Today, Kevin and I went shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts. He had asked that I drop him off at the Half-Price Bookstore while I ran the remainder of my errands. Thinking it would not bother me much, I left him there and went on my way. Not this time though. I kept thinking "Will I miss THE one?" Then I had to tell myself that life would go on, hopefully, if I didn't spend the afternoon looking at cookbooks. Any foodie, worth his/her salt (no pun intended) would be in their glory to be left at a used bookstore with a pretty good sized cookbook section. The same holds true about me. Typcially, when we do stop at these types of stores, we both split up and I naturally head to the cookbook section. Usually, an hour goes by before I see him. And normally, he comes looking for me.
As anyone who REALLY knows me is aware that I normally do not read often unless I am on vacation. As Kevin tells me, its because "I just like to look at the pictures." The exception comes when it involves cookbooks. In my early years, I would buy cookbooks like they were going out of style. I would read them through once or twice and then they would sit on the shelf until I might pick it up to make a recipe. Mostly, they would just sit there because "some day" I would use them.
As the years past, the numbers of books grew until there was not an inch of space on top of our kitchen cabinets. Sometimes I wondered if they would someday fall off of the wall. About a year or so ago, I went through the "collection" and pared them down substantially selling most on Amazon. I made sure that I used the "Would I be lost without this book?" rationale. I was finally able to get the collection down to three shelves on the bookcase in the living room. Success!
Well, a little over a year later and slowly the collection is starting to grow again. But this time I feel it is different because I try and be more selective and only buy the classics. Currently, the book at the coveted top spot on my list is Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now I know that I could simply find a copy of this book on the web but I choose not to go that route. You see, it is the hunt for the book that I realize is most important. The thrill of finding it tucked amongst those tightly-packed shelves is what really gets me excited. It is the same feeling you get when you run across a "must have" in a thrift shop or antique store. So continue on the hunt and keep searching for the "classics" and "must haves" for your collection. It is those that you find on this quest that will put a smile on your face!