Do You Read In The Bathtub?
By Karen Ballum on October 03, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
Among readers there is always one conversation that is quick to have people take sides - do you read in the bathtub? Once you say yes it then goes on to more questions - what do you read in the bathtub? Do you read magazines or books? Paperback or hardcover. Do you *gasp* read library books in the tub?
Personally, I'm all about reading books while soaking in the bath. Preferably with a cold drink at hand. (The drink varies - sometimes it's water, gingerale or perhaps even a nice Chardonnay.) I've rung in a couple of New Year's Eves in the bathtub with a delightfully trashy romance novel, an ice-bucket with a bottle of wine in it and lots and lots of bubbles. I highly recommend it. It's much more relaxing than trying to find a cab at 1am.
Before you ask, no I've never dropped a book in the tub. (I have dropped a glass of wine in the tub though, I just convinced myself that it was a spa treatment and poured myself another.) I have gotten a few drops on pages or the covers which is enough to make some bibliophiles gasp. That isn't to say that I don't have a few rules for bathtub reading.
Sassymonkey's Rules for Bathtub Reading
Rule #1: It doesn't matter it if it is paperback or hardcover but I must be able to hold it open with one hand. No Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. No Harry Potter books after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This also rules out magazines. They are just too large to read in the tub and I think you are asking for trouble in the form of soggy pages if you try.
Rule #2: No library books. I'm sure I've broken this rule a time or two (sometimes they are really, really good and it's hard to put them down). While I've never dropped a book in the tub I don't want to change it. Me and Murphy's Law have a longstanding relationship, which brings us to....
Rule #3: Don't read anything in the tub that you can't replace. That precious-to-you signed copy? No. That long out of print book? No. That copy of Pride and Prejudice that you stole from your grandmother's bookshelf? No.
Rule #4: Don't bring anything into the tub that you think you are going to want to take notes on. Or add lots of post-it flags to. Balancing a book is risky enough, you don't to add paper, pens and post-its to that do you? No, I didn't think so.
Rule #5: Keep a towel within easy reach. I know that seems obvious but there's a difference between a towel being within easy reach when are standing and getting out of the tub and when you are actually lying down in the tub. Ah ha! You see what I'm saying.
Rule #6: This should go without saying but just in case...no iPhones, Kindles, Sony Readers or whatever electronic device you use to read e-books in the tub. Reading a physical book tempts fate enough. Step away from the electronics.
Rule #7: All bathtub must be fun. That book you are forcing yourself to read for your bookclub or because your mother-in-law loaned it to you? Nope. Reading for class? No.
Rule #8: Relax. If you are anxious about dropping the book in the tub just don't do it. The point of reading in the tub, for me at least, is that I get to relax and de-stress. If it stressed you out just don't do it.
Now, I know that I'm not the only person who reads in that tub. I know that many, many of your do it. So I went on a hunt for tub reading stories.
Reading in the bathtub during a tornado warning isn't quite what I have in mind when I think of bathtub reading but hey, if you have to hide in there anyway...
But I think my favourite bathtub reading story I found was this one from rglawe at that Big Universe Blog.
I can still remember that day in first grade, when Mrs. Anderson brought a bathtub into our classroom, filled with soft, red pillows and loads of easy readers. It was an old fashioned, white tub with claw feet – nothing like I had ever seen in our home. Still, I wonder where she found it and how she managed to bring it to school. What a fabulous treat it was to take a turn reading in the bathtub. Two at a time.
Raise your hand if you are jealous that you didn't have a bathtub full of cushions and books in your first grade classroom? *thrusts hand into the air*
Do you read in the bathtub? Do you have rules for bathtub reading?
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