Bathroom reading is a specialized and very personal genre of literature. I imagine everyone has his/her idea of what passes muster for bathroom reading, what its essential qualities must be. Of the books that have had a place on my makeshift bathroom shelf (a pipe) for some time - as opposed to magazines or newspapers that come and go- I look for books that I can open anywhere and find something entertaining, illuminating or educational. Proper beginnings and endings don’t matter. A folding aluminum camp stool (yikes!) I bought at the flea market serves as a book stand.
As a way of finding interesting new things to read and share in the unique sensibilities of ‘the improvised life’s readers, I invite you to join in our first reader’s survey. Please take a few minutes to list your favorite bathroom reads in the Comments.
I’ll start with my current line-up (and an excerpt I came across today):
Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art
Chronicles: Volume One
Zen Art for Meditation
The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems: 1937-1952
The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2010
T’ai Chi Ch’uan for Health and Self-Defense: Philosophy and Practice (my boyfriend’s; it’s been there for YEARS)
NY Atlas (I think this is out-of-print; the subway info is out-of-date but the maps are GREAT)
“I can’t say when it occurred to me to write my own songs. I couldn’t have come up with anything comparable or halfway close to the folk song lyrics I was singing to define the way I felt about the world. I guess it happens to you by degrees. You just don’t wake up one day and decide that you need to write songs, especially if you’re a singer who has plenty of them and you’re learning more every day. Opportunities may come along for you to convert something — something that exists into something that didn’t yet. That might be the beginning of it…”
–Bob Dylan Chronicles, Volume One