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What is a Waterproof Book?

Daniel Liden
Updated May 23, 2024
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A waterproof book is a book made to withstand exposure to water. There are many different kinds of waterproof books; some have a only a waterproof cover, and some have waterproof pages and covers. Waterproof books are often used by professionals who regularly need to work outdoors in rainy or snowy conditions; they often contain useful maps or charts. Some waterproof books, called bathtub books, are made to be read in the bathtub by young children without suffering any damage. In any waterproof book, it is important that both the paper and the ink are able to survive exposure to moisture.

A waterproof book can be designed to handle a few different levels of exposure to water. Many books, such as the typical hardcover novel, have a somewhat glossy book cover that can repel light rain but could not prevent damage from heavy rain or from submersion. Other books have slightly glossy pages that can repel light rain or can at least survive moist, humid conditions. A waterproof book that is intended to survive submersion will often have pages that are laminated with some kind of synthetic, waterproof material. Alternatively, it may come with some kind of waterproof case that prevents any water from getting in and reaching the book at all.

Paper and ink are two of the most important aspects of any waterproof book that has more than just a waterproof cover. Waterproof paper tends to be made in two forms; paper can be made from tightly-bound waterproof fibers or it can be laminated with a synthetic, waterproof substance. When the paper is not laminated, high-quality, water-insoluble ink is generally used; such ink does not dissolve in water, so it tends not to run or smudge. For a waterproof book, laminated pages are relatively rare as they are expensive and they take up a significant amount of space.

Waterproof books are used in a variety of settings by different people. Many are made to be read and used by children; these books need to be durable and waterproof because young children are often careless with their possessions. Military personnel also favor durable paper and books as they are made to withstand some of the harshest possible environments; this often includes rainy and moist conditions. Maps, especially topographical maps, are often collected in a waterproof book as hikers and campers tend to use such books to navigate through sometimes-harsh weather conditions.

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Daniel Liden
By Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to his work. With a diverse academic background, he crafts compelling content on complex subjects, showcasing his ability to effectively communicate intricate ideas. He is skilled at understanding and connecting with target audiences, making him a valuable contributor.
Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On May 31, 2011

My kids always loved their waterproof books. We always had several of them around to use not only in the bathtub, but they were great to pack and take other places because they are so heavy duty.

You never had to worry about the pages getting torn. If you spilled juice or milk on them, they were so easy to wipe clean. They are usually bigger and take up more space than other books, but if you only have a few of them that doesn't really matter so much.

By andee — On May 29, 2011

It would not be very cost efficient for most books to be waterproof, but they could have saved me some library fees!

We have a pond on our land, and we have always loved reading down at the pond. This also means that we have damaged several books that have landed in the water, or been left out in the rain. I always tried to save them and dry them out, but they were never the same.

The hardcover books seems to fare a little better than the paperback ones, but even after the pages dried, they still could not be read again.

By anon84205 — On May 14, 2010

interesting. are there any ways to improve this?

Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to...
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