Libraries, bookstores, bowels? Oh, my!!

You have no idea how comforting it is to know that I am NOT the only one who experiences this phenomenon. I started this thread at the…ahem… urge of my wife who just doesn’t understand why I am affected this way. Thanks to your replies, I now have some ammunition that I am not a total freak of nature.
Now that I know I am not the only one, I want to figure out why this happens. I tend to favor a couple of the responses: dust/glue from the books… or the serenity of libraries and bookstores. Although, the last time I was in a B&N on a friday night, it was hardly serene. And I still had to go. That shoots that theory.
So… Anyone know anything about glue/dust? :wink:

Oh my Gosh - me too! I always thought either I was a freak or I was imagining the correlation, but no more. I don’t read in the bathroom, and I don’t necessarily find bookstores uniformly exciting or serene, and other exciting or serene settings don’t cause this effect, nor do other situations where I’m standing/browsing. I vote for the paper/glue dust, but have no idea what the mechanism or reason would be. It’s nice to know I’m not mental, though (well, not in this respect at least).

I had to go take a dump halfway thru reading this thread. :wink:

Will it be included in the next DSM or Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine? :wink:

Me too. I couldn’t believe it when I read the OP. We are not alone! This also happens to me in video stores. I am a bathroom reader, too.

Thank you brother Gabeoak. Your courage and strength in being the first to admit this strange malady has given hope to all the poor souls hiding in the stalls of shame. I shall give you a 21 flush salute at the next library I visit.

On to the causes, I still think it is mental as it affects some of the posters in places other than libraries, but anyone willing to go to a glue factory to rule out that possibility? Just make sure they have the proper facilities.

hijack, sorry folks–

DDG, you mentioned that you have Crohn’s disease…I tired to email you but you have no email listed.

I have a friend who was just diagnosed with Crohn’s and I’ve never met anyone else who has it. Would you mind emailing me? I have some questions. I understand if you don’t want to.


Here are two internet sites that provide information about different health issues - they both have articles on Crohn’s:

Many, many more are available.

Hope this helps.

Yep, I only frequent the Barnes & Noble because of their easy access bathroom. However, I am of the firm belief that it is due to a mental Pavlovian conditioned response. Bookstores/ libraries = relaxed state = relaxed bowels.

I notice for example that when I am at a magazine stand on the street where there is no bathroom, I don’t have it happen. Nor do I feel the need to go if I have to run into a bookstore to get a specific title as part of a series of errands I am running (it only happens when I am browsing). I would also add that I don’t get it in seedy public libraries where the books are in mangled shape and I can only imagine the restrooms look worse than those at the gas station.

But when the books are new or are kept in good shape (university library), and I am browsing, you can bet my asshole starts whistling dixie within minutes and you’ll find me on the can. Oh, and if an informal survey is being conducted, I am also a bathroom reader at home which may start the conditioned response.

Hey pweetman…

I appreciate the 21 flush salute!!!
Been wanting to come forward with this problem for some time and was kind of scared about the responses I might get :wink:

I had the same reaction to the library - finally figured out that the three miles I walked to get to it kicked my digestive system into gear.

Felinecare may be onto something there. I usually get to the one library where this happens to me by trudging up a pretty steep hill. On the other hand, I do a lot of trudging up hills without having to take a dump immediately afterward. Exercise may still be a contributing factor, though.

After a great deal of looking, I have managed to find exactly one web site dealing with the issue. Poo, Libraries and the Anal Character. He discusses only psychological hypotheses, which I find unsatisfying.

I had a WAG that it might be phenolphthalein fumes from all the pheolphthalein they use in the bookbinding industry. Unfortunately, I could find no evidence that the bookbinding industry ever used phenolphthalein at all. (You can ignore this paragraph. Mostly I just wanted to show off the fact that I can remember how to spell phenolphthalein without looking it up. Now where the heck are my car keys?)