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How Large is Your cookbook or recipe collection or magazine collection

How many cookbooks/magazines/recipes do you have???

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  1. Though I've never counted, I estimate that I have over 100 cookbooks. More if you include cooking magazines. And if you ARE including cooking magazines, then I must have...oh my! I can't even begin to count! I'm obsessed!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Miri1

      As of today, I have 641.

      They are catalogued on an ongoing basis here:


    2. Too Many!!! I must have about !50 or more. I gave away over 500 to Cal Poly when they opened their new library. I have lots of magazines that I haven't even read yet. I am not buying anymore. Especially since you can find recipes on the web.

      1. Way too big- in the '80s I got into the foodie thing big time, and as a result I have a) some really, really cool, edgy, neat cookbooks, and b) some real stupid turkeys (so to speak). I wasn't that selective back then. I need to get rid of a lot of it. After that I did the same things with gardening books.

        1 Reply
        1. I have at least 300 cookbooks and probably 1000 mags..LOL I'm a sucker and it drives my GF batty

          1. About 300 cookbooks, I guess...and 15 notebooks filled with recipes my mother either laboriously wrote out in her beautiful penmanship, or cut and pasted (rubber cemented, actually) over about 40 years, too. I used to haul around 20 years of Bon Appetite and Gourmet--to my husband's dismay, when we moved--but ditched those in favor of Epicurious.com. Now SERIOUSLY regretting getting rid of the issues of Gourmet; so glad I saved at least the last five years. Several years of Savuer, some of an Italian/American magazine I"m blanking on the name, Food and Wine (don't like much but it always seems to be a freebie), some of Cooks Illustrated, and very precious copies of a magazine dear to this culinary historian's heart, the long gone but not forgotten "Cuisine" magazine.

            I love my complete collection of the Time-Life Foods of the World .I used to sit in a corner of the kitchen, reading those while my mother cooked....or we watched Julia Child or Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet) together, after school. Those afternoons together deeply influenced my educational choices later in life. I treasure my old Anna Thomas Vegetarian Epicure books, because they were the first ones I owned as a newly fledged Young Adult (and cooked famously heavy meals from for my later husband, and for my parents, in my first apartment)...I've got just about all the "must have" cookbooks/authors of the past 25 years--including Marcella Hazen, Dianna Kennedy, James Beard, Paula Wolfert, Julia Child, Julie Sahni <?? sp>, Moosewood, Deborah Madison, etc.,etc....books on bread, books on canning and preserves, meat, cheesemaking, Indian, Vietnamese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Caribbean, Mexican, etc., etc....Southern cooking, CA new wave cuisine, etc., etc. I love cookbooks, and have a small collection of historical ones--my oldest is from 1845--for great bedtime reading, too.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Beckyleach

              Beckyleach, you are so lucky to have your mother's notebooks. My mother wasn't focused on cooking and never kept notes. She doesn't remember how she made dishes that she did when I was a kid. When my father retired she told him she retired too and he would have to cook. He has really taken to it. I will have my father's notebooks eventually I guess.

              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                Yeah, and my father wrote up a lot of her recipes into his own little cookbook, mentioned in a different thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7452...

                I am lucky. :-)

              2. re: Beckyleach

                My mom was a great cook and so was her mother. When my mother died and I looked through her handwritten recipes, lots of them were recipes I gave her just because nothing had been written down before. I have the Womans Day Encyclopedia of Cooking and I learned from that and my mother typed recipes and taped them to the inside cover of the corresponding volume. But, I still can't make my Babcha chicken soup.

              3. i have registered 228 cookbooks with Eat Your Books but I have more behind the knee wall upstairs as well as ones that Eat Your Books doesn't even have listed never mind indexed. A winter project is to clean out the ones I don't use.
                In the basement I have my magazine collection. All Gourmet and Bon Appetits back to 1976, Food & Wine almost as long. I think I have every issue of Saveur, Cooks Illustrated and Cuisine at Home. I got rid of my Fine Cooking in favor of the Annual DVDs. I also have a lot of defunct magazines like Pleasures of Cooking, Cooks and Cuisine. I wish other magazines would put out the DVDs like Fine Cooking has.
                Has anyone thought of digitizing their magazine collection and if so how would you do it?

                1. Around 40 cookbooks, and around 350 recipes that we cycle through regularly. Most of those recipes come from the 40 cookbooks.

                  The only cooking mags we subscribe to are Chile Pepper and La Cucina Italiana.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    Is Chile Pepper still being published?

