Comfort books and comfort food

Sometimes there is nothing better than cozy-ing up with a good book and some good food. But do you notice if you always eat/drink the same things when you read?

I’d never really thought about it before until I was rereading Harry Potter when I realized two things: 1) I never eat food while I’m reading unless I’ve already read the book and 2) I only eat “comfort” food when I’m reading. (For me, that’s pretty much any combination of carbs and dairy. 🙂 )

I think I don’t eat when I’m reading a new book because for starters, I don’t want to get the book messy. Not sure why, but I don’t feel like it’s “mine” unless I’ve made it through to the end. Plus I don’t know what’s going to HAPPEN in the book–there may be a scene that turns my stomach or makes me uncomfortable. In that case, the idea of eating at the same time doesn’t seem very smart.

What about you? Do you always eat/drink when you read books? Something specific each time, like a certain tea? Or more specific meals, like eating lunch at work and needing that book planted in front of your face? Or maybe just certain books make you feel more comfortable than others? Got any good suggestions?



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  2. Among the thousands of random things to bounce around my head today was this post. I’ve wondered before how much food I’ve left in books. Not much, but some. Then I spilled my cereal on my manuscript. Carbs and dairy were not my comfort foods for today.

  3. acmoyer

    I don’t usually eat while reading, unless we’re talking about reading email and such. But never with a proper book! I think partly it’s due to the times of day when I am able to read, and partly because I want to focus completely on the book.

    Way back when, I used to have a very insalubrious habit of eating Doritos and Pepsi while writing. I admit that sometimes I still get an urge for them…

  4. mom

    i’m definitely a reading or tv-watching eater. i love reading while i eat, but for me, it doesn’t matter too much what kind of food or what time of day. on the other hand, i’ll often read w/o any added stimulation. i just love to read. my dad had to make the rule that there was no reading at the table when i was young, because i would simply get lost in the book and ignore the rest of the family. people would often call my name 2 or 3 times while i was reading, because i was so engrossed that i’d metaphorically ‘left the building.’ books have always been a getaway of sorts for me. but, sometimes it’s lovely to have food, any food, along on the trip.

  5. When I was a kid, I used to eat breakfast cereal while I read comics. Then one day, I was sitting too close to the edge of the chair, which then slipped out from under me. As I fell on to my behind, my chin caught the edge of the bowl on the way down, flipping it on to my forehead, leaving me drenched and all cereal-y. <-True story.
    For some reason, I stopped eating cereal while reading comics.

    As for comfort books? It used to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, it's William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition," which I find to be an incredibly elegant and lovely piece of fiction. Not a moment in it I don't like.

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