A writer’s take on eating alone


Breakfast for one in a cafe—time and place long forgotten

Many people feel dispirited when they eat alone. At least half the fun of good food is sharing with friends or family or — anyone!

Eating alone seems to be particularly difficult for those who are widowed or divorced, at least initially. For years your meals were sociable occasions, and it seems hard to adapt to cooking a single serve, and hard to understand that you still deserve a proper meal. Hard to honour and respect your own needs. Hard to see yourself as good company at mealtimes.

Reading is feeding the brain

Reading was top on the list of restful activities in a recent international survey of 184,000 people. And, for the most part, we read alone: that is a major part of the attraction. Reading is restful because we retreat into our own private world. It’s not a sociable thing, reading.

Kurt Vonnegut says, “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

So best to write for a single person who is savouring our book all alone. That solitary reader needs to feel satisfied at the end of the reading meal that we’ve cooked in a single serve.

Being alone may be the key to rest (BBC)

Photo: Rachel McAlpine CC BY 2.0

8 thoughts on “A writer’s take on eating alone

  1. My dream is to take a month off from work and just read…ah. Happy New Year!

  2. Patsy Porco says:

    Reading while eating alone in a restaurant or at home is wonderful.

    1. Agree. Great company!

  3. I’m such an introvert that eating alone has never bothered me. Of course the opportunities for this are few and far between, since my husband is usually here. So I guess it’s easy to talk!

  4. You know yourself!

  5. Robyn Haynes says:

    You know what they say about trying to please everyone. So I write for one and cook for one (most of the time). The latter can have its advantages. I miss sharing a meal out with others, but when the occasion arises and I have company, the dish is always sweeter.

    1. Sounds good to me! and no doubt tastes good too.

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