News, On Campus

Annual Edible Books Festival Returns with Pun-Filled Creations

On a cold and dreary Wednesday afternoon, O’Neill Library’s third floor lobby was filled with creativity and confection. Most students entering the building were not aware they were about to stumble upon an edible books festival.

The primary criteria for the festival, “Titles with Taste,” was that entries be related to a piece of written word and “mostly edible,” according to Scott Britton, organizer of the event and associate University librarian for access, administration and diversity.

“Yeah, baking skills aren’t required at all,” Britton said. “It’s just assembling different things together.”

The edible books festival began at Boston College in 2013, though this year marks its first return to campus since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashlyn Stewart, digital specialist at BC Libraries, said her winning entry, “Around the World in Seventy-Two Dates” took inspiration from the book Around the World in Seventy-Two Days, by Nellie Bly. 

(Shane Shebest / Heights Staff)

Using a large styrofoam ball as a globe, Stewart pierced toothpicks holding dates across the surface of the sphere. An array of crackers adorned the base of her culinary sculpture.

“[I feel] pretty vindicated because it was harder than I thought it would be,” Stewart said.

She was awarded a BC-maroon apron for her appetizing artistry.

Britton entered the contest as well, submitting a “Heart of Darkness” cake, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novella of the same name. Kristina Walker, CSOM ’27, said the cake was not only a feat of literary finesse, but tasty as well.

(Shane Shebest / Heights Staff)

His other entry, “The Wizard of Utz,” included a variety pack of individually packaged Utz potato chips bags with glittery black witch hats plastered over the “Little Utz Girl.”

(Shane Shebest / Heights Staff)

“It’s really just getting people engaged in another aspect of loving books and the written word,” Britton said.

Students gathered around the tables to sample sweets and peruse puns such as “Plum Loving,” based on the Janet Evanovich novel of the same name, and “Butter Battle Bar,” inspired by Dr. Seuss’ The Butter Battle Book.

When it came time for festival attendees to finally eat the edible entries, Britton warned them to be careful.

“Use caution, because a lot of toothpicks are holding these things together,” Britton said. 15 creatives entered this year’s competition. Though the majority were members of the library’s staff, one intrepid team of undergraduates dared to enter “Crumbling Hierarchy,” a giant rice krispie treat covered in several layers of fondant, inspired by Pierce Brown’s Red Rising. 

Shane Shebest / Heights Staff

“If we’re being honest, we didn’t know about this until we came into the library to study, but we thought that this was a very creative initiative,” Mia Lagunas, MCAS ’27, said. “I feel like it definitely sparked an interest and we’ll be keeping [it] in mind for next year.”

April 5, 2024