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Downsizing the Cookbook Collection


MArkF
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If I had my way, every square inch of my flat would be covered in cookbooks.  

 

The fact that it isn't means that I've managed to exercise some form of self-control.

 

I'm considering getting rid of some of my non-food books to make room for more cookbooks.  It does help though that I am extremely picky.  Otherwise I'd have run out of room a long time ago.

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On 01/08/2016 at 9:46 PM, MArkF said:

I just got rid of more than 120 cookbooks effectively eliminating my collection. I get so many recipes on line now that I virtually do not use them anymore.

 

i just wonder if I did the wrong thing.......

 

thoughts?

 

Mark

 

I've been giving mine away but  not to any random person. I bring with me cookery books/mags on holiday to give to owners of the lodging. They can use them or leave them in the lodging for others to read. My beer glasses are given away in the same way. I want an empty house (it's a bit hard when the partner is a hoarder)! I don't cook with them, just read them like novels.

 

Howeverrrrrr... I won't part with these. All right, I can part with 2. OK, 3. But only the person I want to give them to wants them. The 2 I want to keep will go in the incinerator with me. These are no cookery books, although they do contain some recipes. Beautiful photography, exhaustive research, good translation (originally in German), every page brings you closer to the country and its people. THIS is how you learn about a country (its culture and history) through food and drink - its heart and soul!

 

5k7qpDF.jpg

 

Unfortunately, no one on here lives in the country where I'm going to next. And my big trip next year also. I'm pretty sure no one here lives there.

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You can also "release" cookbooks into the wild, so to speak, through BookCrossings.com (click...then click on "more" under the third step shown on the home page).

I have a friend who is a member of the web site and she releases books. She leaves cookbooks in the lobby/waiting areas of restaurants. 

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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4 hours ago, Toliver said:

You can also "release" cookbooks into the wild, so to speak, through BookCrossings.com (click...then click on "more" under the third step shown on the home page).

I have a friend who is a member of the web site and she releases books. She leaves cookbooks in the lobby/waiting areas of restaurants. 

 

What a great idea!  We've tuned in to the unofficial book exchanges at many parks, and the slightly-more official book exchanges called "Little Free Library" - all of them on a philosophy of "take one, leave one" without anyone counting - but I've never seen a system for tracking one's releases.  That makes it even more fun.  :smile:

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
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  • 7 months later...
8 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

Interesting article from Eat Your books about downsizing - Managing your [cookbook] collection to make it work for you.

 

 Wonderful article and she has some very pertinent points.   I am at the stage now where I don't want to bake in the big oven because it will take me half an hour to empty it. How sad is that? Not sure how I'm going to handle that.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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On 6/26/2017 at 3:30 PM, FrogPrincesse said:

Interesting article from Eat Your books about downsizing - Managing your [cookbook] collection to make it work for you.

 

Interesting post. It's almost exactly the opposite of my approach. I like big references, and try to stay away from "picture cookbooks." I have references for French, Indian, and Italian cooking, plus Joy and a couple of Bittman books. I have a couple of the "picture books" from before I realized that I never cook anything out of them; Hazan or Jaffrey just feel like much better "space investments," so to speak. Photos of interesting food (and videos of people preparing it) can be found online if need be; I don't need them occupying my home.

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I'm afraid I'm in the "too many books" camp, and that blog post has me nailed.  Her first rule made me laugh with rueful self-recognition: "Don't open the book. Once you open the book - you are screwed - that looks good, I'll make that some day...". That is exactly what happens to me every time I start to cull.  I just made my annual Friends of the Library donation and sent a couple dozen cookbooks, along with even more non-cookbooks, to find new homes and make a few bucks for the library.  There are at least 5 books still on my shelf that I opened, looked at, thought "oh yeah, I wanted to make that!" and put back.  This time around I marked the recipes. I am getting better, however, at using the "let this book go free so somebody else can enjoy it" attitude.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I'm with you...I have tons of cookbooks and I really don't use them anymore.  I have thousands of recipes stored in my Living Cookbook software and I reference those.  Aside from that, I get most of my recipes these days off the web.  While I still have an attachment to all those lovely cookbooks, I just need to find a worthy place to donate them.

