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Where do you get your cookbooks?

Hi there,

I was just reading another thread about cookbooks and someone mentioned "The Good Cook" as a source for inexpensive cookbooks. I'd never heard of them and it made me wonder what else I don't know about!!

I tend to buy my cookbooks:

New: only if they are on sale and usually from a big book store, book re-seller (eg. Winners, Homesense) or, on-line
Used: Abe Books, yard sales, local used bookstore

So how about you, are you finding some great deals?

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  1. I buy many of my cookbooks in the bargain section of the Barnes and Noble. They often have a great selection of ethnic cookbooks for under $10.

      1. re: junglekitte

        Second that. After a terrible experience at B&N, I refuse to purchase anything from them anymore. It's amazon all the way. If I'm too impatient to wait for delivery, then I'll just drop by Borders.

        I've also purchased a copy of the old Joy of Cooking from this guy on the street for a dollar. And my Time Life series of Cooking around the world came from Ebay.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          Also Amazon. I have Amazon Prime and I absolutely love it! The books are usually cheaper than at Jessica's Biscuit or anywhere else. I love getting them in two days!

            1. re: junglekitte

              I love it too. It is an indulgence that is well-worth it.

              1. re: roxlet

                Amazon here, too. Just one click and ... :)

                I also get some at a huge used bookstore nearby -- usually there's a lot you don't want, but I've had some successes, too ... enough to keep me coming back, lol.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Ah, Miss Needle, you brought back memories of those Time-Life cookbooks with the gorgeous photos! I used to have several but they've gotten lost in moves over the years.

            1. re: oakjoan

              Yes, they are absolutely treasures! Sorry you lost them in moves. I'm actually moving in a couple of weeks. Hopefully the collection will remain intact.

        2. Ebay and bookfinder.com are some other sources. I have in the past bought from newbookscheap.com, you can request a book and they were very reasonable on new titles. They used to have a list but now you send a request.

          1. I usually buy mine at www.half.ebay.com

            I get a lot of books for a $1.00. Shipping for the 1st book is $3.95. 2nd book is approx $2.89 and the 3rd book is $1.99 or so if it is from the same bookseller.

            1. I love books, period. Cookbooks are especially nice.

              There are a few used book stores near me. My favourite has had several additions; it's become a dusty haunted house maze, with books in place of murderers. (Murderers, I don't love.) My favorite things I've found from there were:

              An old Wesson Oil home ec paperback. It's written by engineers for teenage girls. The photography is 100% hideous; done exactly as an old physics textbook. It also gives suggestions for how to be popular. And the food is good. All sweets.

              Very thick book on the science of food from the 50's. It's chock full of graphs and explanations of what the different kinds of carbohydrates are made of. Some things like why whole grains are good for one or why open kettle canning will kill one, made a lot of sense after reading it.

              I've only used amazon.com to get the book by Molly from Orangette and Heston Blumenthal's perfection books. (Which are excellent.) And every time I go to Borders or Barnes and Nobles I do check their bargain sections. I found an excellent book on Thai foods for 5 dollars, but I've been otherwise unlucky.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Altarbo

                I get most of my cookbooks from my mom, who gets the kind that volunteer groups/churchs/schools put together to raise money for their groups and charity.

                As far as down-home cooking goes, those recipes can't be beat because they've been tested and modified for generations.

                Having said that, keep a close eye on thrift stores/garage sales from senior citizens for OLD ones from the 1960's-70's, especially if you're in the mid-west, because those old ones come from farming communities and have old traditional ethnic gems in them from old timers who've taken certain recipes to the grave with them.

                For instance, canning recipes, ethnic recipes, and especially all sorts of old world cakes and bread recipes you can't even find anymore.

                I like to go to the "Miscellaneous" section of these farm-community cookbooks and learn how to make cheese "brown cheese" or sauces for canning.

                I'm looking at my grandma's right now from about 1965, "50th Anniversary Cookbook, published by The Women's Committee of the Henry County Farm Bureau." It has things like homemade yeast, mincemeat, homemade soap.

                It's a piece of history, really.

                1. re: natewrites

                  It sounds absolutely incredible. Sadly, around here, our food fundraisers tend to focus on things you can eat. Fried chicken, fried sea creatures, barbecued chicken, jamabalaya, and pancakes.

              2. Book shop if I'm passing. Amazon if I'm not. AbeBooks for the occasional vintage edition.

                1. Powells.com. I like to support independents when at all possible, but I also like to shop online - Powells is the best of both worlds. They also have good prices on new or used books and a nice wishlist function.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: darklyglimmer

                    darklyglimmer: I second your rec of Powells. We go to Portland at least once a year and I've spent hours and hours wandering around the store. I love the combo of new and used. They had a store devoted only to cookbooks. Don't know if it still exists because I am loyal to the big store downtown.

                  2. I do like to collect vintage "social group" cookbooks like the kind a church or women's group will publish for fund raising. I have to get them at garage sales.

                    Generally, I am not after the recipes so much as the entertainment. I have one form Arkansas published in the 60's. Absolutely everything is fried. I have another from Alaska that highlights a lot of game dishes like "pot roast of beaver" and "moose nose" (You begin by scraping the hair off).

                    I do occasionally find a gem or forgotten concept especially in the baking recipes.

                    1. Library first to see if I want it. Then overstock.com or I save the 40% off coupon from Borders.

                      1. Split between Jessica's Biscuit and whatever local independent is good where I happen to be living. Other than that, the occasional pick up at a good book fair.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                          I have a routine group of thrift stores and second hand stores I swing by twice a month..I have found many fine "social group" cookbooks- one of my favorites is the Maui Extension Homemakers Club...or the " from Hawaii authentic original chinese recipes", complete with handwritten cursive notes throughout! I have a box of books that were given from Julia Child to a local , now retired chef- they are inscribed to her!

                          I have $1000's of dollars worth of books- that might mean little to another, but to me, they are hard earned trophys!

                          1. re: OldJalamaMama

                            Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I now have some fresh ideas for sourcing the books on my wish list!! I wish we could use half-ebay in Canada. I'd never even heard of it but the prices were indeed terrific. Thanks again!

                        2. Like others have mentioned I routinely check thrift stores (many Junior League cookbooks), library sales and antique malls...the ones that rent individual booths. One of my favorite finds at an antique mall was Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cooking. The title page notes "Drawings by Andrew Warhol". I bought the book for $3, went home and checked the internet. It was indeed THE Andy Warhol. He was a graphic artist in his early days. I went back to the mall the next day and bought the other copy for my sister. The drawings are of food, utensils, etc but I can say I own Andy Warhol drawings!

                          When out in California earlier this summer my sister and I went to several library used book sales and I found about 10 cookbooks for about $15. All hardbacks including the LA Times California Cookbook, a Best of Gourmet 1994, a Michael Lomonaco cookbook and The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking by the editor of the Larousse Gastronomique.

                          Another place I've had good luck with cookbooks is Paperbackswap.com If you have any hardback or paperbacks (any genre) to get rid of this is a good place to list them for swapping. I've gotten several cookbooks that I keep and other books, novels, etc, that I generally read then relist them on the swap.

                          My goal is generally to make at least one recipe from each cookbook I buy but mostly I just enjoy reading them!

                          1. Usually, Amazon. Then, after that, Jessica's Biscuit ( http://www.ecookbooks.com/ ), and then Ebay. But I did just get four from The Good Cook.

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