A recent editorial in Shelf Awareness posed some interesting questions (“How We Read: Snacks,” Feb. 24, 2012). When a reviewer asked readers about non-messy snacks while reading, there was a flurry of responses. One suggested popcorn with grated cheese and a napkin on the lap. Another suggested wiping your hands on the cat. Others complained of chocolate stains on romances and Cheetos/Doritos dust on mysteries borrowed from the local library. This raised an obvious question, “Do certain snacks go with certain genres. Bourbon with Elmore Leonard?” And of course, tea with Jane Austen.
Another reader, bookseller, Rene Kirkpatrick took a different approach "A Memory in Every Book," March 6, 2012). Here’s what she wrote: “I've never been a clean reader. . . I love re-opening a book and finding red splotches skipping across a page (spaghetti), rippled pages (walking and reading in the rain), brown thumbprints on the edges (mud) . . . Each of those stains has a specific memory attached to it so when I re-open the book, I am immediately thrust back to the time and the place where it was read.”
Do you snack while you read? Do certain genres require certain snacks? What memories do those stains recall?
For those who find nostalgia in the stained pages of favorite books, don’t miss People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. A rare book expert deciphers the history of an ancient Jewish text through the bits and pieces scattered on its pages.