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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Edible Book Festivals at Academic Libraries: FAQ

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

The Malted Falcon

By Emily Klose, 2009

The English Patient

By Sue Searing, 2011

Do they have to be puns?

No!  Many of the colorful entries that illustrate this guide involve puns on well-known titles.  But other past entries at the University of Illinois have simply depicted a book's cover, illustrations, or theme, using food as the medium.  Still others were not based on any particular book, but rather explored the shape and functionality of the book as an aesthetic object.

Must we eat the books?

Eating the edible books to conclude the event is fun, but it's not required.  Some venues may have rules against eating on the premises. After some events, the artists take their creations home with them.  At others, they are auctioned off.  Certainly, you shouldn't let guests eat perishable ingredients, like dairy products or mayonnaise, that have sat unrefrigerated long enough to spoil.

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