Not everyone agrees, but after much reflection and considerable practical experience, I am of the opinion that one most assuredly can lie supine, read a paperback, and dip Oreo® Double Stufs into icy-cold milk without their glopping to the bottom of the glass, depositing under one’s French manicure, or soiling one’s chaise longue.

If one, in fact, owned a chaise longue. This one does not. But I do enjoy lounging with a good book and an array of gorgeous snack foods to mindlessly enjoy while reading. In the same way some folks have flashbacks when assailed by certain scents or sounds, sometimes I’m reminded how much I enjoyed a particular section of a beloved novel by the junk-food smudges strewn across the pulp, and cheez-puff detritus nestled within the gutter between pages.  

But alack! As I watch my son use his new e-reader—yeah, I’m coveting, ok?—I wonder if by only being able to temporarily schmear up its screen or casing, he’s not missing out on the gestalt, if you will, the holistic experience allowed the noshing paperback reader. For, while I loathe being the one to inform you, someone must: Digital may be the wave of the e-future, but there is no i- in pork rinds, my friends.

Oh. Yeah, so there is. But it doesn’t stand for Internet, it stands for salty, back-fatty goodness, the kind you couldn’t get even if you could somehow digitally mark up an e-page with orange- or chocolaty-colored blotches, or if someone created scratch-n-sniff apps for e-readers.

Maybe I’m just disgruntled because, like so many parents, I’m watching my kid enjoy something I’m happy to do without because it brings him so much joy. I’ll get my own e-reader soon. It’s more important that his hunger for knowledge and reading be fed.

But that doesn’t mean he’s getting any of my cheez puffs anytime soon.    

Do you nosh or not while reading? How does it add/detract from your reading pleasure? What’re your fave book-binge eats?

Michelle Buonfiglio writes daily about romance fiction at BN's Heart to Heart and Catch her Tuesdays at Unabashedly Bookish.

Profanity's a no-no to some romance readers. How do you feel about it in novels and online? Tell us at Unabashedly Bookish when you read "Type Dirty to Me." 

by on ‎01-29-2010 03:43 PM

It's nice to hear I'm not the only one segregating the junk food.


by 1lovealways on ‎01-29-2010 04:30 PM

Hi Michelle!


Sometimes I nosh and sometimes I don't.  It all depends.  If I'm reading way into the night, yeah I'm noshing.  It's not a good thing, but if it's a particularly can't put it down book, I have no defense.  The only saving grace is that it's 2% milk with those cookies.  My favorite is Oatmeal Raisin, but I love Orea Double Stuf.  I'm an icing junkie.  That's why I buy them.  Just for the express purpose of enjoying that yummy icing.  I do eat the cookie, but most times there's no icing in sight.  Cookies are eaten after the fact.


Cheez Puffs are a definite must.  Those things should be labeled "Dangerous to readers."  I just keep sticking my hand back in the bag over and over again.  Forget pouring them into another container.  That never happens. I have crumbs in the book, on the highlighter, in the bed  and cheez prints on the page from turning it.  It's absolute bliss when you go back and re-read those books and see those yellow smudges.  I usually have the biggest smile on my face.  Some people may think it takes away from the cleanliness of the book.  This has nothing to do with that.  On the contrary a book with smudges is a book that's been well enjoyed!  That book is well loved!


E-readers will never experience this.  There's nothing like it.  Technology is a good thing.  I may get an e-reader one day myself.  I've read up on it and I like all of the things it can do.  I like most tech toys, although it takes me awhile to learn how to use them.  I'm fine after I learn.  All of these wonderful things not with standing, I'm not ready to go there yet.  Just give me a real book, a nice place to plant myself, some snacks and a nice amount of ambiance to enhance the scene and it's reading time!  Yum!  :smileyhappy:



by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-29-2010 05:44 PM

Tea. I usually have a cup of English-style black tea (never, never, never Earl Gray, thank you very much).Yorkshire or English Breakfast, with milk and Splenda. Okay, written like that it sounds pretty gross, but it's actually good, especially on a gloomy winter day.


Michelle, don't tempt me with the darn Oreos. I have little enough will-power as it is.

by Author Eva_Gale on ‎01-29-2010 06:11 PM

I woould love to nosh while I read, but by the time I actually GET to read it's right before bed and I'm not eating in bed.


Now, if I could pretend, I probably would love a good sharp cheese with guava paste and crackers. Nom. Now I'm hungry. 

by Cheyenne_Catina on ‎01-30-2010 10:16 PM

yeah ill snack on something while i read if im home and just bored of...something...but usually i dont i just sit and reead...

iand i dont see myself getting an e book reader, or whatever those are called, for some time...

by amyskf on ‎02-01-2010 09:41 AM

In my perfect world, I would have all my books shelved on the wall by my bed next to all my snacking treats. Sometimes I'm a sweet snacker as I read -- Oreos, yes, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, yes (but hardly ever), peaut M&Ms, yesyesyes. It's the salty crunchy snacks I prefer. And usually late night, it's the only time people aren't bothering me -- Eva, I just get out of bed and snack...usually.


I like the snack mix bags, so every reach into the bag will be a surprize -- will it be a cheese puff, or a pretzel, or a cheese covered cereal square -- more than likely, all three.


I used to be a smoker, so you can imagine my poor books back then, all they had was a stale odor, no fun smudges to giggle over.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎02-01-2010 09:54 AM

OMG Michelle, thank you, thank you, thank you. I now have an excellent reason to binge. Blame it on the Book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yessssssssssssss!

