On the Shelf


I love my collection of cookbooks. I started collecting them as a kid, and, over the years, my collection as grown as my tastes have evolved. I have books about southern cooking, light cooking, French cooking, Middle Eastern Cooking, Indian Cooking, vegetarian cooking, cookie cooking… I’m starting to sound like Forrest Gump. I have the Bubba Gump cookbook too, come to think of it. It’s sitting up there on the top shelf.

More CookbooksNot only do I have a lot of cookbooks, I have tons of books of the non-cookbook variety too, and the other sets of bookshelves in my apartment are a testament to that fact. Many books I plan to keep forever. Others, well, you know the kind of books you buy to read on the beach or lounging by the pool– I’m not willing to give up precious space to store those indefinitely. I doubt that I’ll ever need to revisit Memoirs of a Geisha or The Other Boleyn Girl. 

Paperback SwapThere are certainly lots of great ways to find new homes for books that don’t merit a spot in the permanent collection, but I have a definite favorite. For the past couple of years, I’ve participated in Paperback Swap (PBS) as a way to find new homes for my old books, and to earn credits that allow me to adopt old books that other people are trying to place. Basically, you post your old books into their system, and, if someone requests one of your books, you print out a paper wrapper, wrap the book up like a present and drop it in the mail. You can even buy postage on the site and print it right on the wrapper. Most books only cost two or three dollars to mail. Once you mail a book to someone else, you earn a credit. You can spend those credits on books that other people have listed. Sorry, Harrison. 

That's a WrapWhile I don’t typically get rid of my cookbooks, I have received several cookbooks through Paperback Swap. Oh, and don’t let the name fool you. Hardback books get swapped too. It just costs a little more for the person mailing them. As I was getting “Patriot Games” ready to mail today, I decided to mention the swap in case any of you were looking for a good way to recycle your old books. I got the cookbook I used to make my “Big Batch” Bran Bread through PBS, and, recently, I got Julia Child’s book, My Life in France, from the swap too. What a cool book, by the way! Have any of you read it?

I just thought I’d mention PBS while I was thinking about it. I’m a fan of the swap, and it has served me well. If you are looking for a great way to get rid of some old books and replace them with some new ones for minimal $$$, this might be a great option for you. If the cookbook fairy appeared and said that you could only keep one of your cookbooks (not a nice cookbook fairy at all!!), which one would it be?

Now, I’m going to have my hard earned post-gym dessert, and call it a day. I just fixed up a Triple Chocolate Chunk Vitatop in my very favorite way. I have no idea what fat free Cool Whip is made of (and the ingredients aren’t much help in figuring that out…), but I’m not willing to give it up just yet. I love some on a vita with some berries. Yum! This should give me sweet dreams for sure!

Vita Berry WhipAs always, there are some awesome giveaways happening on some fabulous sites. Be sure to check out these:

There is an awesome Quaker giveaway going on at Eating Bender.

If you like granola, you will want to check out the contest going on over at Lucky Taste Buds! 

That’s all for now. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. 🙂



Filed under Food, Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

12 responses to “On the Shelf

  1. I have an addiction to cookbooks! Once I found that you could buy used ones on Amazon for dirt cheap I was hooked. I have so many, but love every one! I do like the idea of the paperback swap though!

  2. umm…right now I would choose to keep my Betty Crocker basic cookbook. I have lots of others, but they’re mostly WW ones. I need some good quality cookbooks – but I’m out of room 🙂

  3. Abbie- I may have to check that out. Sometimes you have to wait awhile for books to become available on PBS. I often don’t mind, but sometimes I want instant gratification!

    Brandi- I grew up using the Betty Crocker basic cookbook, and it would be pretty high up on my list of possible cookbook fairy survivors. I thought everyone had that cookbook at home until I learned that some people grew up using *gasp* a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook!

  4. Oh wow, that is such an awesome collection of books! I want to get some cookbooks!! =D

  5. Gosh–you pose such stressful questions. I think I’d cry if I had to give up any of my cookbooks. My dream kitchen will have a few shelves for my cookbook collection.

    I’d say I’d keep the original Biggest Loser cookbook, but I’ve made the foods so often, I think I’ve memorized my favorite recipes. Instead, I’ll keep my Betty Crocker cookbook. That has all the basics. As long as I have the template for a recipe, I can usually make health modifications to it.

    Your cookbook collection is envy-inducing. I dream of having a collection of that some day–especially with all of the Cooking Light cookbooks. You should really add the following cookbooks to your collection:
    The New American Plate Cookbook (by the American Institute for Cancer Research)
    Healthy Decadence by Devin Alexander (great recipes for Kung Pao-style chicken and chicken “wings”)–very flavorful recipes
    The Weight Watchers Slow Good cookbook (Crockpot recipes)
    and, of course, The Biggest Loser (original) cookbook. Their “not-so-fried rice” and chicken lettuce wraps are two of my favorite recipes.

    On a not-so-related note: what’s the deal with cookbooks not posting nutritional information in this day and age? I wanted to get the HUGE Mark Bittman veggie cookbook so I could experiment more with produce and nothing had nutritional information on it. 😦

  6. I LOVE collecting cookbooks. Recently I went through the boxes of them and gave some up to Half Price Books. I cycle through different interests. Some cookbooks I will always keep and others I never use.

    Love your collection!

  7. maggieapril

    I would chase the evil cookbook fairy off with a spatula! My Cooking Light cookbooks probably get used the most.

    I have really been enjoying reading your posts and just added you to my blogroll.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. I am a self-proclaimed cookbook whore. I was actually going to do a post with shots of my cookbooks — great minds think alike, huh? 🙂

    I feed my addiction through Amazon, Ebay, BookCloseouts, Borders, Barnes and Noble, you name it. I think I may be responsible for the cookbook collection looking very sparse at the Borders near us.

    If the cookbook fairy said I could only take one, I have no idea which one I would pick. That’s like asking me which breath I want to take. 🙂

  9. Maggieapril– I know who I’m going to call if the evil cookbook fairy comes lurking around my door! Clearly, a spatula is the best weapon of choice! Thanks for your sweet comments and for adding me to your blogroll!

    Tina- thanks for the suggestions! If I had more room, I would definitely have more books. I may just add a few anyway. It has been a little while since I’ve indulged! 🙂

    Spiceaholic- I’m glad to hear that you are keeping Borders in business. I’d love to see your shelf! I’m sure that there are as many interesting collections as there are cooks!

    Kelly- My interests are always changing too, and there certainly seems to be a cookbook (or 20) for each one. Sigh. If only I had bigger bookshelves!

    Sharon- 😉

  10. i have so many books! i def need to check that pbs out!

    i think the cookbook i’d have the hardest time giving up is animal, vegetable, miracle. technically, i guess it’s not a cookbook, but it’s so full of amazing recipes and important info!

  11. Oh my gosh! I just started reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle today. You must be reading my mind. I was already excited to be reading it, but now I’m even happier that I plucked it off of my “to read” shelf. Awesome!!

  12. Mmmm, that dessert looks yummy!

    Awesome collection of cookbooks!

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