The words almost rhyme and, for me at least, they certainly go together. If I'm absorbed in a good novel during breakfast, my granola tastes even sweeter. I eat my tuna sandwich with more pleasure at lunch if I'm perusing the latest New Yorker. And there's nothing I like better than a handful of potato chips to accompany a good mystery. Reading while eating simply makes both better.
I also enjoy conversation with a good meal and I admit to sometimes watching television while consuming food, but there's something special about lingering over breakfast, lunch, or even dinner while meandering through a book. As a girl, I identified with Jo in Little Women—she would climb a tree with an apple and a book in hand and enjoy the pleasure of reading and eating undisturbed. I didn't get into the tree climbing thing, but I loved to grab an apple or two after school and settle myself in my favorite chair for a good read.
Since my reading and eating habit started at an early age, I've become totally conditioned— I associate the satisfaction of eating with the joy of reading. Maybe there's something in this phenomenon that could be utilized by early childhood reading programs. What if kids were given their favorite snacks while they worked on their reading skills? There might be a few more sticky books, but perhaps also a few more kids who associated reading with good tasting foods and developed a hunger for books.