Of Books and Baths and Things That go Whoops in the Night

February 9 is official “Read in the Bath Day.”

(Around here, that’s short for “Did-You-Drop-That-Book-In-The-Tub-Again-Day.”)

I admit to a weakness for books and bubbles and hot water. I’ve emptied more water heaters than I can count (and more than once at a sitting), and I’ve passed many a happy hour reading away in a bubble bath.

I’ve also got the swollen tomes to prove it.

Anyone who reads in the bath understands that concept all too well. It doesn’t matter how carefully you hold the book or how slowly you turn the page. If you read in the bath, sooner or later you’re going to drop one, and since the absorbency of paperbacks rivals that of the thirstiest sponge, the book will absorb roughly half the contents of the bathtub in the 0.25 seconds it takes you to scoop it back out again. And no matter how carefully you set it aside to dry, the end result looks like the love child of an encyclopedia and an accordion shoved into a cover six sizes too small.

You would think this might teach me a lesson, but you’d be wrong.

Next bath, next book, next round of Biblio-bathio-phile Roulette. It might not be this novel, or the next one, or the next, but sooner or later the bathtub will win again. And I’ll keep on reading there even so.

I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result (variously attributed to Ben Franklin, Einstein, and others). If that’s so then I’m probably insane – at least when it comes to thinking I’ll never drown another book. That said, the insanity is only partial. See, I read in the bath quite often, but you’ll never catch me taking my Kindle there.

Insane, yes, but not stupid.

Chime in for the count: how many of you read in the bath? And how many have baptized a book or two in the process?

2 thoughts on “Of Books and Baths and Things That go Whoops in the Night

  • February 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I actually have paperback of my favorites (Jane Austin, LOTR, and some others) that are specifically “bath-books”. The children think I have poor taste in bathtoys.

    • February 12, 2011 at 12:48 am

      I do the same thing! I have several that have already been “bathed” once so it seems less tragic if they go for another swim (not that I don’t try to avoid it!). My son wasn’t into bath books either – he was more of a duck-and-submarine type (with the duck primarily offering target practice…) Thanks for stopping by!

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