My new job is working in acquisitions at the library and part of that entails opening the boxes of received materials for my accounts. Some days I only get one or two boxes to open, some days I get more.
Today there were *21* boxes to open. Now, I’m mostly happy that I have more to do because I had finished everything on my to-do list about 1.5 hours into my shift. But, I’m going along, opening these boxes, taking out the lovely new books with their new book smell (you know the one, right? What bibliophile doesn’t know that lovely smell?) and I’m realizing that 85-90% of what I’m pulling out of these boxes are new cookbooks. Every size, color, and topic is seemingly covered in these cookbooks that I’m unloading. Everything from the small “Recipes every college student should know” to this ginormous “River Cottage A to Z” cookbook (and the equally weighty “Vegan” tome). Barbecue cookbooks, Paleo cookbooks, Ketogenic diet cookbooks, Vegan, bread baking, ice cream, roasted vegetables, and even a few ethnic cookbooks.
I know, it may seem like I’m not going anywhere with this, but stick with me.
I got thinking about it and we already have a large cookbook collection in the library and yet, here we are adding more. I’m not blaming the librarian for ordering them. Her job is to find the new items and have me order them, but it just makes me wonder why on earth are there so many freaking cookbooks out there?!?!
Maybe I’m the only one having some sort of existential crisis over this but come on! Why the heck are all these cookbooks needed?! One person cannot possibly cook everything in all the cookbooks out there. In fact, I’d hazard to say that for most categories, you probably wouldn’t even be able to cook all the recipes out there for that particular category! Then you’ve got all the cookbooks that are titled something along the lines of “My mother’s recipes” or “Recipes from my grandmother”. Who decides whose grandma/mom’s recipes are better than someone else’s grandma/mom? I definitely wouldn’t want that job!
Now I will admit, I’m not a big cook. I can cook. I can cook very well when I put my mind to it, but I don’t like to cook for a number of reasons. Yet, even I, who doesn’t cook much, am strangely drawn to these new cookbooks. Am I ever going to make any recipe I write down/copy? Probably not. But they still look and sound yummy.
What about you? Are you drawn to new cookbooks? Do you actually try the recipes inside or do you have all these cookbooks that you never use?
Tomorrow I’ll probably go back to not really caring how many cookbooks there are in the world, but after unpacking 21 boxes of them, I needed to muse on them.