Deb ;-)

by Pam4290 on ‎02-02-2010 08:59 AM

I don't nosh so much as drink when I am reading.  I love a glass or twenty of red wine.  I was reading Commencement the other day and I was going to pass it on when I was done but alas I cannot.  Why you ask?  I was rudely interupted while reading and I was talking with my hands and I spilt an entire glass of vino on my book.  I absolutely hate when that happens never mind the abuse of the book what about the waste of a glass of wine.

Love & Hugs,


by 1lovealways on ‎02-02-2010 05:17 PM



Do you like Chex Mix?  I like almost all of those flavors!  Yum!  :smileyhappy:


by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎02-04-2010 08:23 AM

A girl's gotta have her priorities, TiggerBear. Some days it's orange under the nails, others it's chocolatey stuff.  n'er the twain shall meet.


Yes, 1la, it's all about the icing.  But we eat the cookie to make a good show of being adult about the thing.  and the only reason to take a break in the machine-like back/forth of hand in/out of the cheez puff back is to scrape off the orange-stuff build up. I'm the same as you, What is it w/snacking being better while reading after, say, 10pm?  is it the fact that the house is quiet?  we know it's supposed to be 'bad' for us?  And i'm a big 'take care of your books' person, but if it's beloved, it's gonna bear the scars.  And those'll be orange and chocolatey.  Yes. I'm really starting to covet my son's e-reader.  The only drawback I can see is that if you're acquisitive, buying could get out of hand. But that's something I've heard from everyone w/an ereadr; it's so easy to download like a maniac.  I had to stop myself from downloading something the other day, and it only was because material would have been objectionable. I'll probably cave for the second generation. or third. but i'll still snack w/some windex or something nearby.



Becke, I didn't peg you for a bigot. Why no Earl Grey?  A nice cup of tea w/a book sounds lovely.  It doesn't beat the cap'n crunch I had last night, but it's nice nonetheless.


yeah, eva, snacking in bed can end up not being worth the energy.  but snacking on the couch and napping after rocks.  it's always fun to plan out read/snack/nap time.  I'd like to do it now, and it's 7 am...


cheyenne_cat, is there a reason not to snack while reading?  i can't think of one.  Although, it's really horrible of me, but I always scold my son for reading while eating.  but i'm tryng to teach him to be social. and, apparently, a total hypocrite. : )

by on ‎02-04-2010 08:52 AM

Monitor wipes, NEVER windex.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎02-04-2010 09:05 AM

Okay, here's the deal with Earl Gray: it tastes like perfume to me. While I like the taste of black teas such as British Breakfast or Yorkshire tea, the perfumey taste of Earl Gray makes me slightly queasy. 


So why don't I just avoid it? My mom. When I got engaged to a guy from London, my mom went out and bought me a metal garbage can with a Union Jack on it. And then she and my best friend organized a teacup bridal shower for me. It was a sweet, clever idea but what could I do with 20 or so cups and saucers? I had to spend 50 bucks (which was a LOT to a newly married 19-year-old almost 40 years ago) on a special "cup and saucer" display rack. It needs special bolts to hold it in the wall. We've moved a lot and I've bolted that darn thing to a lot of walls. We've moved to England and back and all over the country, and I still have all those teacups. 


But I digress. (Gee, what a surprise!)


Do you get the picture with my mom? Well, she got the idea that Earl Gray is what the British drink. Maybe SOME do, but not the Brits I hung out with. We were a PG Tips crowd. No matter how many times I tell my mom I don't like Earl Gray, whenever we go to visit my parents, she always makes a special pot of it for me. (Not for my husband, so she apparently listens to him!) I bring my own tea along when I go there -- and my own sugar free drinks) -- and I always offer to make the tea when I'm up there.


But it never fails, at some point I end up having to drink a cup of milky brown perfume. (I know, I know -- I've been a pleaser my whole life - standing ground with my mom has never been a strength of mine. It's easier to cave.)

by on ‎02-04-2010 01:56 PM

Hmm having grown up on orange peakeo, if tea doesn't taste a little like flowers I can't drink it. But Earl Gray always taste burnt to me. (shrug)


At least your mom didn't give you a 4th fondue pot for your birthday, like mine did.


by Moderator becke_davis on ‎02-04-2010 02:09 PM

Oh, fondue pots. Mine was green. I don't miss the days of avocado green household appliances and bathtubs, believe me.

by on ‎02-04-2010 02:19 PM

The funny thing is it's not like I've gotten them from seperate sources or that any of them are the same. A crock pot version white , a french version red, a very modern all steel job, and now a ceramic swedish style burnt orange and coffee brown; all from my mom.  No avacado green though. But um walk through any apliance store that icky green has made a come back, new name "nostalgic green".


Oh and I have to say this. Am I the only one who learned to read a paperback one handed just to keep food off the pages?

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎02-04-2010 03:03 PM

YES!! I mean, no, you aren't the only one who does that.

by lisadh on ‎02-16-2010 10:38 PM

Hilarious!  I was just this evening eating pizza while reading "The Elusive Bride".  I am a professional, do not try this at home.  Oh, wait.  DO try this at home. Carefully.  (It does help to have big hands)


I don't have a particular favorite for snacking while reading.  It's really just because I don't want to put the book down that I find myself eating and reading.  Often.


Since 1997, you’ve been coming to to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.