Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Edible Book Festivals at Academic Libraries: Introduction

A guide to planning and hosting an edible book festival on your campus, drawing on the experiences of the University of Illinois Library.

Candied Voltaire

By Glen C. Davies, 2009

The Velveeta Rabbit

By Ed Hill, 2011

About the photographs

All photographs were taken by Bea Nettles during the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, annual Edible Book Festivals.  They are used with the permission of the photographer and the original artists.


What's an Edible Book Festival?  It's an event that features food shaped like, or referring to, books.  Beginning with that simple and silly premise, much is possible!

The history of edible book festivals

Art librarian Judith A. Hoffberg and artist Béatrice Coron held the first edible book festival in 2000, after Judith conceived of the idea at a Thanksgiving dinner with book artists in 1999.  Béatrice created the Books2Eat website with a photographic gallery of edible books and links to events worldwide.  

For more background on the global phenomenon of edible books, visit the International Edible Book Festival website.

Who participates?

Edible books appeal to a wide range of people.  Some are inspired to create edible books, while others come to admire the books and eat them.  Participants may include:

  • students and faculty in literature, art, food science, leisure studies, library science, and other related fields
  • library employees
  • professional or amateur bakers and chefs
  • professional or amateur artists and designers
  • authors, critics, and booksellers
  • book binders and conservators
  • book clubs
  • youth organizations
  • senior groups
  • university office staff
  • food lovers, dieticians, and food advocates of all types
  • anyone with a quirky sense of humor
  • anyone with a sweet tooth
  • anyone who reads!


Explore academic library edible book events

Here's a sampling of edible book events at academic libraries.  For links to edible book events sponsored by public libraries, bookstores, art centers, and library schools, see the "programme" section of the International Edible Book Festival site.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Teaching, Learning, and Academic Support Library
Main Library
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801