The Best Books Aren't on the Shelves

What do you do when you're tired of studying in Lamont, but you still want to use Evelyn Woods' technique? You guessed it, go to the john. The reading is great.

Depending on your particular choice of Lamont's four facilities, you can get anything from Indians of the Northwest Coast to a blow by blow account of the Anglo-Soviet Radio Chess Match held in 1946.

Piles Increase

Despite the vigilance of the library staff, books and magazines pile up daily on tables inside the washrooms.

Last week, the collection of reading fare included the Autobiography of Alice B. Tolkas, the Ethics of Sex, the Village Voice, A Man from Kansas, bound volumes of Time (1945), Life (1969) and the Saturday Evening Post (1954), Harpers, Police Chief, and the Icon and the Axe, an interpretive history of Russian Culture.

Lamont officials take no credit for the selection of literature. The books are taken into the rest rooms "purely on the student's own initiative," one librarian claimed.


But at least four copies of the latest Harvard Alumni Bulletin-stamped "Bathroom Use-Do Not Remove"-rest comfortably in both the men's room and the ladies' lounge.

If the Harvard Bulletin is too dry, you can always pick up the December Police Chief, "the professional voice of law enforcement."

Handcuffs and Tear Gas

At your leisure, you can page through ads for shoulder holsters, handcuffs, parking meters, and a variety of tear gas cannisters. The Mighty Midget Emergency Kit has "Two Six Packs To Go," featuring optional loading of CN, CS Irritant, or DM sickening gas.

When purchasing the tear gas, the ad warns, remember "No riot mob is going to stand still just because you wish they'd wait for me, while I go find my tear gas."

Lamont janitors remove about a dozen books from the bathrooms daily, one librarian estimated.

But the library has no official policy concerning the removal of books from the john, or if there is one, it remains one of the University's most closely guarded secrets.

The Approval of the John

Of all the books and magazines, only the Bulletin has so far received the official bathroom seal of approval. The stamp does not reflect the political bias of Lamont, though, a student employee said. The magazines are placed there to keep undergraduates from writing on the walls.

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