If anyone had ever told me that you can gain weight from reading, I would have scoffed at them. Several pounds later, I’m no longer scoffing.
It all started with a six-book series that I am reading. When I know an author is going to be writing a series, I buy the books as they come out and I save them up until I have them all. This can take a few years but that doesn’t matter to me because I have so many others that are waiting on my shelves for me to read. When the last book of the series is finally written, I take out all the books and read them back-to-back.
I’ve never gained weight from reading books so it didn’t occur to me that this one should have carried a warning label. It should have said, “Do not read if you want to fit into your clothing.” Then, I would have known not to start the series. I would have read something else.
All six of these books are about food in all their glorious manifestations and of the chefs who want to outdo each other’s culinary offerings. On the surface, that wouldn’t have been enough for me to refrain from buying the books of one of my favorite authors. However, the descriptions of the different dishes, the ingredients, the cooking preparations, and the plating of these foods so that they are appealing to the eye in preparation for the gustatory sampling of them, have been so mouth-watering, that I walk around hungry all day and dream of sugar-plum fairies at night who are baking these wonderful concoctions for my discerning palate.
At least I used to think I had a discerning palate. Now, I’m not so sure. At this point, I might even be called a human garbage pail.
I’m not usually an impressionable reader. My modus operandi is to read something for its content but not get so involved with it that I let it dictate my actions. I can honestly say this hasn’t been the case with these books.
Perhaps this was my fault. I should have had something to eat before starting on the first book. Almost from the beginning, I would start to read, and the more descriptive the passages about the food, the more I found myself raiding the refrigerator. I was so engrossed in the descriptions that I didn’t even realize that I was holding the book in one hand and opening the refrigerator with the other hand.
This evening, I was telling one of my clients about some foods that I used to eat on my way to school when I was young. They were sold by vendors on the street, each one hawking a different food, and by the time I got to school, I was full. I described them for my client and she got on the internet to try to find pictures of them. With each picture she emailed me, I would give it the thumbs down. They didn’t look like what I had eaten.
Then, I got on the internet and I found exactly what I was looking for. I even found an article about these foods that apparently only made their appearance in the neighborhood where I lived. The article told how they disappeared shortly after I moved from that state. My descriptions didn’t do them justice.
I found all kinds of pictures of these foods and emailed them to her; they brought back so many memories. We oohed and aahed over them until we were both so hungry. She probably went to bed hungry this evening while I went into the kitchen and made something to eat.
It’s terrible to discover after a lifetime of reading everything that wasn’t nailed down, that I now have to monitor the books I read so that I don’t gain weight. I dread the idea of getting on the scale after I finish reading this series about food; I still have one and a half books to read and when I’m finished, I might have to run naked through the jungle because I can’t get into my clothes.