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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eating My Books

Eat Your Books

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving a problem.  Okay.  Here goes.

I have a cookbook problem.  Yes, that's right.  I just can't get enough.  And shelf space is becoming a problem.  As is keeping track of said cookbook collection.

I love cookbooks, maybe even more than I love luxury leather goods.  For those of you who know me, and who know of my vast and wide ranging shoe and handbag collection, admitting that cookbooks may be more of a problem is, well, probably quite shocking.

The truth is that I actually use my cookbooks, which sets this collection apart from my shoe collection.  I cook from a cookbook everyday.  Really.  I'm not just saying that the justify the collection.  I don't make a roasted potato without looking for a new way to make them more delicious.  Maybe a higher heat?  More garlic?  Thyme instead of rosemary?  The possibilities are endless and I am determined to try and try again until the absolute deliciousness completely overwhelms me.

My real problem isn't that I buy a lot of cookbooks.  For heaven's sake.  I could have worse vices.  I don't really drink and I don't smoke.  I don't cavort around town with unsuitable people.  Okay, maybe my shoe addiction is a little out of hand, but on a scale of one to 10 in the vice department, I'd say I'm at the low end of trouble.

My real problem is keeping track of which cookbooks I already own.  After buying my second copy of David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen, I knew I had to take action.  (If you don't own it, you really should consider it.  The Chicken Lady Chicken alone is worth the purchase.)

Enter Eat Your Books.  For a small fee, this website provides a fantastic indexing and management system for cookbooks, blogs, and other recipes.  It doesn't give you recipes, but instead what it does do is provide you with a listing of which recipes are in which cookbooks.  So, if I want to make Coq au Vin for dinner (oh, that does sound good, doesn't it?) Eat Your Books will give me a listing of all of my cookbooks that include recipes for Coq au Vin.  Genius.

Now, there's a catch.  I had the enter all of my cookbooks in the database, but it's so worth it.  First of all, it was kind of fun to go through all my books, and second of all, it reminded me of a lot of cookbooks I own that I used to cook from and that have somehow moved to the bottom of the pile.

It's a win-win!

Now I have a system down.  When I add a book to my collection, the first thing I do is enter it into my personal database on Eat Your Books.  It's easy.  And then I start cooking.


  1. Sounds like something I should cetainly look into. I've bought more than a couple of doubles, lol...

    Thanks so much for sharing...

    P.S. I'm started Cookbook Wednesday on my blog where you link up a post you do about cookbooks. You are more than welcome to join us:) Drop by to check it out.