Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. CT
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 10:45:32

    What else are you going to do in there?!?! I multitask everything else…

  2. Julia
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 10:46:25

    I’ve never heard of people being offended by reading a book or magazine in the bathroom, but people are always grossest out when they find out I take my laptop in the bathroom. To me, it’s the same thing.

  3. jmc
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 10:47:53

    Reading while soaking in the tub is fine by me. But at the risk of TMI, reading while using/on the toilet is not. I find it especially disturbing when coworkers take the community newspaper into the bathroom and spend a half hour in there, then return it to the coffee table for others to read.

  4. kate r
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:00:47

    I started the habit when my kids were little and the bathroom was the only place I could get alone-time—that is, if I was lucky and another adult was around to grab them as they started to follow me in.

  5. LauraB
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:06:14

    ewww…. the community paper? Nasty. If it’s my book, then I’m happy to read anywhere. The laptop thing is kinda weird to me. What about talking on the phone? I think that’s tacky.

    BTW, I don’t think bookstores prohibit books in the restroom for loss prevention alone.

  6. Ros
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:13:38

    It is one of the reasons why I can’t see the point of a Kindle or similar – I need books that can be dropped in the bath without too much damage.

  7. Lori
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:41:52

    Well my BFF and I are used to hearing the sounds of toilets flushing when we talk on the phone. Familiarity breeds lack of inhibition.

    I have a book of short stories I keep in the bathroom for uh… occasional times. Sometimes you just need a distraction.

  8. Jade
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:52:42

    Sometimes I even do Sudoku puzzles.

  9. Sam
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:06:16

    In my parents’ house, the only rooms with a lock were the master bedroom and the bathroom. If I went in the bathroom and complained of a stomach ache I could read for what seemed like hours without being disturbed. I did the same with the laptop when I discovered ebooks.

    As an adult in my own house, I have bookshelves above the toilet. I have taught my children that when they are done the book gets put on the shelf, business gets taken care of, hands get washed, then book is retrieved.

    @Ros – Stick that Kindle in a 1 gallon freezer grade ziplock and you can drop it in the water with no problem. As long as the baggie isn’t too crinkled you can read the screen just fine.

  10. Natasha R
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:08:02

    My entire post is going to be TMI, but…

    1] I like showers. I’m not a bath tub person. Maybe when I actually manage to get time and a bathroom all to myself, I’ll indulge in a bathtub.

    2] I mostly read ebooks. I’m afraid of taking them to the bathroom. Have to be careful with those electronics!

    3] The only bathroom time that I have available for reading is while pooping (sorry, I know, TMI). I have a fear of my paper books smelling like poop. LOL
    I have a somewhat valid reason for this fear. I’m Indian (from India. Not the other Indian). Once when I was returning a book to the library, the lady at the counter made a comment about the book smelling of indian food. The ridiculous part of it is that we don’t cook traditional indian food in my house. I have a feeling she was just being mean. But whatever the case, that incident stayed with me. At one point, I was even leaving my books outside on the balcony to get them aired before returning them.

    So bottom line, I don’t read in the bathroom. I have nothing against other people doing it :-)

  11. Tina Burns
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:21:34

    We have a variety of reading material in the bathroom at home, from our mag subscriptions to the books Mr. B and I are reading. Reading in the bathroom was actually how I got him to start reading. It started as a place of quiet and no kids, and just turned into the reading throne. ;)

  12. Gina
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:22:00

    When I was a teen the rule was I set the table, my brother cleared. He’d always try to disappear before clearing so I’d make sure to jet off to the bathroom before he was done, bring a book to pass the time and make sure I stayed in there a good long time so he’d have no one to cover him on table chores. The habit has stuck, bathroom time, baths, etc. Books, magazines, crossword puzzles… I don’t discriminate.

