Thursday, October 18, 2007

Edible Book Festival

"For certain voracious readers, April 1 has become a red-letter day: It's the one time of the year when they get to eat books. They won't eat just any book, only those prepared especially for the occasion, known as the Edible Books Festival . . ." Blake Eskin, "Books to Chew On," NY Times, March 26, 2006.

I will never make the claim, "You heard it first, here at Catholic Bibliophagist!" because I am generally the last person to know about anything.

The International Edible Book Festival, was dreamed up by Judith A Hoffberg, a California librarian, during a Thanksgiving dinner in 1999. It is observed annually on April 1st which is not only an appropriate day for biblio-silliness, but also the birthday of the French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who wrote "The Physiology of Taste" in 1825.

Here are some pictures from the 2006 celebration held at Duke Univerity. Warning: some of these entries get rather pun-ish. (I think my favorites are "Flan of Green Gables" and "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss-shimi.")

Naturally, all of these edible books need the Dewey Decimeal (from the Seattle 2006 Festival) to keep them in order.

I will have to seek out a local observance of the Edible Book Festival in 2008. If I can't find one, perhaps we can hold one online here at Catholic Bibliophagist.


mrsdarwin said...

At the library book sale we recently attended, I found a copy of The Physiology of Taste. I'd never read it, but I recognized the name of Brillat-Savarin. The book cost 50 cents. Leafing through it, I found a post-it note noting that the cataloger thought he could sell the book online for close to $100.

(I don't think this particular edition would have fetched that much, since it was just a Heritage Press copy, but I felt like I was getting a bargain anyway.)

Enbrethiliel said...


Hmmmmm. I'm now trying to think of a Chesterton title that would make a good cake . . .