The Corner

Loo Books

I get a steady 5-10 e-mails a day from readers of PRIME OBSESSION. This one

particularly touched me: “Hello Mr. Derbyshire—I am about 1/3 of the way

through your book ‘Prime Obsession’ and must say that I am thoroughly

enjoying it. It’s dense stuff for me and so I take it in small doses,

primarily in the mornings, when I am sitting on the loo…”

This is a mode of reading not to be despised. I have done much of my own

reading on the loo — I read the whole of PARADISE LOST that way (took me a

year).

For a couple of years now my default loo book has been the 1911 Britannica.

I’ve got the whole thing — 28 volumes plus index. Heading to the can, I

just grab a volume at random. There’s always something of interest to be

found.

Is this more than you wanted to know? Sorry.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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