  13. rigmarole
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:26:58

    The bathroom seems to be the ONLY place I can multitask. I read and brush my teeth while I’m on the toilet, and I think it’s actually been very good for my gums since I started doing this. It makes me very relaxed, and I no longer rush through my daily dental routine.

  14. MB (Leah)
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:28:00

    What a funny post.

    Umm… I do read in the bathroom, but only newspaper comics or gossips mags, stuff that doesn’t need too much attention or time. I’m all about get in, do your business and get out.

    That said, I remember one program, maybe it was Mythbusters, in which they tested toothbrushes and other items kept in a bathroom and found all kinds of fecal and other bacteria on those items. They weren’t even near the toilet. They found that when flushing a toilet a fine mist of stuff sprays into the air contaminating things. Since then, I keep my tooth brush and other items like that in a cupboard and don’t take books or such that are not throw away, like newspapers, to read in the bathroom.

    Also, knowing that many people do read while making a deposit, if I buy used books I always sterilize the covers and such with alcohol. Yes, I’m a bit OCD.

  15. The Octopus Gallery
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 12:48:12

    kate r: My mother did the same thing when she came home from work and woe upon the child who bothered her while she was in there. And honestly, that’s where I picked up the romance habit. She always had a romance in there and after a while, I couldn’t help but pick them up and flip through.

    Personally, I’m generally in and out so fast that a novel’s not a good match. However, I find I actually will read poetry if that’s what’s in there. It’s a better match, time wise.

  16. Mireya
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 13:23:19

    My own book/mags/ereader only. I find it horrendously inconsiderate when people use their cells while in a public bathroom. One of my co-workers used to do that … until I started flushing CONTINUOUSLY whenever she did that while I was using the facilities. I don’t have a laptop, but I don’t think I’d be comfortable bringing it into the bathroom if I did have one.

  17. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 13:53:31

    I’m going to guess that being an only child means that I just don’t *grok* the whole bathroom reading thing. Private reading time was what my bedroom was for, or the living room (which was TV-free). And being a shower person means that I just don’t spend that much time dawdling in there . . .

  18. ella144
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:01:22

    I read in the bathroom and take the laptop in the bathroom (usually because I’m reading or writing on it), but I do not talk on the phone in the bathroom.

    Please for the love of Mike and Mary, do not use the bathroom when you are talking to me. That (yes, THAT) is not something I want to hear in the background during our conversation. *shudder*

    Also, people have dropped their phones in the toilet. *shudder and gag* I won’t link to the stories/videos/etc. because I don’t want to find it on Google. You’ll have to look for it yourselves if your interested.

    To help us all back to a happy place, here’s this post with cute baby polar bear pictures (click on the link at the end) from the Editorial Ass AKA Moonrat.

  19. Caligi
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:24:23

    I have a separate stash of material to read in the bathroom, so I never take my romance books or the ereader.

    The bathroom is for Economist issues, D&D manuals and the Bible.

  20. DS
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:29:42

    There used to be a series of books put out with short stories, anecdotes, etc. They were called The Bathroom Book of [golf, fishing, history, whatever] I used to make sure there was one or two in the guest bathroom. Unlike those pretty little soaps and fancy hand towels they did get used.

  21. Julia
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:56:36

    DS, I’m sure there were a few publishers who put out that sort of book. The ones I always got were Uncle John’s something or other. They had guides to how long the piece was, so you would know which one to start reading, depending on what you were doing.

    I find talking on the phone in the bathroom gross, though I admit I have done it once or twice when I was talking to someone I couldn’t get off the phone with and I really needed to pee. But I do take my iPhone in the bathroom. Catch up on my tweets and email. :)

  22. Lynette
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 15:07:29

    I have little kids and a hubby that follows me wherever I go, and I mean wherever. Where else can I take a book, go lock the door, and tell them to leave me be (even if I’m faking-LOL) if not the bathroom.

    P.S. Natasha you should have told that lady to go s-rew herself. Sorry but she was just a b-t-ch.

