Ever had the urge to poop in a bookstore? Yeah, there’s name for that

Bookstores contain a lot of knowledge, don’t they? They are absolutely rammed with knowledge. Facts, stories and all kinds of literature live inside of bookstores (as well as an array of small gifts like keyrings and pens), but they also possess the ability to do something a little more strange to our bodies, other than just make us feel like we’re intelligent.

Life is full of strange urges and feelings and certain buildings and locations can do peculiar things to your body.


Take museums, for example, I step one foot into a museum and my legs are instantly tired. Don’t get me wrong, I love the museum, but they make my legs feel like long beams of steel that are connected to my body and I have to lumber them around with me for several hours. In light of this, I have now coined this sensation, “Museum Legs” and know plenty of other people who suffer from the same turmoil.

However, there is one sensation that, while I can’t quite get my head around, a lot of people claim to suffer from: needing a poo when you go into a bookstore.

It sounds completely ridiculous, right? WRONG. Look how common it is!.


You may still believe that this unexpected urge is a load of baloney, but it does have a name. Yep, the need to drop your pants and curl out a sizeable poop in the middle of a bookshop is called the Mariko Aoki Phenomenon. Aoki, for what it’s worth, was a Japanese woman who just so happen to write about her need to dump in bookshops for a magazine back in 1985.

While for some people, the urge remains an urban myth and is simply hearsay, Aoki’s editors were flooded with letters from readers who had also experienced the same thing. In light of this, there have been various people who have come forward with what they believe are scientific explanations for the occurrence.

One such theory claims that the smell of processed paper and ink has a laxative effect on people, causing them to instantly feel the need to soil themselves as soon as they enter a bookshop. While this is widely regarded as the most accepted theory, it has never actually been proven.

The second line of thought is that the habit of reading on the toilet leads us to associate the two actions with one another because humans are genuinely, y’know, pretty stupid. And, lastly, some claim that the posture we adopt when reading is optimal for bowel movement.

So, next time you enter a bookshop and feel the need to let rip right there on the floor, rest easy knowing that this is a common occurrence. While these words will give you little-to-no comfort as you enter the brace position and drop one, at least you know that you’re not alone. Who knows, perhaps someone else is stinking up the floor upstairs?