What Do Doughnuts and Books Have in Common? The answer changed the way I view Literature

Just this last Friday was National Doughnut Day here in the United States. I had a great many things on my mind that day, and didn’t really have time to celebrate then, but it seems a pity to do nothing. After all, who wouldn’t want to celebrate the soft, sweet scrumptiousness also known as doughnuts? So here are some thoughts about how doughnuts can fit into your reading schedule without adding inches to your waistline.


One day, a few years back, I was having a conversation with my cousin and we started talking about books. Knowing she had been a long time fan of vampires, I decided to get her take on Twilight. I don’t remember her exact words, but she said something to the effect of, it was okay, but not something she would count as serious reading, kind of like eating a doughnut. Well, that got me thinking. I decided that most books out there can fit into what I call “literary food groups.
Grains– In order for me to explain, let me start with the base of our literary food pyramid. These would be the grains of all books—the classics. These are the staples of a will rounded reading diet. These are often what our English teachers made us read in high school. Names such as Shakespeare, Dickens, and Brontë come to mind. These are the books that last through the ages.
Vegetables– Next, we have our vegetables. This is where I would place the self-improvement books. Titles like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and How to Win Friends and Influence People would fit perfectly. These nourish and help us grow into healthy individuals in more than just the physical sense, though some health and fitness books may do that as well.
Fruits– Fruits are right there with vegetables, and what better to compare with fruits than poetry? Poetry is sweet and delicious, as well as full of nutrients for the soul. Satisfying enough to act as a dessert when necessary, but healthy enough to stand on its own. It can be combined with the classics to make them sweeter. It can be preserved in different ways, like songs, wall hangings, or even recitations, just as fruit can be preserved by making jams, bottling it, or freezing it. And, as with fruit, there is enough of a variety that everyone should be able to find something they like.
Dairy– Now we progress to the dairy, or milk, of books. I say progress, but we are actually going back in time with this. I consider the picture books and early readers to be the milk of literature. After all, isn’t milk what we start out with? If you want to grow big and strong, you better drink your milk. Milk is supposed to make strong bones. Aren’t picture books and beginning readers the means by which we build and strengthen the framework of our future reading? There are even picture books written to cater more toward adults, because after all, don’t grownups step back and drink a glass of milk once in a while?
Meat– Meat comes next. Mead is our non-fiction writing like biographies, scientific journals, histories, newspapers, and even textbooks. This is our brain food. Brains need protein to develop. They also need real information to keep up with the world and grow. We may be able to glean partial protein from other sources, but it won’t be as complete and filling as our meaty books.
Dessert– Last of all, we have our fats and sugars—our desserts, if you will. These are my personal favourites. Who doesn’t love dessert? This is where our literary doughnut will fall. Fantasies,science fiction, romance, mysteries and suspense are all a few that might fall into this category. These books are written to be pleasurable, and aren’t required to have much nutritional value, though I believe many still do. After all, not all desserts are created equal. Is a doughnut really on the same level as a perfect banana split? How about comparing a Ding Dong to a slice of rich, chocolate cake decked out in smooth, creamy frosting? Creating the perfect dessert can be an art form, and so can writing these dessert genres. They can be a fattening doughnut, tasty but not likely to benefit you in the long run, or they can be as comforting as that warm slice of apple pie. They can be as easily dismissed as the Twinkie in the bottom of your lunch, or create sweet memories, like that decadent piece of cheesecake shared with a special someone.
I love dessert. I love my cake and ice cream. I am pretty much addicted to sugar. I also love reading dessert books. I have chosen to write dessert books because of all the different literary food groups, this on can help a person escape from the stresses of real life for at least a brief moment, and give them something to look forward to. It is the genre that allows my creativity to thrive, and a reader’s imagination to soar. I have to admit, I am kind of hoping my book Gateway to Aviandria goes beyond the doughnut level and becomes more of the cheesecake or apple pie.

So, to sum up what I have discovered in my literary food and nutrition study:

  1. All the literary food groups are necessary to keep well balanced. The “serving” ratios don’t have to match the real food pyramid, but they should all be there somewhere.
  2. Dessert isn’t a bad thing. As I just stated, each food group has its place and dessert is no different. It’s alright to read for fun. You should read for fun.
  3. Not all desserts are created equal. If you are worried about overindulging on your literary desserts, pick the best ones. Pick the cheesecake over the doughnut. On the other hand, if you really prefer Twinkies to lemon meringue pie, who cares? Go for the Twinkie! In the end, reading a Twinkie is better than not reading at all.

When all is said and done, just enjoy what you read. Some people would way rather have a steak than a pie. Some people never replace milk as their beverage of choice. Reading should be pleasurable, so for now, just sit back and enjoy that literary doughnut.

4 Responses to “What Do Doughnuts and Books Have in Common? The answer changed the way I view Literature

  • I liked your take on literature. It’s a refreshing view. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great post. I have never thought about books this way but I think I will remember this from now on! I too am a dessert fan and my food pyramid I’d definitely unbalanced, although I guess If you count a lifetume’s reading then I got plenty of milk, grains, fruit and vegetables during childhood, school and university so it all balances out, right?!

    • Rie Frost
      2 years ago

      Thanks Zara. I always figured it would balance out in the end too.

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