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Nov 09, 2006



I rather enjoy the process of reading, but I admit that there are a lot of books out there that I probably won't get to out of sheer intimidation. And since I have an odd fascination with James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake," I'll have to go with that one, if only to be able to boast that yes, I DID devour literature's greatest practical joke in one sitting. At least if I were Firmin, I wouldn't have to fret over months of lost reading time if it turns out "Finnegans Wake" is utter crap. I certainly wouldn't have the literary hangover that often comes with finishing a Joyce novel. I could just belch, rub my belly, and congratulate myself on a book well-devoured.

Matthew Tiffany

I'd eat the bible.

Anything to piss off the religious right.


"What is Art?" by Leo Tolstoy. It's lean but filling, with enough to chew on to keep the meal from being boring. There is no bony syntax to gnaw through, nor mushy perambulations to sully the eating experience. No matter how I go about it, the book will not fall apart half-way through, leaving a mass of crumbs, sauces and toppings on my plate that I, the reader, would be hard-pressed to eat, much less devour.

As a health-conscious reader, the lack of expository blockage is a major selling point. I am always worried about my comprehensional levels, as my father died when I was young from a paroxysm of infinite jest. This book, therefore, provides a happy, healthy dining experience.

mai wen

When thinking of what book I'd like to eat, I would want something bold and yet deeply satisfying to eat. Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" comes to mind. It's a tough, strong, bold book, and yet there are times that it's absolutely maddening and drives you crazy reading it. At those times, eating the book doesn't sound so bad and I think would be deeply satisfying.

Mark C.

I recently read “The Gangster We Are All Looking For” by Thi Diem Thuy Le and would love to eat this book. The narrator’s parents sneak mangos across the border from Mexico, treasure them, and their familiar scent reminds them of home. As cultural differences often divide, little culinary similarities can be a great tool for creating interest in and teaching about other cultures. After reading this book I ate many mangos, but never learned how to eat them without needing a shower afterward. I think eating this book would be a little less messy and taste just as divine.


I am hungry and couldnt wait for the new Pynchon novel.

Corey Vilhauer

If I really wanted to get the most out of my book-eating experience, I'd probably have to go with something that would help me every day of the week, every week of the year, etc.

Something like Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," obviously.

Where do the commas go? Ask no more! Their vs. There vs. They're? Not a problem! Affecting the Effect? Of course! I would be a human proofing machine, ready to dissolve even the most complex sentances in seconds flat.

And, it's a light snack compared to the dictionary or an encyclopedia. Or Hugo. I don't have the stomach to keep that big stuff down.


I'd probably eat "Like Water For Chocolate", because I love the traditional foods of my Mexican heritage, and since, in the story, if you eat the food made by the heroine, you feel the same emotions she had while she was cooking, I'd get a better understanding of her heart.


The Brief and Terrifying Reign of Phil, by George Saunders. The orange of the cover is warm and appetizing, the book is thin but the paper is quality, and the content both simple and complex to digest.

Also, as a human I'd be much more forgiving if I found little digested pieces of that book scattered around my basement, as opposed to the usual rodent gifts...


I'd probably eat the Oxford English Dictionary. Eating my way to loquaciousness!


Stephen Dixon's 30. Because just once, it would be awesome to eat a thirty course meal.


If I could eat anything it would have to be "Collected Fictions" of Jorge Luis Borges. I could travel and explore time and space; art, words, languages, and mythologies; I could see philosophers, story-tellers, dreamers from new perspectives and meet eastern ones; I could travel through different dimensions. I could literally eat, savour and digest the universe. Life couldn't get any better than that.

Seth Hopkins

The Riverside Shakespeare, because I'd be able to quit paraphrasing and remember which play the quote was actaully from.


I would eat T.C. Boyle's The Road To Wellville.

Take that, John Harvey Kellogg! Now am I getting enough wood pulp in my diet??

Jon Butters

If I was going to eat a book it would be THE MAN WHO ATE EVERYTHING by Jeffery Steingarten.


I would eat James Joyce's "Ulysses". It has to easier to eat than it is to read.


My mother's diary. She's an avid and beautiful writer, and she updates her diary almost daily. She keeps her diary private, but I can image no better way to fully understand my mother than to eat her diary. Boy, would she be mad!

Bill Ectric

To save myself many trips to the refrigerator, I would devour Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Every time I read that book, OH! The aperitifs, the pommes a l'buile (potato salad, prepared with olive oil), the cervelas (sausage), with cold beer, even the boiled eggs scarfed down so save a trip to the town and thus extend drinking time, not to mention a vague visit to the pharmacy...

Oh, I know I'm supposed to choose a book for it's literary merits, not the actual food content, but with Hemingway I get the best of both worlds. Chock full of style.

Bill Ectric

A Hemingway book not only tastes good, it's good for you!

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