I always say…
I read cookbooks like romance novels. I visually and emotionally devour them! 
With the wealth of on-line recipes sources, videos and and tv shows (I’m watching Barefoot Contessa right now) I often wonder, why do cookbooks still hold such a spell over me and so many others…

There is just something about holding a cookbook in your hand… and making notes in it… and reading from the culinary point of view of the author… and learning.
 Pouring over them like it is finals week and you want to ace the test more than anything because you just love the topic and want to master it!

I have a small little table cart against the window in my breakfast room with some of my very favorite cookbooks. My faithful old french hen is brooding on them… keeping them warm and ready!
The most revered  cookbooks in my foodie library is THE MAKING OF A COOK by Madeleine Kamman. The dust jacket has long since torn and been discarded and it sits at the bottom of the pile, homely and unassuming… just a thick white book with a big black spine. A real plain Jane!
But don’t let its humble appearance fool you… this book is akin to to Julia Child’s MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING.
It is a real culinary textbook and it made the art and science of cooking come alive for me!
It makes the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” so true! To new cook and seasoned ones as well it is a wealth of delicious knowledge.

I have cookbooks from well known chefs… cookbooks from my travels… seasonal cookbooks… topical cookbooks… cookbooks that have been passed down…
My favorite cookbooks are the ones my sister Lisa has given me. She is the culinary super star of the family! I can always count on those gifted cookbooks to be challenging and filled with luscious recipes!
We often say that we should do a cooking show together. Much like those two rotund British women who cook. We can by quite hysterical in the kitchen together… at least we think we are!
The bulk of my cookbooks are not in my kitchen. They live in my study… because that is where I meal plan and ponder.
They sit on a very regular little bookshelf (which reminds me, I need to slap a coat of paint on it)… very functional and not at all well staged!
But, that is how I like it. Easy access… no fuss!
The rest are in a closet in my study… and on my bedside table… or in my reading basket… or lent out to friends.
I do have a love for certain cooking magazines too! COOK’S ILLUSTRATED… FOOD NETWORK… COOKING LIGHT… FINE COOKING to name a few.
They occupy the bottom two shelves in my foodie bookshelf…
I am a reader… I really like to read … and my favorite topic to read about is food!

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  1. says

    my daughter loves to read cookbooks as well. when we moved my mom out of her home and into assisted living 3 years ago, my mom gifted my daughter with all of her cookbooks (and her well used black skillet)! she treasures those books and skillet!

  2. says

    I love great cookbooks, the ones with fab photos, and I can actually taste the recipe when I read. One of my favorites is Bon Appetit, Y’all. I give beautiful books to everyone in my family, we all love cooking, I just don’t get to do it often enough anymore. Love you, see you for BIO on Tuesday!

  3. says

    I too, have said that I read a cookbook like a novel! I see some of my favorites on your shelves…and I am happy to know that I am not the only one who has shelves of cookbooks and magazines in various locations in the house…. Great post!

  4. says

    My favorite cookbooks are not the best sellers. They are the community and church cookbooks with recipes from (mostly) women whose names I recognize; many of these women are gone now, but they live on in my mind through their recipes.

    Whenever I want to prepare a dish sure to be a hit, I look through my collection of community cookbooks from Missouri and Iowa.

  5. says

    I love to READ cookbooks like novels too Ivonne, lol..I have a vast collection of them and not happy about, I start to read the ones I haven’t in a long time, AGAIN!!! I have simple cook books, famous ones, in Spanish, by favorite countries, cheap and expensive ones, the church kind they sell you for a cause, pretty ones I see in the super market, by famous Latin Am. chefs and even two beautiful books my Mil, who wrote of regional Ecuadorian cuisine, which I follow a lot to make the local dishes. Your collection is awesome my friend. Big hugs,

  6. says

    I have alot of cookboks too but lately have been cooking from recipes on the internet. I am not really a foodie, don’t get all excited about cooking. But JOE is becoming quite a cook. He just made peppercorn sause and Madiera sauce because we are having fliets tonight!!! We are treating ourselves to a nice dinner. I will go take some pictures so I can share the sauces on OTMM!!! MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO

  7. Anonymous says

    My favorite two cookbooks are both from the Junior League. I love recipes from “real” home cooks. My copies of San Francisco A La Carte and Gulf Shore Delights-Junior League of Ft Myers are stained with love.

  8. says

    Looks like many of us have this passion, as I’m sitting here looking at my cookbook shelf that has run amuck, along with my magazine basket. Just recently I was contemplating moving the Halloween/Christmas (yes they take up a good share of space) to their summer home, aka a spot somewhere else in my home (just like the Autumn/Christmas decorations, a storage area). But my favorite is Susan Branch cookbooks, love her art work too, but I also love Trisha Yearwoods, & the Pioneer Woman. My cherished one is a great aunts cookbook from the early 1900’s that has handwritten recipes in it too, & my mom’s Good Housekeeping cookbook from the 50’s. it’s binding is broken & I keep it together with a rubber band ( thought many times to have it rebound, but just don’t want to lose its integrity). Once again I’m so happy to have found a link to your blog today.

  9. says

    Cookbooks are like crack for me! My collection numbers over 200 and they are literally in every room of my house! Madeleine Kamman’s The New Making of a Cook is on the floor next to the chair in which I am sitting as I type – I was just reading the section on stock vs. broth yesterday! I cannot read enough cookbooks or cooking magazines!

  10. says

    I too love reading cookbooks so I don’t feel alone in that habit I’m forever teased about. When I had to make 2 moves in the last 2 years I made myself give up quite a few cookbooks and that will never happen again! I have looked for them to check recipes/ideas and they are gone-so so sad. I will never do that again-I’ll build on a room for them-can you say I’m obscessed?

