I think almost all food tastes better if had with the right book in hand. Of course the right company makes it very, if not more, enjoyable, but now I think about it, the taste buds get a raw deal. You re too busy composing the next answer or listening to soak in the food (assuming its worth soaking in of course- all beetroot and papaya related things excluded right now). But books are more passive, you can read, put them down, chew,savour, think and pick them up again. If you like some section you can saunter down that part, guess what comes next, and then do it all over again. As a side angle, eating with a book also draws far more attention than eating with any live person does. I dont know whether out of sympathy (paapa she doesn't have any friends) or curiosity, but everyone wants to know more about you the moment you re caught eating with a book in hand. In short, although vetoed as a bad food practice, I think theres something to be said in favour of book- eating too :)
So what are your favourite food books? Here is my list:
THE BEST: Wodehouse: I think the easygoing and mad happenings of Wodehouses stimulate gastric juices or something, I always eat more and feel happier with them!
Agatha Christie: Non gory, very gossipy and such a skilled character sketcher! great with food
Enid Blytons: Fabulous!Her food descriptions alone were enough to sustain a meal (fresh farm tomatoes, hot bread from the oven, and hot many other things I didn't even know the meaning of, but it didn't matter)
Harry Potter: The coolest,ALL Of them :)
Gerald Durrell: Feel good independently and with food, always
Also William, Rex Stout, Tintin but not Asterix (dont know why), Edith Nesbit. Don Camillo. Roald dahl- the non scary ones ONLY. Triveni (not the sad ones, again)
specific books : All Mma Ramotswe stories, Raga n josh, The microbe hunters. City of djinns.
THE WORST- P.D. James (the goriest murders ever, and you ll just sink into a dark mood)
the so so ones-
Ngaio marsh, Calvin (too restless I think?), actually comics in general are not great, except Tintin somehow..Frank o connor, Somerset maugham, Kuvempu (I think guilt. he s so scholarly and polished that you feel it cant be taken so lightly..feels like sacrilege).
Palace walk (too much detail to absorb) and The Kiterunner (too sad).
The WORST ever- Analytical chemistry- the Bangalore university prescribed one. I tried it once,obviously when in dire straits, and it put me off lunch AND dinner. It just gave me a hopeless feeling. Even the cover is especially unappealing, and am sure also unappetising, for poor foraging paper mites :(
Of course you cant insult the best books by reading them with sidey food..that wont give you any sort of good feeling. It needs quite a mix and match perrsonallized standardization..good luck :)