Why Reading in the Bathroom in isolation is my favorite activity
Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer, said in his book “Cosmos” that ‘Isolation, even if incomplete, breeds diversity’ (Cosmos, chapter VII). He gives the example of the Ionia, an island surrounded by water. Ionia is the birthplace of science, where the hypothesis that there is God’s hands in everything is dismissed. I did not fully grasp this idea. Japan, Great Britain are islands, and there is an evident spirit of creativity in each country. What about the U.S.? Is America uncreative because geographically, the country is not isolated? So Carl Sagan’s quote is flawed. Or am I missing something?
Then I remember I have a strange habit, even bizarre, to many people. I like to read, write, think in the bathroom, the clean, dry one. The bathroom is my favorite place to involve in intellectual pursuits. Strange, isn’t it, that the place that my concentration is at peak is not a coffee shop, a study lounge, a library, nor my bedroom, which is the 2nd choice of mine if it is not for the tempting bed. Behind the close door, the bathroom is a quiet haven where my thoughts run freely. I don’t have to act, to mind other people. No one can see me making weird faces, singing, dancing like I am possessed by Lady Gaga, except my reflection in the mirror. The bathroom is better than any think tank. In the bathroom, my brain generates the weirdest ideas that make me giggle. These ideas disappear when people are around. Out of fear of being looked at like a girl who is on drug, even delusional as the fear is sometimes, my flow of thoughts is not as free as when I am alone.
I indeed miss something. Sagan does not restrict the criteria for free and diverse spot concerning geography. Maybe an island is less influenced by neighboring territories. They work up their original ideas and come up with their own style. But you don’t need to live on an island. I found that for myself, I work best when I am in a place that is not bothered by noises such as the yelling of a mother or the telephone ring. A clean, dry bathroom is not always available. Last year I was living in a dorm with three other American students. We shared a bathroom. I usually brought my book there and read, but not for a long time; otherwise they will think I was writing something substantial as ‘Cosmos’ in the bathroom, which take a long time to write.
A bathroom is ideal for me to read and write. Others might be productive working in a chaotic environment. For best result, we know what place we are the most comfortable with.