  11. Shyanna says

    I LOVE the cookbook area where the hen sits and love the lamp too. Tell me, is there ANYWHERE or ANYTHING in your house that is not absolutely perfect and gorgeous??? I wish I had just one tenth of your energy and talent!!

  12. says

    I have a massive collection of wonderful cookbooks. When we travel, I always return home with a regional cookbook and love the ones that have pictures and stories of the place I have visited. I come home and like you read them like a novel! When I got my IPad last year, I was facinated at the idea of ebooks and immediately purchased the Pioneer Woman’s latest and Back in the Day Bakery. After a few days I could not stand not having the actual book in my hands and went to the book store and bought them! Love, love, love a great cookbook!

  13. says

    me too! i have a tough time sticking with fiction, but a cookbook! now that i can sink my teeth into…such a great collection you’ve got.


  14. says

    I do the same thing – just sit and read cookbooks. And I don’t even cook that much. I have more cookbooks than I could ever use. I do have favorites but just can’t resist buying more new ones. Oh well, guess I could have a worse habit.


  15. says

    Oh, cookbooks. These days I borrow more from the library than any other books! One of these days I’ll start building up my collection, until then I’ll keep building my wishlist on Amazon. :) I collect Cooks Illustrated magazines too! I actually just cut out some of the covers, framed them, and hung them in my kitchen, they’re gorgeous!

  16. says

    What a priceless collection of cookbooks!!!
    My favorite Aunt gave me a Cookbook as a wedding gift.
    It is truly beginning to show its age.
    The pages are yellow and brittle, but it is the “go to ” helper with any question I have!
    Thank you for sharing one of your many passions.

  17. says

    I’ve been the same way about cookbooks, Yvonne, since I was in high school. It’s no wonder that I became a Home Ec teacher. I’m addicted to cookbooks and will read them just like you, from cover to cover.

  18. says

    We must be kin. 😉 My favs are Pioneer Woman’s, Trisha Yearwoods and next on my list…Some Like It South…Jr League in Pensacola, FL. They closed it down now due to owner dying before it was sold, but Hopkin’s House had the BEST food I have ever eaten in my life. OMGoodness! I hear some of those recipes made it to this cookbook. Ordering it this weekend. Thanks for your post. Love that lamp!

  19. Anonymous says

    You are a woman after my own heart….I’m so relieved to hear that I’m not the only one. We just remodeled the kitchen and so many of my friends recommended not making shelf space for cookbooks since “everyone gets their recipes online now!”…I’m so glad I chose to keep most of my beloved cookbooks and display them. They are like old friends and I couldn’t bear to part with them!

  20. Anonymous says

    I love cookbooks, also. There is something so satisfying about reading a recipe and envisioning the finished product on my table. I collect recipes like some collect ironstone or Depression Glass (2 of my favorites). I always enjoy your posts. Thank you. Regena in Tn.

  21. says

    Funny I also love cookbooks, buy them all the time, some have never been used but eventually I get around to opening them and drooling over a recipe enough to try and make it and that normally starts a cooking roll……the more pictures the better!!
    Enjoy your Sunday.

  22. Stonesoup says

    Oh my kindred spirit! I even have the Secrets from a Caterer’s Kitchen cookbook! lol My collection is taking over. I recently renovated my kitchen and had to create a special bookcase for them! I read them just like novels, cover to cover!

  23. says

    Oh, Yvonne … I, too, read cookbooks like romance novels. And would much RATHER read a cookbook than a romance novel! I have more recipes than I could possibly cook in a lifetime, but can still never resist the lure of a wonderfully written cookbook.
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  24. says

    Hi Yvonne! Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve stopped by. Things here have been a little challenging but are beginning to smooth out. I’m finally catching up a bit…at least I’m trying. :o) I have a few cookbooks that were my grandmother’s and a few that were my Mom’s. They are the ones I cherish. I wish I had a better way to display them but for now they are behind a cupboard door. I’m going to have to think on that one! Enjoy your Sunday!

  25. says

    Good Afternoon Yvonne, Like you, I adore cookery books. I buy cookery books from places I have visited as a reminder of the trip, I buy old cookery books, but no matter which type I buy I love reading them. One of my favourites which might interest you is Apricots on the Nile, it is written by Colette Rossant and it is a memoir with recipes.It is just a small book, but a lovely read.
    Have a lovely Sunday
    Best Wishes

  26. juneg@sebastiancorp.ner says

    I can bring a stack of cookbooks into my living room and read recipes and mark pages for hours! I have my Mother’s cookbooks. I love reading her notes on the pages. I’m doing the same in my favorite cookbooks for my daughters and now granddaughters! Can’t pass that down from the internet…well maybe but not with as much love! Two of my favorite books from my mother’s collection, are the River Roads cookbooks from the ladies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fact I’m making hush puppies from them today with all my mother’s notes!
    Truly loved this post!

  27. says

    Mine are everywhere too:) and I also read them like I would a good book. Food photography is so fun and I love to cook and revise recipes.

    Great post!


  28. says

    My dear Yvonne,

    I have collected cookbook even the Traditional Italian cookbook which i’m not Italian. but we don’t have kitchen completely ( under home restoration ) to practice those cookbooks ;(.
    But anyway I will join for next party.
    have a nice week

  29. says

    I loved the tour of your cookbooks! I, too, devour (pun intended o:)) cookbooks like novels. I must have at least 100 in my collection. I spied Morning Glories on your shelf! We were so lucky to have stayed at The Inn at Twin Lindens a number of times when the Leahy’s owned it and I’ve eaten Donna’s wonderful meals for both breakfast and dinner while there. And, I got her to sign a copy of my book!

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