"She had thought the chewing and digesting were meant literally"
Mo's workshop quote is from Sir Francis Bacon, a 16th century English courtier. Here's the full version:
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."
It would have saved Meggie's younger self a lot of confusion if Mo had just printed the whole thing, but that might have been a bit long...