Do You Read in the Bathtub?

By Bruno Cordioli from Milano, Italy [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIf you’re a bathtub reader (like myself), someone’s probably asked you at least once,  “You’re not taking a book in there, are you?  Aren’t you afraid you’ll drop it?”

I’m a fan of bathtub reading, albeit with certain rules.  The book has to be something lighthearted and not too serious.  It can’t be so big that it can’t be comfortably held in one hand, which rules out Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, and any other large tomes you might have lying about.  It also has to be something that isn’t irreplaceable in case of an accident, which for me generally means nothing that’s signed, out of print, or hasn’t been released yet.  Oh, and positively no e-readers!  That’s just asking for trouble, even if you did put it in a watertight ziplock bag.

What about you?  Do you read in the bathtub?  What are your preferred bathtub-reading books?

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29 comments

  1. I can’t wait until I own my own house and I can have a custom bathtub! Being 6’4″ makes it quite difficult to read in the tub and I LOVE to! I also love to read in the pool. My kindle is great because I can put it in a Quart size plastic baggy and, voila, water proof case 😀

    1. I’d be scared to read my Kindle near water, even with the plastic baggy. I tend to have bad luck with sensitive pieces of electronics (computers, ipods, phones, etc.).

      Pool reading sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve read beside a pool, but never in one.

  2. Not a big bathtub reader. Images of the episode of Cheers where Diane buys a rare book and Sam drops it in the tub while reading it keep coming to mind.

    I will admit I flinched the other day when I saw a young lady checking her smart phone in the gym’s whirlpool. I keep my electronic devices far, far away from water….

    1. I try to stick to paperbacks that could be at my door in two days if I needed a quick replacement from Amazon. I’ve never dropped one yet, but there’s a first time for everything.

      If I owned a Smartphone, it would stay far far away from water, period.

  3. I used to when I took baths. But now I take take them. I really can’t remember my last bath–that’s such a shame. But my bathroom is always freezing and you don’t get endless hot water in my flat. I would only have two inches of water. I need more 🙂

    1. Having a real bathtub again was one of the best parts about moving into an apartment after college. I’d have a hard time dealing without much hot water… when I studied abroad, the water in the apartment I lived in broke altogether for a few weeks, and it was not fun.

  4. I don’t do it often, but yes indeed, I do read in the bathtub. This pretty much exclusively happens in the winter time and when it does I make plans to hunker down and have a good soak, which means reading material and a good glass of wine if I have any in the house. I’ve read everything from comic books to novels in the tub and as of yet, knock on wood, have not had any damage done to anything I’ve taken in there to read.

    At the risk of oversharing, I’ve actually read in the bathroom itself, many times. And I’m not talking about “throne reading”. What I’m talking about is taking a book in to keep reading while brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed only to find myself sitting down, back against the tile wall on a long reading jag to finish a chapter, or sometimes the book. Sometimes you just get so engrossed you cannot do anything but plop down right where you are at and get lost.

    1. I used to do that a lot when I lived with my parents… I grew up with three younger siblings, so locking oneself in the bathroom was one of the easiest ways to read for a while without being disturbed.

      I’ve also been known to occasionally miss my bus/metro stop because engrossed in a really good chapter. Luckily, that generally only happens on my way home… 😛

  5. I read in the bathtub a lot as a teenager because as long as I was in the bathtub my parents wouldn’t bother me with other things. But, then I got older and started taking showers instead and that doesn’t work so well with the printed page.

    Once I got my Kindle I gave up on the idea of bathtub reading entirely out of fear of dropping it in the water. It wouldn’t harm me to do so, but I’m pretty sure the Kindle isn’t waterproof.

  6. Wow, great topic. I don’t take baths because our house is 2 billion years old and we need to replace the fixtures. But I think I might read in the tub if I were to stay in a long time. Also this gives me ammo for an argument I constantly have with my boyfriend: he says I should get a Kindle, and that anything you can do with a book, you could do with a Kindle. I asked him: could I take it to the beach? No, he says, it might get sand in it. Score one for Amelie.

    This post is serendipitous too because for some reason I’m terrible at writing book reviews. There’s a certain writing style I just can’t get a handle on. But I love reviewing them so I decided to instead talk about book potential: is it a good beach book? Hammock book? Should you eat while reading it? Bathtub conditions are a great idea too!

    1. That sounds like a great way of recommending books! The books I choose for bathtub reading are completely different than the ones I want for lunch break, metro, or while-drinking-cup-of-tea reading.

  7. I am a bathtub reader. It’s a great time to read and when it’s a gripping book any free time (like lounging in a bath) is used to read. I managed to plough through Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies. More recently I finished Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.

      1. He’s brilliant. I started reading his books back in high school and he got me back into reading. Try Norwegian Wood, After Dark and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle – I love those three and I think they are his best.

  8. Well, I’ve not done it for a while but I used to have reading in the bath down to a fine art. Bath pillow, one of those bath shelf-like things that goes across the bath but that most people use to put soap and things in (not a clue what this is called but its very good for placing your glass of wine into! And, also, whilst being completely indulgent you are of coursing combining more than one task! So it’s a winner. I don’t really know why I’ve stopped. Perhaps I’m waiting for the nights to draw in! The other beauty about reading in the bath is no distractions – no tv, laptop, mobile, etc.
    I love the picture – don’t suppose a real bathroom/library would work but I can’t help admiring the bookshelves anyway.
    Lynn 😀

    1. One of those bath tray things would be so useful… I’m generally stuck putting the book on the edge of the tub, which is an accident waiting to happen. 🙂

  9. I usually stick to replaceable paperbacks but once I did dare to take the e-reader near water. I was so scared I’d drop it I ended up getting out of the tub to read. Lesson learned. 🙂 Easy to hold paperbacks it is.

  10. My wife and I both read in the bathtub and destroy many books in the process. My wife won’t even borrow a book without saying, “If you give me this book it might get wet.” There are a very few books I won’t risk destroying, but all of the others are water-logged and stained.

    1. Sometimes books just accidentally get wet. I used to own a copy of Gone With the Wind, but my mother dropped it into a lake. It dried out surprisingly well, actually, all things considered…

  11. It’s never quite as comfortable as you think it’s going to be, but I still love reading in the bath! I don’t do it very often, but it’s perfect when you are feeling a bit stressed and want to get away from everything! (Or if you’re coming down with a cold!)

    1. I’ve been doing a lot of bathtub reading a lot lately. It’s a good way to get away from everything, although I’m prone to lose track of time rather quickly… 😀