There are plenty of reasons not to eat or drink anything while reading a book, including (but not limited to) the risk of spilling your drink all over the pages or getting stains on them. However, there are just as many reasons people snack while they read: to help unwind with a good book, to ward off distracting hunger pangs, or simply to combine two good things in one sitting. If you belong to the foodie group, you might find inspiration for more snack choices here—and if you don’t (due to the risks involved), know that many of our recommendations are perfectly safe to enjoy around books.
With the heat of late summer, there is hardly a better drink to accompany books than smoothies right now. They’re cold, they’re healthy, and they’re delicious. Not to mention you can customize them any way you like—so why not try matching your smoothies with the books you read? Here’s some inspiration.
If you want a light, sweet snack with a bit of a crunch, Pocky is your friend. As long as you hold them on the right side, you should have no problems with sticky fingers when you’re turning the pages. The only real drawback is that, as many of us know, Pocky is so easy to eat that it can be addictive. Make sure you portion out how much of it you want to eat if you don’t want to accidentally empty out the whole box.
Maybe you prefer a snack with a bit more substance to it, in which case, beef jerky is perfectly filling and doesn’t leave too much of a mess. It’s a nutritious, low-carb source of protein—just keep in mind that not all beef jerky is created equal. Here’s a guide on choosing beef jerky that won’t cancel out all the health benefits it’s supposed to have.
There is hardly a better way to start a morning than reading a book, and what better breakfast to pair it with than cereal? In less than a minute, you can sit down with that book you were reading last night and a yummy, convenient meal that you can eat with one hand while turning the pages. Of course, your choice of cereal matters—consider plain or honey nut Cheerios for the healthy factor.
Pretzels are a popular snack among book lovers, and for good reason: They have a satisfying crunch and saltiness that won’t leave a mess all over your fingers. Just make sure you’re not eating them over your books, lest you get crumbs stuck between the pages. Alternatively, get bite-sized pretzels to avoid crumbs altogether.
No list would be complete without tea, the ideal comfort drink. It’s perfect for relaxing with a book, and it’s full of health benefits. My personal favorite is jujube tea, but Pukka tea is probably the best for winding down with a book after a long day.
A lot of fruits are great to have while reading, but grapes get a special mention for how easy they are to eat without getting juice on your fingers. They’re especially yummy frozen, so if you’re looking for a summertime reading snack that isn’t ice cream, there you go. They also pair well with other snacks, such as cheese and…
No-mess, easy to eat, and super good for you—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable snack for reading. That is, unless you get nuts covered in seasoning. So, don’t do that. Nuts don’t usually need much more than salt at most, anyway, especially if you get something as delicious as macadamia nuts.
As long as you’re not drizzling salt and butter all over it, popcorn is actually a pretty clean snack. It may taste plain to some, but there’s beauty to be found in simplicity. Rather than buying Pop Secret, you can use an air popper or get one of these to stick in the microwave.
Look, some of us like to snack on candy while reading, and it’s definitely not healthy, but if you’re going to do it, you might as well pick chocolate. Specifically, you should get dark chocolate with low sugar content, like 70 percent cacao or more. It’s good for your heart, at least. And apparently, it helps with memory? And vision, too? Don’t quote us, though (unless you find yourself better able to read at night and remember book plots one day).
The point is, there aren’t any real drawbacks to snacking while you read as long as you’re picking the right snacks (especially if you’re using chopsticks). On the contrary, there are plenty of physical and emotional benefits. And, well, sometimes it’s just fun to chew on something while you read.
Just in case 10 options aren’t enough for you, though, we’ll end things off with some honorable mentions for drinks and snacks:
- Ice cream (bite-size or on a stick is best)
- Wine/cocktails (in moderation)
- Cake pops
- Trail mix
- Pita chips and hummus
Interested in foods from fiction, too? Check out this article on some of the most iconic foods from well-known books.