How to Read in the Bath

Have you ever dropped a book in the bath?

I’m not talking just a couple pages, or have it become a little crinkly from the steam. I’m talking big splash, fully emerged drop into that hot bubble filled water. You’re book will never be the same.

Sometimes you can’t even read it again. It won’t fit on your shelf the way it used to, and all you can do is reminisce on the days when you could open it up without an audible stiff crack of the water damaged pages. 

Baths in general are romanticized in the movies.

Candles surround you (hope your hair doesn’t catch on fire!), bubbles expand over the top of the tub (how much bubble solution does it actually take to create that many bubbles?), a glass of wine perched on the side (can you imagine dropping that in??). And then there’s the book you’re delving into, perfectly dry of course, with your neck safely supported by a rolled up towel at the edge. 

The reality is like the pictures ‘real’ people recreate of celebrities. Never the same or as good. But reading in the tub sounds so nice, right?

Don’t worry, it’s still possible, there are simply some tips we as booksellers suggest to keep you entertained without sacrificing the life of your book. 

These tips will help you prevent disaster!

  • Get a Bath Tray: This may be the most obvious solution. There are some great trays out there, some with cup holders for wine or the beverage of your choice and a book holder! The downside to having such a tray would mean that you would have to sit up more, and be aware that moving your legs could kick the tray up and disrupt everything. 
  • Read over the Side of the Tub: This is personally what I have done since the worst happened and I dropped my new copy of Clash of Kings into the bath water, resulting in sticky pages and heartbreak. I drape a towel over the side (just enough to cover the top of the side, not dipping into the water. Then I lean against the side and back and hold my book on the safe side. This may be awkward, depending on the size of your tub, the size of the book, and the size of you, but it can be done.
  • Only Take Books of Questionable Condition to the Bath: My final tip would be to only take books you are okay with being destroyed to the bath with you. Some people call them their ‘bath books.’ Maybe you only payed a dollar or two for them, or they are about to fall apart anyway. Or maybe you would only read those books in the bath and nowhere else. Whichever the case, these would be the books that you would be okay with dropping or getting a bit wet, so if the worst happens, it’s no big deal. 

With these tips, you can feel better about taking those quiet moments to yourself and know you don’t have to worry about things going awry. So go, bathe well, and read on!

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