W&L gets taste of literature

Edible Book Event highlights creativity, imagination of students and faculty


Junior Diem Tran’s winning design. Photo by Nuoya Zhou, ‘18.

Nuoya Zhou

On Friday, April 1, students and faculty were able to get in the April Fools’ spirit and show off their more creative sides at the second annual Edible Book Event held in Leyburn Library.

Every year around April 1, this international book event is held in countries all around the world, such as France, Brazil and China. The event is in honor of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s birthday, which was on April 1, 1755.

According to W&L’s library, the rules for the event are as follows:

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

Entries can be created out of anything edible (cake, grapes, pickles, etc.). Participants can transport their items on something inedible, such as a plate, but if they use any inedible materials, they must note that upon submission.

Entries must be submitted by members of the W&L community (faculty, staff, students, departments, student organizations, etc.). Families and friends of university employees can also be involved in the creation and submission of an entry as long as there was a school employee involved. Individuals or groups may submit an entry.

The University Library does not supply ingredients for entries.

Emily Cook, University Library Instructional Design Specialist and event organizer, saw this event on social media and proposed it several years ago.

“Everyone knows what the library does, but the library can look state sometimes, or not exciting,” Cook said. “[The] library is really a vibrate place. So not only does scholarship go on but a lot of sharing ideas. This is just another way that you can be creative and share your ideas and celebrate literature.”

Friday, April 1 was also W&L’s accepted students’ day. Cook hoped these students could see the library’s involvement within the community and how students interact with each other at the library.

On Friday, 17 entries were submitted before for the event, which is an increase from last year. Community members voted the entries with money from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The entry that raised the most money received the “Popular Vote” prize.

It took Nancy Coleman, ‘18, some time to figure out the punny meaning behind of the “Lonesome Dove” entry: a piece of Dove chocolate that was left alone on one side of the entry, while all the other candies were on the other side.

“That is neat,” Coleman said.

Julie Malone ,‘18, donated for her favorite entries, such as the “Lord of Rings” and the “Cat in the Hat.”

“I like the ‘Oliver Twist one, because it is punny,” Katherine Cheng, ‘19, said.

At 5 p.m., Dean of the College and Professor of English Suzanne Keen and Associate Dean of the Williams School Raquel Alexander voted for “Best in Show” prize. All of the money went to the Campus Kitchen project to combat local hunger.

Diem Tran ‘17 created the “Cat in the Hat” piece and won “Popular Vote” with prizes of Pride and Prejudice cookie cutters and “The Book Lover’s Cookbook.”

Tran saw posters about the event and thought it would be something fun and creative to do before the final week. “I got my idea actually from my sorority because we are doing a 5K this weekend on Saturday, Pi Phi 5K,” Tran said.

The goal of Pi Phi’s Dr. Seuss-themed 5k was to combat children’s illiteracy, as Dr. Seuss advocated for literacy and children’s reading. Tran said that her participation in the contest was good publicity for the 5K event, as well.