The Reader’s Digestive

Round, oblong, chocolatey or plain – there’s surely a biscuit out there for everyone.

The Reader's Digestive cover
The Reader’s Digestive cover

Celebrating the wonderful little hot beverage accouterment, a new book is being published this month, cleverly titled The Reader’s Digestive.

Imagined by William Jackson and illustrated by Mr Gresty, who created the wonderful An A to Z of Twords book last year, the hardback book is described as ‘a loving ode to the biscuit.’

The Bourbon Cream
The Party Ring

Gresty’s illustrations are all inspired by the advice offered on each page as to the best setting in which to consume the biscuit in question.

Exploring Jackson’s ‘childhood fascination with the biscuit’, The Reader’s Digestive gives some wonderful and often bizarre insights into the sugary treats, as well as marks out of ten for each variety.

The Bourbon Cream
The Bourbon Cream

On Pink Wafers, for instance, Jackson offers, ‘Made from reclaimed primary school ceiling tiles, the Pink Wafer is quite the dandy. Unashamedly garish and somewhat risqué, it’s a hit with grandma. I’ve never quite understood why so many grandmothers embrace this biscuit, and indeed the kind of innuendo and seedy glamour that go with it.

‘Perhaps the instant association with the flamingo alludes to an exotic quality, but it’s more Butlins than Botswana. Ingesting one of these is akin to watching a musical on television under duress.’

The Bourbon Cream
The Chocolate Shortcake

Gresty says, ‘When I read the book before I started working on it I agreed with it all. A lot of people asked who it’s aimed at, but it’s really aimed at everyone.

‘This is literally a coffee table book – it’s about biscuits.’

The Bourbon Cream
The Digestive

So finally, to answer the most pressing question DW could think of – Mr Gresty’s favourite biscuit is the chocolate hobnob.

The Reader’ s Digestive’ by William Jackson and illustrated by Mr Gresty is out on 10 December priced £10.99. You can order a copy here

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