Reading material in the bathroom says something about the household: relaxed. Growing up my parents always had a small wicker basket beside the toilet with a collection of New Age magazines and occasionally a Reader’s Digest in it. Somewhere along the way the basket disappeared along with its reading material and enquiring after it now seems a bit gauche. Grimy, like heading into the bathroom with a book, or the newspaper as my dad used to, it’s an act that carries with it some shame, or at the very least does away with any mystique. Are you planning on getting comfy in there? And it may be my imagination but I always found those toilet magazines eventually take on the smell of poo.
My best friend is a very relaxed person. She has interior design magazines in her toilet and at one time a vision board with a female soccer player on it wearing red and white shorts. She now owns two restaurants. Her magazines encourage you to relax in her bathroom as in her lounge as in her restaurants, if you are a relaxed person.
The first time my husband introduced a magazine into our bathroom it appeared on top of the toilet like a curious and entirely foreign object. I stared at it and all the things it implied: someone getting comfortable. How would he feel if I suddenly got really into reading on the toilet? His woman, busy with a book in the bathroom.
I think he chose that first magazine strategically. It was a copy of The New Yorker, so, classy, right? High literature on the bog. Then copies of New York magazine appeared and Adbusters etc. How could I argue? Some of those covers are really good!
It didn’t take long before local newspapers appeared and then music mags, but by this stage we were in the swing of it. Cleaning them into the bin would be an act of aggression and uptightness that might warrant a “I didn’t get to read that one? There was an article…” etc.
So now I feminize the space by putting the best looking magazine on top of the pile when girl friends come over. Dudes don’t care, but they of course do the thing that magazines in bathrooms encourage and I don’t want to think about: sit there lingering for longer than necessary, with poo.