Monday, 17 May 2010


There has been a lot of talk about books around the web at the moment. About old favourites, new favourites, and of course everyone's favourite, the public library.

So I thought for a bit of fun I would share with you just how out of hand my little cook book library is getting. We live in a small flat, and are both book obsessives, and so books are on shelves, on floors, on books, in cupboards, and always, always in hands. We have many genres, and are not snobs, "bath books" (those deemed comfort reads that do not suffer from damp fingers, rather revel in them) are tucked alongside classics, both new and old. My PhD related books take up almost the entire spare room (which is mostly to do with having to have at least three copies of all works by the author I was writing about, one for reading, one for annotating, and one first edition - oh and sometimes ones in languages I can't read, but simply wanted for the novelty!)

But it is the cookbooks that pose the most problems. They are of unusual and uneven sizes, and so do not uniformly suit one shelf. Nor is there space enough for all of them in the kitchen, so they are spread out all over the place like a grazing flock. And they move around. They go from being presents on show (in the living room), to bedside reading, to much splattered and in use, to pausing on the kitchen table before they make the rounds again. They are often found in cahoots with the craft books, conversing with the gardening section, or hanging out with the fantasy literature.
I dream of a house where I can have them all in one place, and yet I know it's much more fun this way.
Where do your cookbooks hang out?


  1. Since we had the kitched remodelled, my recipe books are crammed in a cupboard awaiting some book shelves. I have a feeling it could be a long wait.

  2. Sweet post. Mine are on top of the kitchen cabinets. I like the ritual of dragging a chair over to reach the top, sitting on the kitchen surface and flicking through them.

  3. My cookbook collection is currently stored in my head; a long shelf of books in varying shapes and sizes, from all over the world. Some sparkling and untouched, some ancient, fusty and brown all falling apart, and others sticky from treacle, with carrot peelings and soup splashes crusted over my favourite recipes.

    I have to keep it in my head because I have no room for such luxury alongside my MA books (which involves 4 massive dictionaries); when I move into my new house I'm hoping for plenty of heavy rectangular housewarming gifts ;-)


  4. Such a good topic. My cookbooks hang out in two places- those that get lots of use (one bread baking book, one Indian cookbook, and a few Cooks Illustrated magazines) are stored next to the stove. All the others are organized neatly in our living room along our "library wall"- which is actually just a small space in the bookshelves amongst my husbands absurd number of photography books. Shouldn't it be the other way around? That HIS photo books are so kindly allowed a tiny space amongst all of MY cookbooks?

    I really like the idea of "bath books", by the way. All of my cookbooks are written upon, splattered upon, and earmarked. As they should be..

  5. Love the pictures and the images your post conjures up. I'm sure you are in the majority. We have little space for anything including books, so my cookbooks are scattered over the house much like yours - in the office, on the desk, on the sofa, on my bedside table, on bookshelves and some actually in the kitchen - woohoo!