You've got your warm bath, your bubbles, your glass of cheap wine and your book club book. Was there ever a better recipe for relaxation? That is, until -- plunk! No thanks to slippery fingers and that glass of cheap wine, your just-purchased novel has taken a dive.
While the stress of keeping hold of a book with pruney fingers may fit the tone of, say, a heart-pounding thriller, it doesn't exactly allow a reader to nestle into the worlds crafted by writers like Twain and Yeats. To provide a solution to the eternal book-bath struggle, Amsterdam-based couple Jasper Jansen and Wing Weng set to work to found Bibliobath, a company in its nascent stages that aims to publish waterproof works of classic literature.
On their Kickstarter page, the couple writes of the difficulties they have unplugging before immersing themselves in a good book. "What works for us is to relax in a hot bath, switch off our phones and settle into a great literary classic. But paper and water don't mix, and an iPad in a plastic sheet just doesn't do it for us," they write. "We want to read, not skim and swipe. That is why we are creating fully waterproof versions of great works of literature and poetry."
How, exactly, do these waterproof books work? They're not clunky toys like childrens' bath books, but bound pages of synthetic paper made of polypropylene, a popular material used for other printed items such as trading cards. Initial titles include Macbeth, The Art of War, Twain's short stories and Yeats's poetry. A €17 (about $19) pledge to the duo's Kickstarter will get you a single copy.
This isn't the first time waterproof paper and books have found a use. In 2002, a waterproof anthology of "aqua erotica" made a splash, and skin divers have been taking fish identification titles underwater for years. Now, that technology has been brought to the lay reader.
Learn more about Bibliobath, or donate to the Kickstarter campaign.