Cookbooks: Should they stay or should they go?

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.

How do/did you decide which cookbooks stayed or went?

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.