By Kerry Hale

The Best Books To Read In The Bath

  • Wednesday 10 November 2021
  • 4 minute read

Preparing the ultimate relaxing bath experience is really important, whether that’s adding bath salts and bubbles or simply getting a new book to delve into. 

But do you ever struggle to find a new read to take into the bath with you, for some much needed you time? Well, look no further as we have an analysed over 100 books released between 2020-2021 to find out which are the best reads for the bath.


We’ve looked at the number of ratings, the number of reviews, the number of pages as well as if the books are predominantly an eBook, hardback or paperback-- as there’s nothing worse than getting a new book wet! We have also calculated the number of baths needed to finish each book based on reading 10 pages per 20-minute bath. Discover our top 50 list below and find the perfect book for your next bath.

The top 10 books to read in the bath

1. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Coming in first place is Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, with an overall score of 70.74 out of 100. The book tells the story of an unforgettable 24 hours in the life of the Riva family full of secrets and traumas. The historical fiction book is just over 350 pages in length, which means it would take 37 baths to finish the book based on reading 10 pages in a 20-minute bath. The book is a hardback meaning it is better than a paperback in terms of water resistance-- however not as good as an e-book which is fully waterproof. Malibu Rising has seen 24,533 reviews in total so far this year with an average rating of 4.13 out of 5.

2. The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push by Ashley Audrain comes in second place with an overall score of 69.24 out of 100. This thriller novel follows a mother who is concerned that her preschool daughter may be a phyco-killer. Coming in at just over 300 pages, this book is slightly shorter than the first book and would take a total of 31 baths to be able to complete the book, based on reading 10 pages in a 20-minute bath. The thriller is also a hardback, so scores at the mid-point for water resistance. The average rating is 4.13 across all 15,830 reviews.

3. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The next book in our analysis is a New York Times bestseller which is also featured in Reader’s Digest top 50 fictions books. Set-in eighteenth-century London, this book follows the lives of a secret network of women seeking legacy and revenge. This is another hard cover book, which means there is some water resistance for your next bathtub read-- but what helps score this book so highly is the length being slightly shorter at just 301 pages, taking 30 baths to complete the whole thing. There have been 14,905 reviews and the average rating is 3.79 out of 5.

4. Luster by Raven Leilani

Noted as ‘a millennial novel for the ages’ by the Guardian, Luster follows a woman in her 20s who becomes involved with a man in his 40s in an open marriage. The literary fiction book has had 7,455 reviews with an average rating of 3.60 and was well received by readers, even winning the 2020 Kirkus Prize for fiction. It would take 27, 20 -minute baths to complete this 227-page book and it is also predominantly a hard cover book.

5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun tells the story of a robot who gets chosen to be the friend of a sweet young girl who is sick

The story is told from Klara’s (the robot) perspective and falls into the science fiction genre. With over 13,000 (13,245) reviews averaging a rating of 3.82 this book is highly commended by readers. Totalling 303 pages the book would take 30 20-minute baths to complete and is also a hard cover book.

6. The Impossible Truths Of Love by Hannah Beckerman

A woman seeks to unveil the truth behind her father’s deathbed declaration that reveals a long-held secret. This fictional novel was only recently released on 5th October 2021 but has already seen 66 reviews and a very high rating of 4.41 out of 5. What’s more, the book is on Kindle therefore completely waterproof, scoring the highest for this metric. In terms of length, there are a total of 298 pages so it would take 30 20-minute baths to complete this book.

7. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The next hardback book is The Wife Upstairs, which is a modern-day thriller, with lots of twists, secrets and of course forbidden romance. This book has had 10,457 reviews in total with an average rating of 3.77 out of 5. In total there are 290 pages in the book meaning it would take 29 20-minute baths to complete this book.

8. I Know What You've Done by Dorothy Koomson

Named an ‘addictive new thriller’ this book by Dorothy Koomson tells the story of a murder, where a neighbour finds a secret diary on their doorstep and uses it to uncover the truth behind the mysterious murder. Released in July of this year, this book has seen just 65 reviews so far, with a high average rating of 4.16 out of 5. The kindle eBook is 299 pages long, taking 30 20-minute baths in total to finish the whole book.

9. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

This fictional novel looks back through history following a Cuban family that has been subject to brutal events. Told from a mother’s perspective and released in July 2021, the novel has received 2,300 reviews to date averaging a rating of 3.72 out of 5. The hard back has a total of 207 pages, taking 27 20-minute baths to complete.

10. Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

The 10th book brings together twelve pieces from Joan Didion’s early career, from gambling trouble to a WWII veteran reunion. The hardback book has had 646 reviews, averaging a rating of 3.90 out of 5. The shortest book out of the 100 analysed with just 176 pages, you could complete this whole book in just 18 20-minute baths.

If you’re searching for your next good book, take a look at the full top 100 list of books in the table below to discover your next read for the bath: 

If you're looking to upgrade your bath setup at home to create an even more relaxing feel, take a look at our full bath range to find your new comfortable bath to enjoy a book in.

Methodology and sources:

We've analysed over 100 books from seed lists of books released between 2020-2021 and used a series of metrics to create a weighted rank to find which are the best books to read in the bath. Metrics included the rating, the number of pages, the number of reviews and whether the book was predominantly a hardback, paperback, or an eBook. eBooks were scored the highest, hard back scored the mid-range and paper back scored the lowest due to books getting ruined once wet/waterproofness of the book format. The score for each book format was split in thirds paperbacks scoring one third, hardbacks two thirds and eBooks the full amount. We also worked out the number of baths it would take to finish each book looking at reading 10 pages per bath based on 2 minutes per page average read speed and an average bath time of 20 minutes. The least number of baths to finish the book were scored the highest. Data pulled October 2021.

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