Bound in a book: Food the topic at Printer’s Row

Often when I think of the literary world, the topic of food isn’t first to come to mind. But, after visiting the Chicago Printer’s Row Book Fair a couple weekends ago, I noticed that food and cookbooks are quite popular amongst even the most infamous of book fairs. And, I wasn’t the only one to notice such a trend: the Chicago Tribune can back me up.

Cookbook authors had their own tent at the fair, where hour after hour another chef would speak and even conduct cooking demonstrations. But, in such a praised event for literary works – to me it seems odd that food…a recipe perhaps would garner this much attention.

I hope you don’t misunderstand my intentions when I say I’m surprised at this. I don’t mean to undermine the topic of food as a wonderful subject (because believe me…I clearly love writing about food)…it’s just that cookbooks are different than well, books.

But, then again, cookbooks weren’t the only food-related books present. There were certainly tons and tons of food novels as well. I wound up buying one of them because after reading the description, it sounded like something I would relate to. It’s called “More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen” by Laurie Colwin. It’s a continuation of her first book but at a glance, its culinary reminiscent voice appealed to me amongst the masses and masses of cookbooks and culinary guides around. And I’ll get back to you on how I liked it.

But back to the main subject, we all enjoy food. But how much of that enjoyment do we personally translate to the literary world? How many books do you own about food? And when you have the desire to cuddle up with a cup of hot cocoa and stick your nose in a good book – is that book about food?

Do share your thoughts!

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  • Erin

    Lately I’ve read a ton of food related books. I love Julia Childs “My Life in France”, and US of Arugula was facinating. I tried Omnivore’s Dilemma, but it felt a little to textbook like for my tastes.

  • JDebs

    I took a class in college called Food, Culture, and Society. Before that I had never realized how many books and movies are centered around the topic of food!

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