Which e-book reader works best under water?

I've been tempted, for the past couple of months, to buy an e-book reader. I've spent long hours researching them online, trying to decide if I'm more of a "Nook" person or a "Kindle" person. One part of the decision was easy: I am definitely not an iPad person, as I quickly determined that I am not cool enough or technically savvy enough to merit one. Plus, I'm fairly certain that if I had an iPad I would lose it within the first two weeks of ownership.

I'm not sure why I don't have the same intuitive feeling about the Nook and Kindle, but I've learned to always trust my gut on issues such as this.

I was recently at one of those big electronic stores where I had the opportunity to play around with both a Nook and a Kindle side by side. I opened things and tapped on things and read words on the screen, but I felt it was more ridiculous than a careful, well thought-out decision. It sort of felt like when I was car shopping and would test drive a vehicle. Yes, the car goes when I press this pedal and stops when I press this other one "… excellent.

For a while, I was under the impression that e-books would be cheaper than regular books from the bookstore. This was a mistake; do not buy an e-book reader based on this assumption. Turns out that buying an e-book is usually about the same price as buying a paperback, and I am someone who has made a fierce commitment to always buying paperbacks. In the past year I have bought exactly one hardback book, "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich. What can I say — I have an addiction to that quirky bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. I wonder if there's a support group for that.

Even after learning that there wasn't exactly a financial incentive to buying an e-book reader, I still considered it. Every nook and cranny of my house is filled with paperbacks. I have them in my bed, on the TV stand, on the windowsill and on the floor next to the bathtub. Actually, I don't really have books on the windowsill, my cat, Socrates, knocks those off regularly. He considers windowsill books to be an infringement upon his personal domain.

Sometimes I look around my house and think about how much less clutter I would have and how much cleaner my house would feel if I had an e-book reader. But with books on every possible surface of my house I never have to spend very long looking for something to read (this is helped by the fact that I'm always simultaneously reading at least three to four books), I can only imagine the tornado-like devastation I would cause to my house while continuously searching for my only e-book reader.

Finally, after months of researching it, mulling over it, and constantly discussing it with my co-workers, I decided not to get either a Kindle or a Nook. I realized that I am not an "electronic book" type of person. I came to this decision after realizing that I do most of my reading in the bathtub. I love to read in the bathtub, I probably do it five days a week. In fact, I wake up early for work to have time to read a couple chapters of something cheap and trashy while lying in the warm tub (you should try it, there's no better way to start your day), and on weekends I'll sometimes end up in there so long that the water has gotten cold. A couple times a year I drop my book in the bathwater. It's always a little sad, and I have to let my book dry before I can start reading it again. I'm pretty sure I can't put either a Nook or Kindle over the heating grate for a couple days and expect it to come out good as new. Plus, I think there's something dangerous about mixing small electronics with bathtubs, and I don't want to end up with a starring role on that television show, "1000 Ways to Die."

Zoe Abel wrote this in the morning, before her daily bathtub session. You can contact her at dailyzoe@gmail.com

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