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  • 5 years later...

I came very late to this cooking game...about 67 I think.  Prior to that I had cooked...but I had also made beds and cleaned toilets.   Then suddenly the appearance of an unfamiliar word...ganache...triggered a tsunami of cooking...and buying of new and second hand cookbooks.  Now I'm much older and not improving with each shining hour.  Not complaining..well, maybe just a bit  :rolleyes: ...but rather setting the background. 

 

So now I've come to that point in my life where it's time to downsize many aspects of life, in this case my cookbooks.  I don't live close enough to anyone to give any of them away, but I do belong to a small rural library with a dreadful selection of cookbooks and so it's about to benefit from my largesse.   It will catalogue the goodies and sell the others.    I'll get started just as soon as I live through this horrible cold/flu/bronchitis/? .

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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14 minutes ago, Darienne said:

I came very late to this cooking game...about 67 I think.  Prior to that I had cooked...but I had also made beds and cleaned toilets.   Then suddenly the appearance of an unfamiliar word...ganache...triggered a tsunami of cooking...and buying of new and second hand cookbooks.  Now I'm much older and not improving with each shining hour.  Not complaining..well, maybe just a bit  :rolleyes: ...but rather setting the background. 

 

So now I've come to that point in my life where it's time to downsize many aspects of life, in this case my cookbooks.  I don't live close enough to anyone to give any of them away, but I do belong to a small rural library with a dreadful selection of cookbooks and so it's about to benefit from my largesse.   It will catalogue the goodies and sell the others.    I'll get started just as soon as I live through this horrible cold/flu/bronchitis/? .

 

I ponder this at times, as I’m sure all of us book lovers do. So far, my best idea seems to be just living with my books till I breath my last and then let the kids hire an estate sale professional to deal with it.  I know this is magical thinking, but, what the heck, it is working for me at the moment. 

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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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My thinking is, I did enough for my little hellions that they can deal with disposing of my stuff.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Although I tend to donate my cookbooks to the library (or, more recently, to interested relatives just starting out) I want to call out the topic FREE cookbooks for those of you who wish to share around within this community!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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3 hours ago, kayb said:

My thinking is, I did enough for my little hellions that they can deal with disposing of my stuff.

 

When my sons were young teens one day I found them going through my cookbooks, dividing them up into who gets what.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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23 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

When my sons were young teens one day I found them going through my cookbooks, dividing them up into who gets what.

 

And have their tastes changed?

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4 hours ago, kayb said:

Let me know what you have. Always happy to buy and pay shipping for something I like!

 

A list from me is imminent (i.e., in the next couple of days). I'll post it to Culinary Classifieds.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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20 minutes ago, TdeV said:

 

And have their tastes changed?

 

Interesting question.  By the time I find out I won't be around any longer.  Back then my younger son was obsessed with variety meats.  My older son was into octopus.

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I have all of the Best of Bridge cookbooks and one daughter has said she would like them all because "they are so retro but also really good recipes." Other than that I have my "bibles." All of Julia's, Bakewise and Cookwise by Shirley O. Corriher, Rose Levy Bernbaum's Cake Bible and Bread Bible, Silver Palate and the Loony Spoons books which I find helpful when trying to shed pounds. I purged about 150 cookbooks several years ago when I realized that I used only a few and anything that I want is now available on the internet.

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20 hours ago, Smithy said:

Although I tend to donate my cookbooks to the library (or, more recently, to interested relatives just starting out) I want to call out the topic FREE cookbooks for those of you who wish to share around within this community!

 

You are fortunate to have a library that accepts donations to use. Our area chain of libraries is remodeling one to include a large area devoted to food and cooking. As I am downsizing my cookbook collection, I contacted them and asked if they would like some of my collectible cookbooks to use in their classes/lectures, decorate with/display, etc. They said no. They said they will accept them, but will sell them on eBay in order to get the money. Made me really sad.

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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