One of Unreal's favorite features in our apartment is the little shelf next to the toilet, which we naturally use to store our bathroom reading. Here we keep back issues of The Atlantic
and The New Yorker
, assorted volumes of Best American Essays
and our alumni magazine. Unreal does not believe one should waste one's time on the crapper.
(Sadly, our Spaloo
had to be abandoned.)
But still, we were feeling pretty self-satisfied with our bathroom arrangements until we came across photos of The Most Beautiful Crapper in the World
, also known as the Book Toilet of Antwerp, Belgium.
Designed in 1772 by an Antwerp alderman named Adrien van den Bogaert and executed by architect Engelbert Baet, the Book Toilet is a thing of beauty. It sits in a large room full of natural light (perfect for reading), courtesy of a wall of floor-to-ceiling mullioned windows. The other two walls around the toilet are adorned by floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
This is pretty nice, too, but we have to say, the Book Toilet is a bit more elegant.
The best part, however, is the commode itself, which looks like a stack of enormous leather-bound books. Alas, it appears to be more of a chamber pot-type arrangement than a flush toilet, but, hey, you can't have everything.
Van der Bogaert apparently was also a believer in making good use of his bathroom time. If one sat and read the Latin titles on the spines of the books in the bookshelves, one would find oneself reading an erotic story. The monks who took over the house in later years did not share van der Bogaert's beliefs and burned the titles off.
Unreal hopes someone from Levenger
will read this and come up with a modern book toilet. They once made an end table that looks like stacked books -- surely a commode should be no problem.