The exact origin of the phrase is uncertain, yet it was a figure of speech even in playwright William Shakespeare's day. In Much Ado About Nothing (act 4, scene 1), Beatrice (really the character's name) asks Bendrick "Will you not eat your word?" and he replies "With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest I love thee."
Over the weekend here in NH, not only could words be eaten, but entire books devoured.
It's not as confusing as it sounds. Since the best place to (literally) eat a book is at the library, that's where I went on Sunday. It was the site of the Nashua Public Library's 6th annual Edible Book Contest which featured about a dozen entries, a few shown here.
There were several categories, first were children's books.
This entry in the adult book category was quite detailed down to a bloody hatchet.Here's a couple of entries that were in the family category. Library visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite in each category. The popular vote winners would be announced by library closing time. I cast my ballots but didn't stay to learn the final results.
I admit to having wondered if any entrants later would actually eat their