Dig in to a good book

First annual Edible Book event to be hosted by Leyburn Library

An example of a cake submitted for the Edible Book event around the globe.

An example of a cake submitted for the Edible Book event around the globe.

Emma Deihle

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite book and its beloved characters taste like, Leyburn Library’s upcoming, literature-inspired event may be for you. Take a bite out of reading, literally, at the first annual Edible Book event hosted by the library on April 1.

The Edible Book Event is an extension of the International Edible Book Festival, which was founded in 2000 in France, and has occurred in countries across the world including Australia, Brazil, China, Morocco, and Singapore ever since. Universities like Dartmouth College, Duke University and the University of Cincinnati have participated in the event as well.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to create edible interpretations of their favorite works of literature, themes and characters to be put on display and voted on by the community.  Participants may register as individuals or groups but must sign up online. The official rules from the festival website are as follows:

1. The event must be held on April 1 (or close to that date).

2. All edible books must be “bookish” through the integration of text, literary inspiration or, quite simply, the form.

3. Organizations or individual participants must send a link to their photo album or upload pictures on Facebook and see to it that the event is immortalized on the web and share the fun.

University Library Instructional Design Specialist and event organizer Emily Cook said she has known about the Edible Book event for a while and thought it would be a fun activity to bring to Washington and Lee. Cook said she acknowledges that many people view the library as a serious place but she wants it to be seen as a more relaxed spot on campus.

“I think that [the Edible Book event] is a celebration of learning,” Cook said. “It’s really kind of an interesting way to look at how people conceive books and how people conceive food, the intermixture of the two.”

Submissions are due to the library’s information desk by 2 p.m., where the entries will be showcased until 5 p.m. During that time, community members will vote on its favorites by donating money to the creation they like best. Whichever entry raises the most money will be awarded the winner of the Popular Vote and a “bookmania” gift basket. All proceeds will benefit W&L Campus Kitchens.

Then, at 5:30 p.m., free refreshments will be provided for the judging of the entries. Dean of the College and Professor of English Suzanne Keen and Associate Dean of the College and Professor of Chemistry Marcia France will survey the entries and determine the Best in Show and the awardee of the “bakemania” gift basket. After their judgments have been delivered, event participants can dig into the entries.

English major Sara Korash-Schiff, ’15, gave her support for the event and said she backs any event that brings literature into people’s daily lives.

“Literature has the ability to impact or align with various aspects of life, including what people eat and drink,” Korash-Schiff said. “And as a foodie, I doubly support the Edible Book event.”

Trevin Ivory, ‘16, said the event is an interesting way to “stimulate W&L’s creative side” and that it would be most fun to participate with friends.

Cook hopes the Edible Book event will help change students’ perception of the library and that it will engage people’s academic and extracurricular interests.

“I just want to make the library seem like more of a central place for … focusing on the fun of learning,” Cook said. “I’d really like the library to be seen as a positive place … a nice academic atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy the scholarship of your peers.”

To sign up or learn more about the event, visit library.wlu.edu/ediblebooks or books2eat.com. Examples of past entries can be found at pinterest.com/wlulibrary/edible-books-media.

Edible Book Flyer 2015