I woke up around 4:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I thought a relaxing bubble bath and read might lull me back to sleepytown. There is an idealized image of someone sinking into a deep tub full of warm sudsy water with a good book and losing themselves in the story. But here’s my problem with reading in the bath: it’s wet. Having to shift around occasionally I inevitably end up getting a hand wet and then how am I going to turn the page without also getting the book wet? The water slowly drains out. The bubbles burst. The steam rises up. And no matter how hard I try I seem to always damage the book. Maybe I need to get less anxious about keeping my books pristine letting the type blur and the spine warp. But also the struggle to get really comfortable inevitably clouds my concentration on whatever I’m reading even if it’s a riveting book like Edmund White’s new memoir “Inside A Pearl.” The same thing goes for reading on the beach. I can’t think of anything less relaxing. The hot sun makes me sweat. The sand gets in the crevices of my book and body. Handsome near-naked men walk by distracting me. Children are all around with their wicked cackling. I’d prefer a dark rainy evening, a cup of tea and my comfortable study sofa any day. Maybe that’s why I’m so suited to London.

 How do you feel? Does anyone actually read in the bathtub or on the beach?

AuthorEric Karl Anderson