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You Know You Have Too Many Cookbooks When...

I recently read that Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame) has 8 pairs of shoes, and that the average woman has 13 pairs of shoes. I got to thinking - how much is too much.. of anything?

Then I thought about my cookbook collection, and, feeling guilty, wondered if I have too many cookbooks. True, many were gifts, and some were inherited. Some are antiques... that leaves probably something under 50 cookbooks I've actually purchased for myself. Is that too much???

You know you have too many cookbooks when..
- you have to estimate the number of books by averaging the contents of the shelves
- you are trying to remember a particular recipe, and have to brew a cup of tea in order to find it. (translation: this is going to take so long to go through several cookbooks, so i might as well enjoy it.)
- you have a set space for cookbooks only. Then, you have your set space, plus a temporary space. Then, the temporary space overfills, so you redecorate in order to accomodate the growing population. Then...

ok. i think i'm in denial.

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  1. You are willing to pay $25 a year to Eat My Books .....

    1 Reply
    1. re: firecooked

      ...or $50.00 for a lifetime membership.

    2. ... your cookbooks have cookbooks in them.

      1. ...you are no longer expected to cook anything out of your new cookbook, since it's read like a novel.


        There's no such thing as too many cookbooks or shoes!

        Guess I'm in denial right there with you!

        1. I don't even have that many (23 on Eat Your Books, yes I paid for the membership, plus maybe 5 or so that weren't on EYB) but I've approached your last line item. They've outgrown their shelf on my dining console so they're now stacked in a few stacks under my coffee table. I want to get a bookshelf just for them eventually, since I don't think my collection is going to get any smaller, especially hanging out around here!

          Don't even get me started on shoes...

          1. The bookshelves that house your beloved treasures are starting to sag and they had to be flipped to save them. That is to many cookbooks

            2 Replies
              1. re: coney with everything

                Great minds think alike and apparently collect to many cookbooks alike also

            1. I don't really use cookbooks but I've somehow amassed 25, none of which I've bought myself. I get at least 1 a year as a present.
              It's my own fault , apparently I'm quite difficult to buy for and everyone knows how much I love food. Also I always say oh how lovely, thank-you. So next year I get another one.Perhaps it's time to stop being so English about it and tell people that although I love cooking, cookbooks not so much.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Paprikaboy

                talk to me when you're over 200 . . . . . I have issues . . . .

              2. You Know You Have Too Many Cookbooks When...

                your six foot high by 2 foot wide dedicated-to-cookbooks bookshelf is overflowing...it has metal bookends on the top to keep the magazine boxes of cooking magazines from falling off...there are cookbooks lying horizontally on top of the shorter cookbooks because you've run out of space...and still, when your best friend had a moving sale and got rid of a lot of her cookbooks, you brought some home...sigh.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kcshigekawa

                  Are we long lost twins, separated at birth?

                  Sub "late mother-in-law" for "best friend" and that's all me. I just got done thinning the adjoining bookshelf, which had a lot of old reference books, so I could get all my cookbooks in the there after they'd overflowed the first one. I can always use dictionary.com and online prescription drug reference sites, but it was NEVER a consideration not to keep my m-i-l's two-volume 1965 edition _Gourmet [Magazine] Cookbook_, or her massive _Larousse Gastronomique_, or all those odd, random little Italian cookbooks. I thought I showed remarkable restraint in letting my niece have her _Joy of Cooking_--even though it's not the same edition as the two I have already!

                2. -You keep a running Wish List on Alibris, for when you're asked..."What would you like".

                  - You have the Eat Your Books lifetime membership and consider it heaven-sent

                  - You have TRIPLE checked what's in EYB, or not, and put color-coded stickers on what's in and what's not.

                  - EYB says you have 143 volumes, and you KNOW there are a couple of dozen that aren't in EYB's database

                  - Your wife still loves you even though one whole section of the built-ins are your cookbooks

                  - You can SEE the first of the twelve steps you must take...but cannot bring yourself there!

                  1. You have cookbooks in languages you can't read just to look at the pictures :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Hobbert

                      Oooh!!!! i've never even considered this option! or should i say "opportunity"!

                      I must go into the Japanese Bookstore next time I'm in the area...

                    2. You wake up from general anaesthesia and the first thought that comes to mind is your cookbook collection as I did on Thursday. Obsessed!

                      1. You know you have too many cookbooks when... Your house starts to look like Merlin's house from Disney's The Sword in the Stone.

                        1. Searching through storage for one, you come across a whole boxful. And only a couple ring a bell.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            Ding ding! We have a winner. You know you have too many cookbooks when you have to go into storage to get one out. Teasing.

                          2. You find a great cookbook at a thrift store/yard sale/clearance sale. Once home you enter it on EYB you discover you already have it...and this keeps happening several times a year!

                            1. You could cook a different dish (no repeats!) 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the rest of your life and not even come close to trying all the recipes in all your cookbooks.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AmyH

                                And these are just the ones you like upon reading. Not 100% of the book.