Friday, 13 January 2012

How to Read in Wet Places Part One: The Bathtub

For Deblina

There are certain places one should never read if one is afraid of damaging their books.  The shower is one of them, but the bath is not.  Here are a few simple tips and tricks for scrumptious tub time reading.

* Be not afraid of wetness.

Unless, God forbid, you drop the entire book into the bathtub, you are not going to damage your book beyond readable quality.  Water will warp the pages and in some cases make the paper more susceptible to tearing.  Some inks may run, although I have yet to encounter this.  Books which have been thoroughly enjoyed in the bath should expect to turn out like this:

As you can see, Kaitlyn has been a very clever little porcupine and chosen to read Popular Penguins at tub time.  These only retail for 9.95 AUS and make a perfect, stress free aquatic read.

*The Bare Necessities

If, like me, you tend to be on the OCD side of things when it comes to taking care of your possessions, there are a few precautions that you can take.  These are not foolproof, but help a great deal.

Line up your bath time accoutrements along the lip of the tub, if it has one, or on a little table at arm's reach.  Soap, check.  Duckie, check.  Razor, check.  Exfoliating mits, check. (What?  You don't own those?  Dude, you're missing out.)  Dry hand towel or flannel.  VERY VERY IMPORTANT! This can be used to dry your hands AND FOREARMS should you get them wet.  Do this before touching your book and you will minimise water warpage.

Either, read until the water gets cold and then scrub yourself in the tepid water like some medieval wench, or, attend to your toilette, dry your arms and settle down for a good old read.  It's up to you.

* Relaxation Station 

If this were purely an exercise in cleanliness, we would have just had a shower, wouldn't we?

You know your needs best.  Do you relax best with music playing?  I like to listen to She and Him, Clare Bowditch, Boy and Bear or Josh Pyke personally but maybe Panthera is more your thing...  Set the volume on your CD player so that you can hear it, but not so loud that it will break the fictive dream when you are reading.  Another great tool of the relaxation trade is a scented candle.  You can often find little tealights for about a dollar.  I'm using Jasmine scented ones at the moment, to match my soap.  Just make sure you're using a candle holder to catch the wax, and make sure that your firelighter is safely in the off position when you're done.

* Get Comfy

You may like to use a bath pillow, or if you're lazy like me, you can use a folded up beach towel.  My bath is built into the wall in my bathroom, and it has a lip behind that great back shaped curve.  I place the towel here and it gently cradles my head.

Generally I sit up, but if I concentrate, I can lie down and hold the book above my head.  Make sure you have a good grip on the book if you try this!

That's all I can think of for now, folks.  I hope this helps.  Success will be its own reward!


  1. I have never read in the bath, for fear of book damage. Perhaps I ought to try it anyway! :D

  2. Panthera is a genus of the cat family. Did you perhaps mean Pantera?


Leave a comment