Eat Any Good Books Lately?

Issue Date: 
April 15, 2013

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System will mark the start of National Preservation Week (April 21-27) with an Edible Book Fest, an event in which contestants submit edible creations that honor their favorite book characters or scenes.

The free public event will take place at 2:30 p.m. April 18 in the Cup and Chaucer Café, ground floor, Hillman Library.

Participants must bring their entries to the site between 2 and 2:30 p.m. The projects must be made of food items, and ingredients should be listed, especially those considered allergens, such as nuts, dairy, wheat, or soy.

Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. the entries will be viewed and voted upon. From 3:30 to 4:40 p.m., votes will be tallied, winners announced, and everyone will be welcome to sample the literary treats. Prizes will be awarded for the Overall Favorite; Most Creative; and Most Literary—the best visual representation of a book’s cover, topic, or theme. To register an entry, contact Ashley Cox at

The first International Edible Book Festival took place in 2000, and similar events are now held in 20 countries around the globe. The inaugural festival was designed to celebrate the April birthday of French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), author of Physiologie du gout (The Physiology of Taste), which was published in December 1825, just two months before his death. Over the years, library systems have staged the event to commemorate important issues, such as Banned Books Week or National Library Week.

Pitt’s University Library System is calling attention to National Preservation Week, launched in 2010 to remind the public that there are some 630 million items in library collections across the country that are in need of immediate attention and care. Pitt’s own Preservation Department—which offers an in-house book repair program, disaster preparedness, and educational outreach—is a valuable resource for the Pittsburgh community.

Pitt’s University Library System (ULS) is the 22nd-largest academic library system in North America. It includes 15 libraries and holds more than 6.4 million volumes and specialized collections, among them the Archives of Scientific Philosophy and the Archives of Industrial Society. ULS’ major foreign language materials from around the world total 1.4 million volumes. ULS offers state-of-the-art facilities and services, including innovative digital library collections and services and a robust open-access publishing program.