When I finally attacked my library to try and figure out what books should stay and what should go, I found some categories easier than others.
Reference books that are not important in my life/line of work such as how to properly cite a source using all the different formats, were quick to make it to the “donate” pile.
Books I haven’t read in years and don’t plan on reading again, left quickly.
But cookbooks are definitely one of the categories that I found quite difficult at first to cut down upon.
With cookbooks, it’s not like e-book readers have advanced so far that you can have full-sized coloured pages for cookbooks without having to keep flipping the page to get to what you need.
So this is how I did it…
My cookbook rules were:
- If I can find it on the internet, I don’t need to keep the book (American food)
- If I don’t really use the recipes, I don’t need to keep the book (Indian cuisine went)
- If it doesn’t have full colour photos or is very appealing, I don’t keep it
- If it isn’t a truly sentimental piece (like my mom’s handwritten family cookbook)
In the end, I only kept 3 cookbooks: one on Thai cooking, another on ingredients (spices and the whole bit!) and the last is one I will never get rid of.
It is a a fully hand-written cookbook of all of the recipes my mother has ever made or kept a copy of, complete with referenced photographs and side notes.
I can never give away that cookbook, although I am thinking of turning it into a digital format just in case they get lost or damaged.