Culling the Cookbooks


Today I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and seriously consider what cookbooks I really needed to keep.  I did not have a large collection but I knew that there were some that had survived previous attempts to reduce the collection.

CookbooksI did not photograph the shelf before I removed all of the books but here they all are on the kitchen bench.

I sorted through and recycled lots of loose sheets of paper – scribbled recipes or ripped out of magazines.  If I had not made them up till now it is unlikely that I will.  Most did not fit with our current eating plan which is mostly gluten-free.  Quite a number of the books were very easy to let go of as they were quite dated and the recipes are simply not to our taste any more.

Ready to go
The pile on the right are ready for the op shop bag.  The 3 books on the left each have 1 or 2 recipes which I would like to try, so rather than keeping the whole book, I am going to type them into my recipe file on the computer and then the books will be added to the op shop pile.

I keep two binders with plastic sleeves which are for loose recipe sheets but even these had go a bit out of hand so I spent some time refiling them into the plastic sleeves.

The remaining cookbooks have been returned to the shelf.

Cookbook shelf
Some of these books have barely been opened, let alone actually used so I have promised myself that I will use them.  In order to achieve my goal, I am going through each book and making a list of the recipes that I would like to try and the relevant page number.  I plan to create a spreadsheet of all of the recipes with a reference back to where I can find it.  Today I went through 4 of the books but still have quite a number to go.  It will be an ongoing project.

The Duke suggested that I just scan the recipes that I want to keep and then get rid of the books completely.  That may be an option for the future but at the moment my goal is to actually try out some of the recipes instead of having a shelf full of books that I do not use.

I have a new cookbook on my Christmas wishlist.  It is a gluten-free cookbook.  I have made a couple of recipes from it and if the rest are as good it will be a worthy addition to my pared-down bookshelf.

6 thoughts on “Culling the Cookbooks

  1. This is where the internet comes into its own! I used to be addicted to buying cook books and I haven’t now for years. Just google and use iPad while cooking. I do still like the concept though of those much loved family favourites and passed down recipes having the signs of previous people making them marked all over the pages.

    • I agree about the internet. I use it quite a bit when cooking and will continue to do so. However, I felt that the cookbooks were just gathering dust and I needed to bite the bullet and have a good reason for keeping them or else moving them along.

      I know what you mean about the favourites with signs of previous use. I scanned one of my recipes to send to my daughter as she had asked for a copy and there it was – scanned with the spots and splatters included!!

  2. Thanks for the prompt, Gill. I just thought of typing them as I have done some previously for various reasons. Anyway, the recipes are scanned and 3 more books gone to the op shop! Thanks. 🙂

  3. Pity I just saw this post and I do not live near your op shop. The pile on the right is just the type of cook book I collect (often complete with the added news paper recipes). I would have paid the postage etc on them too.

    • Hi Wendy, It is a pity we did not connect earlier because I certainly would have been happy to send them to you. Sometimes things sit in the op shop bag for weeks waiting for me to fill it up, but alas, not so this time. However, I do have one other slim volume which has since been culled that you may be interested in. Please email me. You can find the address in the ‘About Me’ tab at the top of the page.

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