Which cookbooks to keep when you’re moving or pruning

Moving books

There’s a good read from the Guardian’s Australia FoodBlog on what makes for a great cookbook. In Cooking up a classic: What’s the recipe for a timeless cookery book? Sarah Bejamin writes that “Authority, style and innovation are the main ingredients characterising the cookbooks that have stood the test of time.”

The article highlights some classic Australian authors that would be well worth investigating, and also links to the Guardian’s 50 best cookbooks of all time – again well worth investigating.

But one piece of advice really stood out – which books to keep if you’re moving (or pruning, or just trying to keep ahead of available shelf space). Her advice? “Anything of real sentimental value and for the rest, pack only well-thumbed classics.”  We’d have to agree, but if anyone would like to argue to the contrary, we’d love to hear your ideas.

Photo by Sarah Rose on Flickr

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  • robinorig  on  October 21, 2013

    Have to agree w/ TrishW, I love just reading the cookbooks, flipping through them for inspiration and ideas. They are my favorite bedtime reading. Classics are good, but might not be your favorite cookbooks. I would weed out a book if there are only a recipe or two that interest me or the type of cooking doesn't interest me (doesn't happen very often!) The other way would be if most of the recipes are online.

  • rlmiller  on  October 21, 2013

    I don't think I could give up any of my cookbooks. Even those that I don't use regularly carry a history.

  • Queezle_Sister  on  October 24, 2013

    I have only gotten rid of a few cookbooks. Those selected for the give-away pile usually feature name-brand products, and have not proven reliable after a few tries. My (short) list includes a dessert cookbook (confirmed a disaster in reviews on Amazon), and a Thai cookbook (from a yard sale) that seems to have been underwritten by Dole Pineapple. I don't feel guilty about my collection, the equivalent of a great home-cooked meal at a restaurant would cost more than most cookbooks!

  • boardingace  on  October 27, 2013

    I would agree with her because I don't like having too much stuff around the house that I don't use. It's such a personal preference, though. I have seven cookbooks and 16 magazines that I use all the time.

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