Jonathan Swift once asked, "Lord, I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing!"
After a decade of research, novice author Tomima Edmark explores that question and a lot more about the subject in "Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know."The latest in how-to/trivia books features chapters on the origin of the kiss, kissing etiquette, a list of kisses, expert opinions, kissing quotes and - for those just growing into Valentine's Day - the anatomy of a kiss complete with an easy-to-follow flow chart of a first kiss.
Among those quoted are Mae West boasting, "Few men know how to kiss well; fortunately, I've always had time to teach them." Or newspaperman Ambrose Bierce's cynical definitition of the kiss: "A word invented by poets to rhyme with bliss.
Actress Ingrid Bergman observed, "A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."
Pop artist Andy Warhol: "Two people kissing always look like fish."
One anonymous writer put it literally; "A vigorous exchange of saliva."
Edmark, 33, says kissing is her hobby and that the book, her first, was informally launched more than 10 years ago after a particularly "bad" kiss on a college date.
"At the end of the evening, he told me how great it was when it was really lifeless and so hard he almost corrected my overbite with it," she recalled during an interview from her Dallas home.