The question isn't "Why can't Johnny read?" but rather "Why can't he read in the johnny?'"
The average American spends anywhere from 700 to 2,000 hours on the toilet throughout their lives. While cavemen were relegated to counting rocks to pass the time, modern man is blessed with a plethora of books designed to keep us amused.
In honor of National Bathroom Reading Month, I've compiled a list of 10 pick-up-and-put-down reads for your loo-brary. Pull up a throne and get reading.
1. Uncle John's Bathroom Reader
This may be the big granddaddy of them all. The world's bestselling bathroom-reader series leads the movement to stand up for those who sit down. With over 10 million books in print, the series includes a book for kids, Canadians, sports fans and music lovers of every stripe. Visit "Uncle John's Throne Room" to order your copy.
2. The Great American Bathroom Book - Volumes 1 to 3
Author Steven Anderson has done Readers Digest Condensed Books one better: His compact versions of classic books are no more than two-pages long, making it possible to read "The Great Gatsby" in one sitting. (Great for students too impatient to read the SparkNotes study guide.)
3. The Onion's Finest News Reporting
From the editors of the satirical newspaper comes this collection of the finest stories and commentaries published in The Onion. Even the headlines will make you laugh: "Civil War Enthusiasts Burn Atlanta to Ground," "Nation's Educators Alarmed by Poorly Written Teen Suicide Notes" and the prescient "Massive Oil Spill Results in Improved Wildlife Viscosity."
4. Confessions of a Tabloid Writer
Sam Post's experience as a tabloid freelancer led to a lifetime of rejection letters complaining his plots were implausible. So Post decided to take that criticism and work it to his advantage, compiling a collection of such tabloid stories as "Terrorists Invade Condom Factory," "Hitler's ghost seen in dirty toilets!" and "Alien visits man in his sleep … And teaches him four languages!"
5. Far Side Collection 1980-1994
Gary Larson's "18-pound hernia giver" collects his single-panel cartoons in a massive two-volume collection. Larson includes every lumpy cow, chatty dinosaur, nerd wearing glasses and woman with big hair from his 14 years of publishing the much-missed cartoon.
6. Naked Lunch
William S. Burroughs once famously claimed he wrote "Naked Lunch" from start to finish, then cut the manuscript into strips, threw them in the air and reassembled them into the final version. Even if this tale is apocryphal, it matters not where you start and where you stop in this junkie nightmare. Burroughs moves from one bizarre destination to the next, writing with such resonance that the story becomes timelessly relevant.
7. Everyone Poops
Here's one for the toilet-training set. Taro Gomi created a whole new genre with her now-classic children's book "Everyone Poops." Copy cat versions include "Once Upon a Potty," "Even Firefighters Go to the Potty" and the nose-pickers delight, "The Holes in Your Nose."
8. Stupid Celebrities
What's surprising isn't that Kathryn and Ross Petras'managed to publish their collection of inane celebrity quotes, but rather that it's such a short book. Why Lyndsay Lohan's utterances alone could fill an entire chapter.
9. The Darwin Awards Series
Each year the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it. (By necessity, the awards are generally bestowed posthumously.)
In the latest awards collection, "The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool," awards founder Wendy Northcutt once again asks what crazy cocktail of DNA leads Homo sapiens to do pull-ups off the edge of a seventh-floor balcony, self-test a Taser, joyride in a shopping cart strapped to an SUV, or jump a drawbridge on a bicycle.
10. Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts
Total trivia alert: My mother once sat next to Isaac Asimov at a dinner and found him to be an over-inflated bore. Thankfully, multi-genre author Asimov never bores in print.
Asimov's trivia collection includes 3,000 of "the most interesting, entertaining, fascinating, unbelievable, unusual and fantastic facts." The late science fiction writer made a habit of self hyperbole but this collection truly lives up to its press. A few tidbits:
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