Carmel Clay Public Library hosts Indiana State Fair inspired fair food book tasting


On a lazy Sunday afternoon, sophomore Dev Mathur reads a book for enjoyment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mathur has seen an increase in the amount of free time he has and spends this time reading more books. Similarly, the Fair Food Book Tasting hopes to encourage young adults to read more during the COVID-19 pandemic by basing genres off of fair foods found at the canceled Indiana State Fair.

Raghav Sriram

For the past month, the Carmel Clay Public Library has held the fair food book tasting in hopes to inspire young adults to read more during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Jamie Beckman, young adult department manager at the library, the fair food book tasting is based on picking up food from the canceled Indiana State Fair and allows readers to find, select and pick up books they are interested in or never knew they had an interest in. To participate, interested young adults must fill out a form with a list of genres; each genre having its own Indiana State Fair food. This allows participants to pick by which fair food they enjoy or by which genre they prefer and see what books the library recommends them to read.

“Right now graphic novels is our most popular item which is ice cream cones, horror is deep-fried butter, historical fiction is elephant ears, mystery/thriller is deep-fried pickles and there are more like these.” Beckman said.

According to sophomore Dev Mathur, “I believe reading during the COVID-19 pandemic is really important. Especially since I am having a lot more free time and don’t know what to do, reading sort of is a way for me to relax and chill out.”

 In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the library has enacted strict policies such as appointment booking and has transferred many of its resources online. This program maintains this pattern.

According to Beckman, “You don’t have to do this program in public, so you can do the program, see the books that we recommend and if you like them you can stop by the library for a quick visit. But most of it you would do at home so you don’t have to be out in public.”

The program is scheduled to end Sept. 30 at the time when the library moves to its new temporary location to allow the main branch to undergo renovations and construction.

Beckman said, “It’s important in these stressful times to do things that you enjoy and keep your stress levels low so I think for a lot of people that is just reading books that they like to read. So I would encourage people to make sure when they are stressed they are focused on tasks they enjoy and relax when they have the time.”