the cookbook collection

Is it possible to have too many cookbooks? I hope not.

I’ve been accumulating cookbooks and food writing for many years, but lately the acquisition rate seems to have stepped up a bit, partly due to the discovery of Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks in Vancouver, and partly to the relocation of a local used bookstore which is now walking distance from where I work. Oopsy.

just a few

What makes a cookbook worth buying? I look for great photography, lots of personal essays, or just a feeling that the subject is really being treated thoroughly and with love. I usually need to find one recipe that really grabs my attention before I will take a book home; of course, I almost always do.

You can view most of my collection at (Buying tends to outpace cataloging, so it may not be complete).

And for those who ask, “Do you really cook from all of these books?” the answer is, mostly, “Yes!” Sometimes we have to make a special effort to pick something out of a new book, but I try not to have a single book on the shelf that hasn’t been utilized in some way. When we’ve made more than a handful of recipes out of one book, or we keep going back to a particular recipe, I know that book was a successful purchase.

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2 thoughts on “books

  1. I love it. My husband was teasing me because I got Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris for Christmas and that next night, I took Ina to bed with me. He couldn’t figure it out. “Why would you want to read about food before bed?” Oh and I frequent Easton’s, Ristretto, and the Skagit Food Co-op quite a bit. I wonder if we’ve crossed paths?!

    1. Why wouldn’t you want to read about food before bed? Food is always good reading. I’m lucky that my husband shares my infatuation with cookbooks 🙂

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