I love my Amazon Kindle. It cost £109 and for that has changed the way I read. It’s lightweight, slim, and tactile. The battery life is amazing, mainly because the Kindle doesn’t need much power. Its display is not backlit, making it appear far more like paper, and therefore easier on the eye.
It has one main use: for reading books. To my mind it does that one thing brilliantly.
An advantage of the Kindle over real books is that you can carry hundreds of books with you more or less wherever you go. Notice I said ‘more or less’. Let’s face it, for those of us who enjoy a good soak in a lovely hot, deep bath, reading in the bath is part of the ritual. Books don’t mind if they get a bit soggy. Even if you drop the whole book in the bath (as I’ve done a few times) they still seem to dry out. And if they really are ruined, well it’s only a few quid lost.
Sadly water and electrical things don’t mix so well. But to me the Kindle seemed somehow robust enough that it didn’t seem implausible to be able to read it in the bath if it were protected in some way. I’d never, never even consider allowing an iPad anywhere near water. There are in fact waterproof cases and bags available commercially for Kindles, but when you think about it these are little more than (semi)waterproof bags. They don’t need to be completely waterproof, just splashproof.
So that’s when I thought about using a standard zip-lock freezer bag. Ok I wouldn’t want to read my Kindle underwater with one, but it’d at least be splashproof. Below is a photo of my Kindle, with a freezer bag I’ve used a few times for reading in the bath.
Nothing special, just a zip-lock freezer bag. Oh, and I made sure it had at least one side completely see-through: freezer bag manufacturers have a habit of printing logos etc on their bags. Fine for freezing food, not fine for reading through.
One of my concerns was actually condensation on the inside, not water on the outside. However this didn’t seem to be a problem at all. I just tried to get most of the air out of the bag before I sealed it. I also put a small wad of paper tissue in the bag with the Kindle to help absorb any condensed water that might collect. However I’ve never noticed any dampness at all inside, so the paper is just a precaution.
So there you go. That’s how I got to reading my Kindle in the bath.
Of course, normal disclaimers apply. I’ve outlined how I read my Kindle in my bath with my freezer bags. If you want to try it with your own Kindle and freezer bags (and in your own bath!), well it’s a free world… But you do so completely at your own risk in the knowledge that if it all goes horribly wrong you’ll have to fork out £109/£149 for a new Kindle. And much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
It was a risk I thought worth taking. I found that by exercising some caution and trying to keep the Kindle+freezer bag as dry as was reasonable, I was finally able to read my Kindle in the bath.