I have a lot of books. I don’t say it to brag or complain. This is just a simple statement of fact. Another statement of fact is that I keep books everywhere.
In the living room – on shelves, table tops and stools. In the bedrooms on night stands, in closets, in bins under the bed. In the hallway (for fear of leaving the house without my keys AND something to read). In the bathroom, those books of trivia and essays one can dip into and set aside without being concerned about when it’ll get finished.
And of course, in the kitchen. (For clarity’s sake I should point out that the beautifully organized kitchen and kitchen books to the right are NOT my kitchen. I dream of such a kitchen. My kitchen and my books are more humble and not quite so fabulously lit). Food writing and culinary arts in one cupboard and cookbooks in the next. What about using all that potential food storage? Please. Food only lasts so long. Books are for a lifetime. There’s also a pile just outside the kitchen that I haven’t found a permanent home for yet… my kitchen library is starting to ooze out of the kitchen. Steps may soon need to be taken.
I don’t have massive piles of cookbooks (for that we must look to my mother – and I may do that one day soon) but I have what I consider to be a goodly pile. There are some classics (Joy of Cooking, Silver Palate, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, among others), some weird ones (Eat Tweet, Unofficial Lazy Slut Cookbook), some well known recent ones (How to Eat, How to Cook Everything, Real Food) and a few I’ve gotten as gifts (including one from someone I am going to assume meant well when they gave me “Cooking for One.”)
In addition to cookbooks, I have an equally treasured pile of books about food – food history, food trivia, food politics, books on other topics by cooks, etc. Books such as Devil’s Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee and the companion In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food. Classics memoirs and essays from food writers like MKF Fisher (if you haven’t read How to Cook a Wolf you really should and if you can’t find that, get The Art of Eating). Books about foods long forgotten (The Land That Thyme Forgot) and food writers forgotten or never known such as Food of a Younger Land.
I won’t even think about what is going to happen next year when there is every possibility that my own library is going to be merged with that of another book lover and food geek. We’re gonna have some serious logistics to get through.