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Cookery Book Fettish

Having filled up yet another bookshelf I counted how many culinary books I own and the number is now over 400. At least half are not cookbooks but reference and/or techniques and/or encyclopedic books, dictionaries, food writing, and so on. I pore over my books often and am extremely particular with the books I purchase. So far there are about 5 that I would be willing to part with.

In my opinion there is no such thing as owning too many cookery books. There is always something new that I need to get my hands on.

Are you a cookery book addict?

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  1. Not quite an addict of cook books. Yet I keep buying them. We have several hundred. I have rules, they must read well, recipes must be in a format I like, pictures are important but not a deal breaker, there must be at least one recipe I think I would use.

    1. Yep! Newest purchases: Herve This' Molecular Gastronomy and Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I'm at around 400 now too.

      1. Not quite in your league (I only have about 80), but I certainly understand the obsession. I read them like novels! That said, I'm in the middle of a decluttering, get rid of stuff phase. I went through my cookbooks and I found exactly three that I'm willing to part with!

        1 Reply
        1. re: nofunlatte

          I have this problem, too. I just can't part with them!

        2. Yes, I am glad I am not the only one with this fettish. I have a little over 1000. I just can't seem go a week without buying one and I recieve a lot as gifts. I am currently trying to log them in a sort of "order".

          2 Replies
          1. re: bookwormchef

            It's funny because I bookmark hundreds of recipes/ideas/techniques then when it comes time to find it I have to go through everything! I often think I will remember. However, I do have a notebook in a kitchen drawer that I am now trying more faithfully to jot page numbers, books, etc. down in. That goes for all my hundreds of culinary magazines, too! :)

            Where do all of you get your books from normally? I often get mine from Amazon (many companies charge for shipping outside the U.S. and I live in Canada). Sounds bad but I often look at them first at bookstores then order on line when I know they are so much cheaper...

            1. re: chefathome

              I usually buy mine online from Jessica's Biscuit; otherwise, I love to scour the used book stores for a unique find. I have no method in collecting, but would like to get a book about the food/cooking in every country.

          2. Guilty. Lots of good sources but Books for Cooks in London is the greatest. Unfortunately carrying books back to Canada is a pain.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mexivilla

              Yes Books for Cooks is very nice - was just there a week ago - but the main Strand bookstore in NYC's cookbook section is a worthy rival - was there this Saturday and there are some real finds. The breadth of stock is quite comparable, except that I saw more Australian books at BfC than are available here. There is also a small section of review copies in the basement. http://www.strandbooks.com/

            2. what are your top 5 faves.i mean top 5 most useful?

              2 Replies
              1. re: beckypoostchi

                I need a challenge when I cook, whether it is exotic ingredients or learning new techniques so most books I have are not exactly terribly common!

                My very, very favourite book is Larousse Gastronomique and I use it often as a reference. I also enjoy reading it like a novel. Just fantastic.

                The Herb and Spice Bible is great as I use a lot of exotic spices. The combination information in the back is invaluable.

                Lately I've been using The Soul of A New Cuisine (it is mainly North African) as I am really into that type of cuisine.

                The Best Recipe is a good general purpose book that I find interesting as I enjoy reading about various experiments that go into creating the recipes.

                As I love making sauces "Sauces" by Peterson is great.

                Bistro Laurent Tourondel is another favourite, as is Amuse Bouche.

                Simple to Spectacular (Jean-Georges) is great as he provides a simple recipe on which to build other more difficult recipes. I also love his Asian book.

                Club Cuisine - Cooking with A Master Chef is another I love.

                Fundamentals of French Cuisine is one I refer to as I am also into French classical cooking.

                All About Braising by Molly Stevens is a good all-purpose braising book.

                1. re: beckypoostchi

                  Last count was close to 200 and no end in sight, I love all of them! I even buy ones that I know I will likely never cook from becuase of the pictures or information. I had to recycle my magazine collection, it was getting out of hand and I never looked at them....still made me sad to see them go.

                2. the silver spoon has become my new bible!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: beckypoostchi

                    I keep most of my recipes on my laptop now (bring it right into the kitchen!) but I love cook books and I like to read them in the bath tub.

                    1. re: Whosyerkitty

                      My favorite place to read them too, especially the hefty tomes (like James Peterson's Cooking) that are too heavy to be read comfortably in bed, my other favorite place. Reading in the bathtub is one of life's great pleasures.