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Old 11-23-2006, 04:04 AM   #11
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I had to laugh at the post about treating the cookbooks as you'd like to be treated! If you see me in a few hours, you'll know why some of my cookbooks look like they do. I'll be splattered from head to toe, and the Turkey page in Joy has been for years. And that's the newest edition, I have others in worse condition. And I don't even really cook by that page, I just refer back to it every time I bake a turkey, which is only once or twice a year, for timing. I guess I treat my cookbooks the way I treat myself, and I'm usually a sweaty, spilled-upon many times, mess when I do a big meal! When the first guests are about to arrive, I hand everything over to husband for 3 minutes while I go get dressed in clean clothes. Luckily I'm a low-maintenance woman, so all it requires is tossing on a top or a loose dress.

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Old 11-23-2006, 07:58 AM   #12
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I want my cookbooks to be as helpful as they can be to me. I keep the open one right where I can refer to it at all times, so it gets spattered and wet sometimes. And I ALWAYS put a star next to the recipe title that I've just made, indicating I've made it. I will write notes about how I liked it and I will cross out or add ingredients, and change amounts, right in the books.

My book pages are covered with my writings, which has rendered them useless as collectibles, but invaluable to ME.


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Old 11-23-2006, 08:00 AM   #13
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I make book collectors cringe. I use my cookbooks, so they have their fair share of stains and splotches.

Other books are for reading. I buy a lot of them used for a dollar or less, and some from the discount tables at the bookstore. I break the spines, I dog ear the pages, I drip crumbs and gravy and butter on them, and (don't read this, SuzyQ3) I read in the tub and even in the pool.

If they get too wet or too beat up to read any more, I toss them. This is pretty new behaviour on my part -- I used to keep every book that ever entered the house, but since my house does not have rubber walls, when a new one comes in, an old one has to go. Some to the trash, some to friends, some back to the thrift store or to the library sale table.

I do have some reference books, antique and newer, and I don't treat them that way, of course. Some books have sentimental value, and they are treated "properly".

I also have 50 or 60 children's books that I bought new when I was a librarian (!?!?!?) and they are well cared for. My grandkids will love them, someday.
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:25 AM   #14
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I am afraid I am a cook book abuser. I HATE dust jackets. DH is much better than I. At christmas, for example I expect I will get a couple of cook books. If DH could not get them with out dust jackets he will take them off for me and keep them with the other discarded ones.

My most loved cook books are splattered and a couple have stuck pages where someone closed them before I had wiped the poor splattered page clean (I open them gently and don't loose much, lol)

The ones that are more reading than stand by the stove books are often read in the bath so they look a bit rough too.

I would love a: a cast iron cook book stand for my kitchen worksurface, and b: a kitchen with a work surface large enough to house one of hose cast iron book stands....rofl

We have a substantial first edition collection. They are cared for well and treasured. And we just put about 4000 books in storage that we can't do anything else with until we get a UK home again. But for me, I never buy a book with the dust jacket. I just cannot stand them....I know how important they are but I can't.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:00 AM   #15
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I also hate dust jackets. I have a bin I keep "currently used" book jackets in. I put them back on when the books go into one of my shelving units though.

I don't actively try to protect my books, but I usually don't have them on the counter while I cook either, I save a spot on the table for it. But I have a small kicthen, so in a larger one I'd probably keep them in the "trenches" with me.

But I'm not a messy cook, so it really wouldn't make much of a difference I guess. I'm kinda anal about wiping down my knife and board between ingredients and cleaning any spills immediately. I also normally wash dishes as I use them. Once you get in the habit it makes "clean-up" at the end almost non-existant. Also keeps you organized.

I guess from the perspective of a librarian or diehard book collector I'm an abuser of books.
Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:17 AM   #16
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In defense of those who try to protect their cookbooks from the wear and tear of the kitchen, I will say that it doesn't have to detract from using them and enjoying them. But yes, since my husband and I now view our books as a collection that has value, we've stopped writing in them (post-its work) and putting them in harm's (food's) way. Thankfully, I was never into dog-earring my pages.

I'd never thought that dust jackets would be objectionable. That is a new one to me. I find them generally to be so much more attractive than the hard cover, and they do serve a purpose. And from a collector's perspective, of course, they add significant value, even if less than pristine, which is often par the course for cookbooks in particular.

Of course, these days, many cookbooks are published sans DJs, so it's a moot point.

************************************************** *************************************************

After posting the above, I had a kind of flashback to pre-collecting days. I remembered that I used to find dustjackets inconvenient...they got in the way and kept falling off the covers. I think I probably even (gasp) threw some away.

As for tattered old books and recipes, I inherited the private collections of both my mom and my mother-in-law. They will always be my most prized! Those, and the copy of The Settlement Cookbook given to me when I got married, which for some odd reason I recovered in whatever kitchen shelf liner I was using way back then.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:31 AM   #17
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I'm a bit AR so I must keep my cookbooks clean. That doesn't keep me from using them just as often.

Actually, I often type out a recipe and print it in larger type so i can read it without glasses while cooking. I sometimes add notes or changes I've decided on as well.

Afterwards, if the recipe is a keeper, I print it out in my recipe format and add it to my cookbook. My cookbook is on the kitchen counter and does get soiled from time to time. It's a lot easier to print out a clean copy of a recipe for my cookbook.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Corinne
I am totally anal about all of my books. When I finish reading a paperback book, it still looks brand new. Anyone that knows me at all, knows that I will cringe when someone breaks a book spine in front of me.
OK, I'm the same way about books that I read. You would never know I'd read them they are so pristine. I just can't STAND breaking a binding!

Having said that, my cookbooks tend to be of the splattered variety. I don't deliberately set out to GET them dirty, and I wipe them off if I splash, but they do look a bit "used". If they are books I know I am going to be using regularly, I attempt to get the ones with the spiral binding so they will stay open to the page I like and I can avoid breaking the spine. I really hate doing that to books.

I don't collect anything just for collections sake. If I own it, I use it. Cookbooks, china, crystal, you name it. It gives me a nice feeling of connectedness to open one of my Gramma's cookbooks (circa 1230) and see which pages are stained and splattered. Those are always the recipes I try first. I like to think when I hand down my cookbooks to my kids/grandkids they will look for the "keeper" recipes in much the same way.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alix
It gives me a nice feeling of connectedness to open one of my Gramma's cookbooks (circa 1230) and see which pages are stained and splattered.
Imigawd, Alix! How OLD was your grandmother? And, more to the point, how old are you...really? Tee, hee!
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:18 AM   #20
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LOL Katie! My Gram would have been 102 right now if she'd been alive. My Great Aunt (Gram's sister) just celebrated her 100th birthday though. My Mom is in her late 70's, my oldest sister is in her late 50's and I am 19 years younger than my oldest sister. Thats as close as you get to an exact age! Heeheehee!

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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