June is “National Bathroom Reading Month” – I’m not sh**ing you (pun intended!). I have to admit, I am not a bathroom reader. This is because I can do my business efficiently and prefer to do my reading on the couch. The average American spends anywhere from 700 to 2,000 hours on the toilet throughout their lives (I read this on huffingtonpost.com, so of course it’s true, right?). I tend to lean toward the 700 hours on this spectrum, but my husband is on the 2,000 hours end (bless his heart). I always say he is not a “reader,” but I’m now going to reclassify him as a “bathroom reader.”
So, after many years of living with a bathroom reader, I’ve culled a few tips on how to keep a bathroom reader happy. Here they are:
1. Don’t move the reading material out of the bathroom—God forbid you clean up and decide to de-clutter the falling stack of magazines from the water closet. Let the bathroom reader of the house decide when it is time to rotate the reading material.
2. Keep a pen or pencil in the bathroom—When I first moved in with my husband, I was always perplexed when writing instruments would make their way into the bathroom. I would return them to the pencil holder on the desk. Little did I know I was preventing my husband from completing his crossword puzzle at the back of People magazine. Now when I see a seemingly stray pen or pencil in the bathroom, I just leave it there.
3. Sudoku and crossword puzzles are great gifts for bathroom readers—These brain teasers are much appreciated and make great “stocking stuffers” during the holidays. They may not technically qualify as reading, but they exercise the brain just like reading does.
4. Don’t complain about the length of time a bathroom reader stays in the loo—Yes, this can be an inconvenience for the non-bathroom reader, but respect a bathroom reader’s “alone” time. Only break this rule in case of a hair, makeup, stomach flu, food poisoning, or hangover emergency. These types of dire situations trump bathroom reading time. Be sure the bathroom reader understands these exceptions!
5. If you have young bathroom readers, encourage their reading time on the toilet—Sometimes getting young ones to read or even go to the bathroom can be challenging. You are killing two birds with one stone, right? Go with the flow. Add books to your child’s loo-brary!
Bathroom readers of the world, I salute you. If you are going to spend 2,000 hours in the bathroom during your lifetime, you might as well make the most of it. May you always be the king (or queen) of your domain.