Wow Phatch, you sound really organized – did it take you long to get there? Considering how long I’ve been using cookbooks, it’s only occurred to me in the last 8 months or so that it’s OK to write in them. But I also love books and was raised with an almost reverence for them, and so writing in a book still seems somewhat sacrilegious – I just use pencil incase the book does goes to someone else, and they can erase it.
I like how much you cross reference and catalogue, I’m tempted to do the same myself. I also keep a list on the computer, one for recipes I want to try, another for my own recipes which I hope to write in a journal as well.
I’m glad too to know that it’s not so odd to have a cookbook collection – it’s like any other collection I’m sure. My husband and I are planning our dream/retirement home, and one of the first things on the list was a real library, with shelves covering all the walls – I like lots of books too!
I’ve thought about an e-reader as well, and I’m glad to hear some positive comments about it. I’ve taken an intermediate step by switching from hard copy to electronic subscriptions for the few cooking magazines I like, and then I just save a copy of any desired recipes to my computer. I felt I was drowning in too many magazines and too many books, so that was any easy place to cut back. But I really enjoy the feeling of a book in hand, and I can read a book far longer than a computer screen, so it may be a while before I fully switch over.
My frustration with my collection has come from two places – inheritances and trying to add to my collection. Many of my aunts and uncles, even though they may have children, are passing on their kitchen and cookbook items to me since I enjoy them so much. And I do of course and much appreciate their generosity, but I can only house so many books! So I’ve made a mad project of going through every book recipe by recipe and if there are enough that I want to try, I keep the book for a while, noting it in my list. If I only want to try one or two, I copy them down and pass the book on.
Too I’ve been toying with the idea of my own ‘family cookbook’ – writing down my own recipes, and referencing printed ones in one place for my family, but that’s another subject I think. This desire is more from trying to add new books – I don’t find new cookbooks as interesting and feel perhaps I can address my own needs in a cookbook better than an outside source. Thus the need to catalogue all the books I already own....
I appreciate you sharing and hope others will too.