Lonely Planet, Non-Fiction, Reference

#696 Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide by Lonely Planet

 Toilets: A Spotter's Guide by Lonely Planet Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide by Lonely Planet

Reading this book is what happens when you’re sick and you can’t sleep.

This book is about toilets, from all over the world. Each toilet has a map of where in the world it’s located, and a picture, or two, of said bathroom. There is also a short paragraph about each of the toilets, sometimes the paragraph is a little longer, but mostly they’re short descriptions of each of the toilets.

The description usually includes location and why, if known, the toilet was erected. Some of the back stories are actually quite interesting. Some of the toilets even cost excessive amounts of money.

What I liked

I like architecture and design so books like this are highly interesting to me. I like seeing the same thing designed in different ways. There are all kinds of different houses, but they all serve the same purpose–to live in. All of these toilets serve the same purpose, to relieve yourself. Why not have some whimsy where toilets are concerned, occasionally. Let’s also not forget Bob’s futuristic toilet in Bob’s Burgers.

What I didn’t like

This is meant to be more or less a picture book, which is nice, but the back stories to each of these could have been expanded to be something really interesting. Who built this toilet? Why? Why were the specific materials chosen? Are there taboos associated with having a toilet in the location that it’s in? I would love to know more about this subject.

All design has a philosophy. Usually this philosophy is based heavily on function, but when you go beyond just function, there are some interesting ideas about why something takes a certain form, or has a certain design.

Also, a lot of these images I’ve already seen. The internet is full of pictures of these toilets. You don’t necessarily have to read this book to glean the information about each of these interesting potties.


Nature called. She said your toilet needs to be pizzazzed up a bit.

Weigh In

If you could design your bathroom any way you wanted, what interesting thing would you do to it?

Would you use an open-air toilet?


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