But I have a problem.
But e-readers and tablets don’t like baths. The steam acts like James Herbert’s fog. It rolls across the screen, leaving a surface mist. Then it works its way inside the chips and throttles them. Or so I imagine. Besides, even if it doesn’t have a corrosive effect, I know that at some point it would slip out of my fingers (probably because of my penchant for bath oil), and that would definitely be the end of that device.
But I won’t give up. There is just something so appealing about reading in the bath.
I like reading on trains but I don’t commute, so that’s no good. Anyway, there’s always that man in uniform who leans over your shoulder and says, ‘Tickets, please.’ It’s hard to explain to him that I’ve reached a pivotal part in the plot and his need to carry out his job is completely unacceptable.
In a bathroom you can control the environment. You lock the door. You’re alone. Nobody can interfere. You can light a candle, if you want to. Candles are very versatile. They work with both ghost stories and romances. If you’re reading my favourite genre, crime (it should be my favourite, I write it) I find that it’s better to have more harsh lighting. Lighting that gets right into the grouting of the tiles.
Don’t get me wrong, I also read in bed and curled up on the sofa. But both experiences are incomplete, prone to interruption. It’s hard to explain to my girlfriend that her altruistic question: ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’ has just wrenched me from chasing a villain up the Empire State Building.
I’m quite happy to read in those locations but they can’t compare with a bath. It’s the difference between playing football in the park or at Wembley Stadium, playing basketball in the street or at Madison Square Garden, playing… you get the picture.
What I’ve started doing is reading collections of short stories while in the bath. The poor little paperback looks most forlorn on the bathroom shelf, like a wallflower at a dance, knowing she’s only picked up when there’s no other choice.
But maybe I’ll find salvation in the future. I hear that Samsung is developing flexible screens that are made of plastic. I have no idea what effect water, or steam, has on them. I’ve also heard that TV screens will be ubiquitous in the bathrooms of the future. I don’t like that idea, though. It’s too intrusive. It ruins the meditative, spa-like atmosphere I like to create.
So come on, e-reader and tablet manufacturers. Let me have a reading device that doesn’t fear my 41 C, 106 F, perfectly heated water. Save my bath-time.
Mark Capell is the author of "Run, Run, Run", the Amazon UK bestseller. His latest book is "Cafe Insomniac". More information about his books can be found at www.mark-capell.com