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Yes, very erratically. You never know when--or if--the next issue will arrive, and fuhgeddabout trying to cancel your subscription; they don't do customer service. So I'm stuck with CP until it, or I, go under, whichever comes first.

                  2. Over the last 35+ years I'd had at least 500 cookbooks, plus years of Gourmet, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit, going back into the late 70's/early 80's, plus other obscure mags, professional stuff, Cuisine and Chocolatier, but no longer. No room for all that anymore. Now I have a select 70 or so and add to it frequently, to say nothing of the recipes files on my computer, which is a real space saver. I figure I'll max out at 100 cookbooks on shelves in my little studio apartment, before I have to start sleeping them.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      That 70's Cuisine was a great mag, much better than the current one.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Yes, it was. It was heads above what else was out there then, as far as being cutting edge. Gourmet was the standard bearer of culinary mags for years, but I never found it edgy.

                        Just bought two books today, for my ever shrinking space.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          Which books? I miss my long kitchen wall w bookshelves on St Johns. Among other things Bklyn.

                        2. re: buttertart

                          cuisine WAS great, wasn't it? i think i still have some copies around.

                          the old gourmets were the best!

                      2. I have maybe 300 cookbooks but I don't save magazines because I know I can go online and get the recipes. I'm thinking of not renewing any magazines and I don't want to pay for something that I can get free online. I don't like to save any stuff, don't want clutter in my house.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Floridagirl

                          one magazine you might like to get if you are a southerner is garden & gun. really high quality paper stock, photos, and well-written.

                        2. "How many cookbooks/magazines/recipes do you have???"

                          Why do you ask? Is there a prize for having the greatest number?

                          In which case, I already lost. I have about 50. Ten get used regularly. Another ten get used maybe once or twice a year. I really should have another cull of the remaining 30.

                          1. I have over 200 cookbooks of varying forms, a lot of them are not "published" books, rather they are charity books produced by churches, kids clubs, schools, etc. These happen to be favourites of mine, you can always find a great potluck recipe in a cookbook written by little old ladies from church! I have hundreds of magazines, probably thousands of scraps of paper in boxes, binders and the like. I even have a couple of those recipe boxes full of recipe cards which you bought by the bundle (not a very smart investment very expensive - however, there a bunch of recipes I make from there so it's better than some of my cookbooks that way).

                            1. Never counted them but probably about 500-600 cookbooks and also several hunderd magazines

                              1. Several thousand cookbooks. Maybe three or four dozen magazines. I've been working on purging the latter. And about a dozen or so recipe boxes with all the recipes filed according to category. Several file drawers full of clipped recipes, including many my Mom cut out over the years. I love looking at the ones from the 50s and 60s. I also have a digital recipe library in Word.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: decolady

                                  Several thousand? However do you store them? I thought I was bad at somewhere around 700.

                                2. Here's a question: what percentage of your cookbooks would you say you actually use at least six times per year? I ask this because Hounds, as demonstrated in other threads, are famous for rejecting formal recipes and cooking by the strings of their aprons.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    i read cookbooks at night, getting ready to sleep, perchance to dream. i peruse them when i'm on a quest for a recipe and its variations. i do use them to cook (occasionally ;-).

                                    i confess to nearly one thousand, from which i pull a few at a time, in themes or in whimsy, and get ideas and fantasies about menus, ingredients, combinations, ethnographic and historical stuff, regional concepts and entertaining. mr. alka really gets annoyed if he sees another cookbook entering the bedroom realm (or, really, the house itself).

                                    i eat vicariously through my cookbooks and old cooking magazines. (not to alert anyone, i surely eat from the fridge, the oven, the grocery store and the local thai place. ;-).

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Those are certainly "uses," alky, but I guess what I meant is actually cook from, with at most minor adjustments to the recipes.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Me, too, with the percentage. It's mostly about just owning and knowing, referencing, reading pleasure, fantasizing, inspiration, photo perusing, "someday I'll make this, someday" that sort of thing.

                                          alkapal stated it exquisitely.

                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                            Absolutely. Armchair travel, wish gratification, making dishes in your head as you read the recipes, all kinds of fun.

                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                      As upthread, a fairly high percentage - but only because we keep so few books. If the question had been what's the percentage of all the books you've bought over the years, it would be tiny. For example, I think we have bought every Nigella Lawson book (bear in mind I am a middle aged straight man, so it is a given that I'm a fan). Yet I can only recall us ever cooking a single dish (ham cooked in Coke) - and we wouldnt want to repeat it. So, we have an annual culling of books not used in the previous year and they get get donated to one of the local charity shops.