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Sep 2, 2005 10:36 PM

1500 cookbooks a year?!

  • f

Happily reading Jane Kramer's article in The New Yorker about cookbooks, I was startled to learn that there are about 1,500 cookbooks published every year in the U.S. I would have expected that to perhaps be the entire total in print. Maybe. But not new every year.

Does this surprise you, too, or was I just not tuned in?

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    Dave Feldman

    Remember that (rough guess) only a third or so of the total cookbooks come from major commercial publishers. Cookbooks have always been a lucrative niche for small, regional, and niche publishers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      There are also many reprints, er, "New Editions," especially before holidays and changes of season.


      1. re: Dave Feldman

        Hmmm... sounds like some Imponderables material in here somewhere.


      2. If you don't believe it, come over to my place and take a look! ;-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          Are you a collector, do you read them for pleasure, or do you cook from them regularly?

          1. re: Fida

            The short answer is Yes!

            If it's gonna take up shelf space, it has to be readable, and it has to have a point of view. Opinionated is good; prejudiced not so good. As for cooking from them, I sometimes follow a recipe more or less exactly if it's something that requires precision (like breads and congealed things), but usually I use'em for inspiration or to pick up pointers. Or if I have an unfamiliar food item I'll look to see what other folks have done with it.

            As for how many, I haven't counted, but at the moment I have roughly 36 linear feet of shelf space devoted to cookbooks, and I reckon they average about ten to the foot...

        2. Good grief! No wonder I can't keep up.