Whether it's a paper copy or an ebook, having any reading material very close to water is always tricky. However, scientists along the years have been hard at work to produce books that you can take to the beach or read while soaking in the bath.
A few years ago a team at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genoa, Italy managed to get the molecules that make up paper (called monomers) to connect with new nano-particles they created in the lab. Together, they form a polymer, which is then mixed in what science class refers to as a “solution” to make a fancy “polymeric matrix” filled with nanoparticles. So, basically, they stir in their fancy nanoparticles in a unique way so that they stick to the paper molecules. (See full article here).
After the nanoparticles get busy with the paper, you can sprinkle in other things to give paper super-powers. Want magnetic paper? Just add in some iron oxide nanoparticles. Are you a germophobe? Silver nanoparticles will make the paper antibacterial. There is a nanoparticle for waterproofing as well.
Additionally, a clear wax sealant was also created to prevent running ink and to stop pages from becoming soggy and tearing when wet. Banks in Australia use the technology to prolong the life of banknotes and to reduce the risk of forgery. 'The Greater Bad', an ebook by Alan Cork, was the first book ever to receive such a treatment.
And Now ...
Bibliobath: A Kickstarter company created by Dutch-Chinese husband and wife team Jasper Jansen and Wing Weng. Depending on your pledge amount, you can either get a copy of short stories by Mark Twain, a selection of poems by W. B. Yeats, Shakespeare’s , or, for a limited time only, a special edition of ' by Sun Zi. Check how it works and what you can do HERE.
The You-Bumi: If funds are limited and you still want to enjoy your favourite book by the beach or pool, the Japanese have got you covered for every eventuality, including reading in the bath. The You-Bumi is that brilliant invention. Click HERE for details on cost and where to buy.
Ben Meadows: This site offers waterproof writing accessories to write your way to a better day—rain or shine! Check it out HERE.