapter of it yet. I’m more of a bathtub reader than a bathroom reader, to be honest. The only rule that I have for bathtub books is that they are fun and aren’t irreplaceable. I’ve never dropped one in the tub, but there’s a first time for everything.

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