To the Editor:
When I read the back-page Sketchbook “Dinner Companions” (March 8), I couldn’t believe my eyes. Surely Leanne Shapton wasn’t encouraging readers to eat while reading books — some of which could be from their public libraries! But indeed that is just what was happening. Before you leave your morsels behind, please consider those who read the books after you do. Several times, the unidentifiable gunky food of decades past has been so repulsive that I have returned a library book unread. If you are going to read while eating, and can’t be satisfied with a newspaper or magazine, please at least take along a piece of plastic wrap to protect the book!
Uh…I eat while reading all the time. (Gasp! Clutch the pearls!) I don’t think I’ve ever left any of my meal inside the book. But just in case, thanks to the editors of the Sunday Times Book Review for running this silly helpful reminder, which I suspect they chose as much for its inadvertent humor as for its service-y scolding.