I love buying cookbooks.

I love looking at the photos - those gorgeous, tantalizing, mouth-watering picture.

I love going through cookbooks and placing sticky 'postit' notes on recipes that I would like to make, but never do.   What is fascinating about cookbooks is that people like me may never even make a single recipe from a cookbook, but will still enjoy the book and experience a sense of pleasure simply by looking through it. 

I have a bookcase full of cookbooks (around 100) and I don't use most of them.  But I do have a few favourites that I use regularly, the rest just sit quietly on the shelves patiently waiting to be read.  The list below are some of those favourites
I also collect old cookbooks, those written before the 1960's - earlier the better. I don't generally use these for cooking, just for reading - they are a great social history of our times.

I must say I am using the web a lot more to find recipes and when I find one I really like, I copy it to a word document.  I do think twice before I buy any now and check first to see if what I want is available on-line.  Cookbooks are expensive, so if I can find what I want on-line (which is free) I am quite happy.  I also buy one cooking magazines each month and the recipes I like are removed and placed on the fridge door.  I do tend to make these, but then these slips of paper go missing into a pile of other slips of recipes!!

So, does this mean the end of the cookbook?  I don't think so.   Women love cookbooks, I am not alone.

When my son moves out I plan to give him a bunch of my cookbooks (he already has a few of his own), so maybe one day I will only have cookbooks that I use regularly. 

Are you a bit mad when it comes to buying cookbooks?

What is your favourite cookbook?

Do you read cookbooks as therapy? Curled up in bed with a recipe book?

"Cookbooks hold within them little dreams for the reader." - author unknown


  1. Jo, I am not a lover of cookbooks lol. At least not with the same passion you have for them. I have a few faithfuls that I use when I decide to make something different to my usual dishes I know down pat.

    I would have to say though, that my favourite is my Edmonds Cookery Book from New Zealand (a gift from my former Mother in Law). I love it and the recipes are easy and practical.

  2. I'm with you Jo:) I love them and just the same as you have too many I don't use anymore. Although I tend to go through seasons in my cooking and that sometimes reflects in the cookbooks I choose to use:) I got a great one recently for my b/d but I'll let you know when I do a post about it, hopefully soon:)

  3. Oh no, Amanda has left a cookbook name and positive review - Jo, do you have it? Will this be impetus for another for the collection, though I confess, I share your genes and have no idea how many I have now, some I just buy for the pictures and the look of the book, and I don't follow the recipes, (as you know), but get the ideas and general gist and do a bit of this and that to make a variation on the theme. Not sure why I do this, probably lazy and can't be bothered to be exact, though when baking a cake I will measure!!
    PS - love the art of the last photo of the stack of cookbooks...

  4. No, not a cookbook fan but the girls are starting to collect ~ & will browse the net for hours looking for the perfect recipe! ☺

  5. I love reading cookbooks too. But unfortunately I usually get to the end of a recipe, shake my head and say "Well that is certainly not going to happen in this kitchen."

    (I tend to be a 'one pot' cook most of the time and many of those fancy recipes call for every pot and pan in the kitchen.)

    My two eldest children make one dinner per week with me, and then I print out the recipe (my 'take' on it) and put it in a folder for when they move out of home. Also comes in handy those times I need someone to start dinner for me. My son makes a great friend rice.

  6. Mum-me: I am also a fan of the one-pot cooking as I am not fond of my kitchen becoming a huge mess. I also find that many of the complex recipes ask for items I don't have in the cupboard and won't use in anything else so they get wasted.

    Ganeida: My son has started to buy cookbooks which I find is very interesting for a young male. This is why I am keen to share my cookbooks when he moves out as he might use them more than me.

    Stephen: I tend to alter the recipes too (often if I don’ have the ingredients in the house) and I find they often are easier to make and taste better.

    Amanda - I have to admit for all the books I have I generally make the same things each week!! So the books don't always give me inspiration.

  7. What a blessing that your brother loves to cook so much too! Good on you "S"!

  8. And Amanda he is an excellent cook.

  9. I think I probably have as many cookbooks as you do - and both Dan and I have a tendency to stop and browse cookbooks we see in the stores too (and buy them all too often!!)... I go through phases of using different ones, and my new menu planning system encourages me to go through the cookbooks more and try new recipes. If I have a specific ingredient or idea in my mind that I can't find in a cookbook, I love browsing recipes online and have tried quite a lot of them. I often change the ones I find online - although I don't change recipes in recipe books so much! Every member of my household loves cooking and cookbooks (so far!) :)

    One of my favourite cookbooks is my Amish one - those Amish are fantastic cooks!!

  10. I have lots of them, & like you don't use all of them, just bought the CWA cookbook to try

  11. OH, Jo, this is so ME! I love the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and like you, I put sticky notes throughout them but often never get to making the recipes. I truly have to restrain myself when I see another tempting cookbook. Great post!

  12. I love cookbooks, too. I have a wonderful one called "Aunt Bee's Cookbook," and it's full of recipes that might have been served in Aunt Bee's kitchen (the Andy Griffith show)! Of course, I love my Betty Crocker cookbook, the original one with the red cover, especially for baking. And I have an American Diner one, and a Cowboy one that I like a lot. But here's a secret: I have LOADS of recipes from And you can print them off in recipe card format. I highly recommend it!

  13. Jo - my idea of a perfect holiday is going through someone else's cookbooks and copying out recipes to try at when I get home. I probably end up only cooking a quarter of them but I have done it for many years find it very relaxing and inspiring!!
    I've tended to curb my cookbook buying though but do have lotds of bits of paper with recipes on them that I have tried and liked that I intend to write up properly one day


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