  23. CD
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 15:55:34

    I have a whole bunch of material specifically for “bog reading” – magazines, art books, amusing quotations and anecdotes and the like which is piled by the toilet for myself and guests. I think this is probably a British thing as my friends do the same – particular the guys. There’s definitely a small industry catering to the bog read in the UK ;-).

    I have a seperate bathroom (ie no toilet) where I do occasionally treat myself to a bubble bath plus book. I read my ebook in a zip lock but have never to date dropped it in. Touchwood.

  24. Mera
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 15:57:19

    When I take a book to the bathroom it’s usually a sign that it is so good that I can’t stop reading even there. Doesn’t happen with many books, though.

  25. Carin
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 16:40:30

    @DS I think the bathroom readers you are talking about are Uncle John’s Bathroom readers. They are AWESOME! One or two page trivia type stories. We love them at my house.

    I read in the bathroom as it is the only place I’m not interrupted… we’re lucky enough to have a bathroom off our bedroom. If I’m only in the bedroom, the knocks on the door never stop. But in the bathroom! Sorry, I didn’t hear you! It must be the fan noise or something! Sometimes I’m not even using the facilities. Just taking refuge.

  26. Nifty
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 17:58:09

    @Carin There’s also the Great American Bathroom Book duology. Very hard to find these days. I have Volume I, and it’s great.

    @CT Your multitask comment made me laugh. My friends think I’m crazy because I keep my toothbrush and toothpaste in the shower. When the conditioner goes in my hair, I’ve got 2 or 3 minutes to kill while it does its conditioning thing, so that’s when I brush my teeth.

    Regarding reading in the bathroom, I most definitely do it. If I’m really into a book, I read it while I walk across the parking lot, read it in the head, read it at stoplights, read it on my lunch break… It goes where I go, and I take every opportunity to read, even if it’s just a sentence or two at a time.

  27. Sherry Thomas
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 17:58:33

    What other room in the house can you legitimately lock for a bit of uninterrupted reading when you are a mother of small children?

  28. Caligi
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 18:54:03

    The best kind of bathroom multi-tasking, imo, is the shower beer.

    A cold bottle of beer in a hot shower is all kinds of awesome.

  29. katieM
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 19:07:16

    I always keep my TBR pile in the bathroom. Half is on the back of the commode and the other half is on the edge of the bathtub (I have to move that stack when I take my bath at night). Sometimes if the book is really good I lose track of time…

  30. Sabrina
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 22:00:11

    My hubby is sitting behing me at his computer LHAO at this post because that many others have hiding place from my 2 children, 3 cats, and 200lb English Mastiff all of which follow me everywhere. The children will talk and talk and talk..the cats will get on each side of the toliet to try “to look in”..yeah they aren’t normal, I know, can’t explain it..and the dog, oh yeah the 200lb dog that thinks he’s a chihuahua and can squeezed into my toliet room(separated by a door from the rest of the bathroom) and just sit there and stare at me, gets a bit unnerving after awhile.

    When I am especially into a book(sometimes even when I am not) and nature calls, the book goes on a trip to the little girl’s room, door gets locked and I block out all noise from the house. I have sat on the potty long after finishing what I went to finish;) till I could no longer feel my legs, why, partly out of fear of what my kids have done during my alone time, and the other part, well it’s just plain QUIET!
    And yes I am one of those people, only with a select few who do it to me, that will talk on the phone while on the potty;)

  31. Suze
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 23:26:41

    Books and e-books, absolutely yes. They are protected from germs by an invisible forcefield powered by my awesome mind. In 30+ years of reading on the potty, I’ve dropped a book in the (flushed) toilet exactly once. I get really bored sitting on the throne, and sometimes it takes a while for things to get moving. If I don’t have a book to read, I — um, quit too soon. And then I spend the rest of the day misreading the signals my body is trying to send me.

