Great Defecations: Poop to the classics in Singapore’s ‘Looterature’ toilets

Coconuts Singapore
·2-min read

Unable to catch up on your reads while on the go? As everyone knows, books were invented to give people something to do on the toilet, and now they can do so hands-free thanks to new audible portable toilets coming to Singapore for a limited time.

Listen to books while doing your business when Audiobook service Storytel brings to town its Looterature public toilet project, which lets users listen to audiobooks while doing No. 1 or 2.

The cubicles are headed to places including outdoor events, exhibitions and shopping malls – though no date has been announced for when they’ll hit public spaces.

“Since time immemorial, books have had a special place in our lives and no place has been most special than in our bathrooms. But in this digital age, this classic reading time faces a crisis,” says the narrator in a recent promotional video, adding that it aims to “help literature reclaim its rightful place.”

The idea came as a response from Swedish company Storytel and advertising agency Geometry Singapore to the slump in book reading as technology overtakes life. It cited a finding by Wired magazine that 90% of people take their phones to the toilet to shop, play games, use social media, binge-watch shows and text.

The video shows four different book-inspired cubicles designed after Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, The War of the Worlds and Dracula. Each cubicle is equipped with motion sensors that play an audiobook when a person steps inside. Before leaving, users can scan a QR code inside to continue reading the book anywhere using the service’s 30-day free trial.

Screengrab showing a person entering one of the stalls. Image: Geometry/YouTube
Screengrab showing a person entering one of the stalls. Image: Geometry/YouTube

“By hijacking a usual restroom, we were able to create an entirely new and unexpected experience in which restroom is turned into a personal reading room, while allowing Storytel to reach out to new consumers,” Geometry Singapore’s creative director Jorge Thauby said. “Equally important is that we have introduced a new ‘reading’ culture that is relevant and relatable in today’s digital world.”

The cubicles provided relief to 8,000 people at this year’s Garden Beats at Fort Canning Park.

Four Looterature stalls designed after literature classics. Image: Geometry/YouTube
Four Looterature stalls designed after literature classics. Image: Geometry/YouTube

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This article, Great Defecations: Poop to the classics in Singapore’s ‘Looterature’ toilets, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.