The toilet is considered a private place, so what happens there is not usually a topic for discussion. This is a personal matter. Tempo broke this taboo and commissioned the Association for Consumer Research (GfK) to conduct a study to unravel a mystery: What do Germans read on the loo? The answer: mostly magazines. 51 percent of those questioned page through magazines while on the potty. Newspapers came in second with 47 percent. Whether someone reads on the loo, however, has nothing to do with age. The percentage of those between the ages of 14 and 60 who admit to reading on the toilet does not vary.
Men read the daily paper, women prefer tabloid periodicals
Men and women have completely different tastes when it comes to what they like to read on the loo. While only one out of every four women pass the time with reading,roughly half of the men do so while taking care of business. A total of 36 percent of those surveyed read on the toilet. Men prefer newspapers (57 percent) while women tend towards magazines (56 percent). The largest common denominator for both genders is advertising brochures and catalogues, which are perused by nearly one third of the men and women.
Auto Bild beats Playboy
When bookworms of both sexes crack a book on the loo, for half of them it's a thriller. This is followed by non-fiction (28 percent) and satires (27 percent). Comics, the post and crossword puzzles, on the other hand, are seldomly found on the loo. Tablet PCs or smartphones are also at home on the toilet: 8 percent spend their time with Kindles and other devices.
Reading is ok, but not for too long
As pleasant as reading on the loo might be, anyone who gets absorbed in a long article or loses track of time due to an exciting chapter in a book isn't doing themselves any favours. Extended sitting after a bowel movement and further pressing "is a prime cause of hemorrhoids", warns Professor Alexander Herold of theRectum Center in Mannheim in the magazine Apotheken Umschau. "People should go to the toilet when they really need to, and shouldn't stay for more than a maximum of five minutes." This also applies to reading on smartphones, tablet PCs or eReaders.