    Phones, no. Gross. If I’m on the phone with you and I realize you’re on the toilet, I’ll hang up immediately. No matter what we were talking about.

    Laptop, also no. Also gross. My brother took MY laptop into the washroom with him once. ONCE.

  32. Anion
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 08:18:22

    I will talk on the phone while peeing, but only to my husband or my BFF; I consider them different from other people (they will do the same while talking to me). It’s not a regular thing, of course, but occasionally it’s necessary. (Only pee, though.)

    Not only do I read in the bathroom, I got the idea for one of my best books on the toilet. I never tell people that when they ask how I got the idea, but it’s true. :-) I do occasionally take my laptop with me and set it on the edge of the sink, but not often. Oh, and I never read in a public bathroom, including a work bathroom. That’s just tacky. And the communal newspaper thing? Yuck.

    I also read while brushing my teeth.

    And I always close the lid before flushing exactly because I once saw something on TV or in a magazine about the flume of germs that erupts from a flushing toilet. I never, ever flush with the lid up. It’s another reason I hate public toilets; no lid to close.

  33. Tara Marie
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 10:28:05


    I keep my toothbrush and toothpaste in the shower. When the conditioner goes in my hair, I've got 2 or 3 minutes to kill while it does its conditioning thing, so that's when I brush my teeth.

    I have been doing this for years, my husband and son think I’m crazy.

    As to bathroom reading, hey sometimes it’s the most privacy and quiet time I’m getting during my day. I’ll take it when I can get it :)

  34. Melisse Aires
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 11:27:15

    I put my pda in a ziplock and read by candlelight in the tub. Very relaxing!

  35. Karla
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 12:05:53

    Why the germophobia? It’s not like you’re wiping your butt with it. That’s what the Sears catalog is for. ;-)

    As someone with very irregular movements (so to speak), reading is relaxing and helps.

  36. 8 Ways to Find More Time to Read. « The Novel World of Teal Ceagh
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 14:07:16

    […] and this is a complete shock to you, take a deep breath.  Jayne over at Dear Author has just run a poll and discovered a whopping 66% of readers read in the little room.  Join the majority, if you […]

  37. Suze
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 19:47:40

    And I always close the lid before flushing exactly because I once saw something on TV or in a magazine about the flume of germs that erupts from a flushing toilet. I never, ever flush with the lid up. It's another reason I hate public toilets; no lid to close.

    According to Mythbusters, you don’t get more e. coli exposure (as evidence cultures grown from toothbrushes) from the “toilet plume” than you do from being generally on our fecund planet. Myth busted.

    A danger in putting the lid down before you flush is that you can’t see that the toilet is blocked and is about to flood over. Which happens fairly frequently in my elderly house. The lid goes down AFTER I flush, just in case.

  38. mingqi
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 20:46:41

    Well for me, it takes a while to go. Reading relaxes me and helps me keep my mind off the process of going. After I’m down, I put the book down on the stool I have in the bathroom, wipe myself, and then wash my hands- so it’s all clean!

    I don’t think I would bring my cell phone into the bathroom with me. It’s too distracting-especially if someone should call. And I don’t think I’d want to be on the phone while I’m on the toilet.

  39. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 30, 2009 @ 08:30:00

    What other room in the house can you legitimately lock for a bit of uninterrupted reading when you are a mother of small children?

    I guess when I was small it was simply made clear that when mom and dad were reading, there had better be blood involved if I interrupted them, LOL!

  40. Sandy Williams
    Oct 30, 2009 @ 11:21:20

    lol I don’t usually read in the bathroom, but there have been a few books that I just couldn’t put down, not even to pee!

  41. 8 Ways to Find More Time to Read. | Tracy Cooper-Posey
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 08:34:38

    […] and this is a complete shock to you, take a deep breath.  Jayne over at Dear Author has just run a poll and discovered a whopping 66% of readers read in the little room.  Join the majority, if you […]

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