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This takes the idea of devouring a book to a whole new level.

The Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., is hosting its third annual Edible Book Contest from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday, April 8.

So what exactly does that entail?

The contest brings together bibliophiles, book artists and food lovers to celebrate the book arts and the (literal) ingestion of culture. Participants create an "edible book," which can be inspired by a favorite tale, involve a pun on a famous title, or simply be in the shape of a book.

"It's been growing from year to year," said Sara Byrnes, the librarian who organizes the event.

Anyone, young or old, including library staff, can participate. Those interested just need to fill out a registration form at the library by Thursday, April 6. And there are a few simple rules:

  • All entries must be related to books (e.g. shaped like a book, inspired by the contents of a book or puns on book titles).
  • All ingredients in an individual entry must be edible. Non-edible bases and other items, such as toothpicks and metal stakes, may be used for structural integrity but the majority of the entry must be edible.
  • Entries cannot require additional care, such as refrigeration.

Those who don't submit any entries are welcome to attend the contest and vote for their favorite entries. The top prize is a $50 Visa gift card, and runner-up entries will receive prizes as well.

The entries will be judged in four different categories: best in show, "punniest" and funniest, most creative use of ingredients and most likely to be eaten.

Contest participants should bring their entries to the library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, said Kori Hall, the library's head of program development and community engagement. Voting will occur from 1 to 4 p.m. and the winners will be announced during a reception at 4:15 p.m.

"There's always a lot of really interesting and creative ideas," Hall said.

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