[Book Review] Uncle John’s 24 Karat Gold Bathroom Reader by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Uncle John's 24 Karat Gold Bathroom ReaderI picked up this brilliantly titled book, Uncle John’s 24 Karat Gold Bathroom Reader by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute (24th edition) at the library a few weeks ago.

The book is part of a series of books called Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers. The series has sold 4.5 million copies. Amazing.

Via Wikipedia: Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers are a series of books containing trivia and short essays on miscellaneous topics, ostensibly for reading in the bathroom. The books are credited to the Bathroom Readers’ Institute, though Uncle John is a real person, and are published by Portable Press, an imprint of Baker & Taylor. The introductions in the books, as well as brief notes in some articles, provide small pieces of information about Uncle John. The first book was published in 1988, and in 2011, the series reached its 24th release, The 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader.

I think the book is a superb idea! Every household should have one of this book tucked into their toilets as compulsory reading material.

Here are some fun facts I learnt from the book over the past weeks:

1. The term “action figure” was coined by Hasbro Toys to sell their range of military boys’ dolls – G.I. Joe

2. 300 years ago, a fad erupted among wealthy Brits to buy people – not to make them servants, but to have them simply wander around their hermitage as “pet hermits”

3. Shel Silverstein, the author of the children’s classic, The Giving Tree was a full-time cartoonist for Playboy magazine before he became a children’s book writer.

4. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, missed it by one letter on his business card when he called himself “Chariman of the Executive Committee”

5. Michael Jackson wrote the hit song, “Bad”, planning to sing it as a duet with Prince. Prince backed out over lyrical content. He was reportedly uncomfortable with the song’s first line, “Your butt is mine.”

If you know of someone who loves to read in the bathroom, this book will make a perfect gift. 🙂

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