Dec 5, 2013

Why Don't People Go on Book Diets? What Would It Mean If They Did?

The literary world is full of terms like "devour" or "consume" used to describe how one reads a book. Even the term "bookworm" finds it's roots in the tradition of referring to any insect that may chew through books as "worms" even though damage is typically caused by the Common Paper Louse (Don't google that if you don't like bugs. Or really, even if you do. It's just no fun).

So, if we're good with imagining books as some sort of brain food, then how far can we stretch that? Book restaurants? We've got those in the forms of book stores. Books about how to prepare books? That's an entire genre, and not a small genre at that. There are tons and tons of parallels, mostly because I'm looking for them, but they exist.

And yet, I'm not seeing much by way of book diets. I mean, diet books are everywhere, but there don't seem to be many people writing about selective book consumption for a specific purpose. Why not? Perhaps it's because people generally believe that no books are detrimental. I doubt that because if that were true, banned books week would be blueberry muffin week or something due to lack of banned books. Perhaps people are worried that going on a book diet might limit their worldview, and there may be some merit to that. I feel like the real reason is because nobody else has the right combination of spare time, relevance to work, and penchant for pointless rambling necessary to discuss the future of literary book clubs.


The Cleanse: Nothing but children's books, without any trace of sadness, scariness, or really anything that can't be described as "warm and fuzzy" or "super wicked cool". Great for getting you mentally back in shape to see the world as a beautiful place of excitement and adventure. As an adult, you may need to repeat the cleanse multiple times annually for continued effectiveness.

The Doyle Diet: Nothing but sleuth protagonists. Maybe sprinkle in a cheap murder-mystery on cheat days. Ideally a weekly dose of Sherlock Holmes accented by Poirot as necessary. This diet is sure to help you bulk up your intuitiveness, and slim down your cluelessness. Side-effects may include increased paranoia and a penchant for stylish hats.

The ABC Diet: Apocalypses, Battlefields & Catastrophes. This diet consists of steady doses of Disasters of all proportions. End-of-Days and Final Hours stories help keep you thankful that you live in a relatively safe world. Also, all that panicking you do for the characters towards the end will keep your heart rate up, burning real world calories. It's a truly transcendent diet. 

These are just a few of the many diets that I'm sure could one day come to be the driving force behind book clubs the world over. Let these culinary collections of chapter books shape how you read, and watch as your mind becomes truly fit. Or, just keep reading like you always do. That's never a bad thing.

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