July 23, 2006

Where I was. What I was reading.

Yes, I spent some time with the NYT Book Review this afternoon.

Café

The Book Review and the acrostic.

IN THE COMMENTS: JLR asked if I read the Henry Alford essay about books in the bathroom. Well, yes, I did. And I had it on my lists of things to post about, before I hit the wall and decided to end the day with this highly relaxing photograph. But since JLR brought it up, I'll just make it part of the subject matter of this post for you to comment on. It's a cool little essay about the practice of putting a lot of books in the bathroom. What's that all about? There are different motives:
A few bathroom collections fell into a category I’ll call “Entertain or Educate Self.” The actor Jonathan Walker showed me the 16 books — mostly cookbooks from the 1950’s and 60’s — he and his wife keep loosely stacked on a shelf in their bathroom. Given that the books were about food, I brought up a theory held by some psychologists that people read in the bathroom because it’s a symbolic way to replace what’s lost through the act of voiding. A book about food, I speculated, might be an especially vivid replacement. But Walker wasn’t buying. He showed me a semi-psychedelic picture of a dessert called “Red Raspberry Fluff” and said, “it’s like listening to music while you’re vacuuming.”
That's just a taste. Read the whole thing. And don't drop your computer in the toilet.

11 comments:

JLR said...

I enjoyed today's musically themed Acrostic.

Also, Henry Alford's essay on books in the bathroom was both amusing and edifying. I suppose I should ask: do you keep any books in your bathroom?

JLR said...

I had read the NYT in hard copy, but I realized I should provide a link to Alford's essay. Here is the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/books/review/23alford.html

And you got to love Alford citing the words of George Costanza: "I got news for you — if it wasn't for the toilet, there would be no books."

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, if I had done one more post on the Book Review, it would have been about books in the bathroom. Feel free to discuss it here. Oh, I'll add some stuff on the front page, but I want the photo to stay at the top.

On the acrostic's musical theme, I especially liked the way some of the word were only implicitly musical, like "augmented."

Christy said...

Looking at it on-line I'd not been tempted by the headline "Chamber Pots." Thanks for cluing me in. My standard for bathroom reading are those works best read in short, ahem, bursts. Andy Warhol's Autobiography was perfect bathroom reading. His life, as dictated, was one little vignette after another which I found impossible to read for more that a few minutes at a time. Don Quixote works well, too, being episodic.

Ann Althouse said...

Chamber Plots.

Yeah, I liked Andy Warhol's Autobiography. It's bloggy.

Buddy Larsen said...

No newspapers--headlines too splashy.

Christy said...

Sigh, chamber plots, of course. Only proving that we read what we expect to read and ruin perfectly lovely puns.

Ann Althouse said...

Christy: Yeah, I thought that too. Great title, but I didn't see it at first.

Todd said...

Espresso Royale Cafe, I'm guessing. Probably near the back.

Drethelin said...

I read in the bathroom alot, but not as a digression from my other reading. The books that are in my bathroom are pretty much just those that I've finished reading there and then not bothered to carry elsewhere.

Mary said...
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