Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Great Cookbook Swap

I started collecting cookbooks about 20 years ago. I inherited the first items in my collection from my mother, who'd been collecting cookbooks since I was little. She liked to bake at holidays, but mostly she preferred reading and imagining the recipes in her head. I am just the same way - I cook most days, and I don't mind it (unless I'm in the middle of writing something) and I love baking once in awhile. But show me a good cookbook - vintage if possible - and I will happily go off and read it.

One of my latest finds is this on you 1929 cookbook on your left, called Good Meals and How to Prepare Them. It was a giveaway for the readers of Good Housekeeping.  My copy was pretty well used - but I couldn't leave it in the thrift store. I'll tell you more about it in another post, because there are some incredible recipes in there. I also picked up a 1930s GE promotional cookbook called The New Art - the New Art being "Modern Cooking," which of course was expedited by GE appliances.

Now, there are some  modern cookbooks I have that I'm not that crazy about. I do have a lot, and some of them just didn't work out for me - you know how that is. But they'd be great for someone else. I'm thinking about trying an online book swap so that someone who likes - let's say - Spanish cuisine - can have my giant Spanish cookbook.

I was sorry to see that the book swap at Goodreads will be closing at the end of this month, but you'll still be able to exchange books with other readers at BooksfreeSwap. is a community for book lovers in the U.S.  You can join for free and trade books (and audiobooks) with other readers - pass along the books you don't want anymore and get some new ones, that you do want, in return. After you sign up, you make a list of the books you want to swap and they'll let you know by email when someone would like one of your books. You send it, using a Postage Paid mailing label you can print out from the site - the recipient pays for the shipping and handling.

You'll want to make your own wish list, too. When someone else lists a book that you want, you'll get an email. Then you pay the shipping and handling, and the book or books will be sent to you, anywhere in the U.S. You can browse the available books before you sign up - I did, and they have a terrific, huge selection of books in just about any category you can imagine, from Alternative History and Action to True Crime and Travel. And of course I checked out Cooking - they have tons of modern cookbooks and books on culinary history and chef's memoirs and...well, a lot of good stuff. If you love books - and want to trade in some books you don't read or want anymore for some great new reads, do check out BooksfreeSwap.


DrJulieAnn @ Modern Retro Woman said...

I love old cookbooks! I have a few that are post-1960 but I love collecting them...the older the better. I especially love the pamphlets produced for advertising purposes.

Thank you for the link to I'll have to check it out!

randomcreative said...

This sounds like a great resource! Thanks for sharing. I also enjoy reading recipes more than using them. I do cook most days but often without recipes.

Kath Lockett said...

In Australia, *The* grand old cookbook that everyone must have is the Green and Gold Cookbook - a staple since the 1900s.

When my grandmother's alzheimers was bad enough for her to have to go into a home, my grandfather was aged 75 at the time. He duly purchased the latest edition of the Green and Gold and taught himself how to cook. His anzac biscuits, fruit cakes, honey cookies and lemon slices were famous.