Of Libraries and Cookbooks

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

by flickr user austinevanPortland’s library system has shocked me into having to develop a note taking system. I’m not in the habit of a library having such a great resource of cookbooks available. As such, I’ve had great books leave my hands that I regrettably didn’t take adequate notes from.

I’m finding such a range- some books need only a couple insights jotted down, wile with other books I have to restrain myself from wanting to scan the entire thing electronically!

Do any of you have a nice system for keeping borrowed book inspirations at your finger tips?

Have you ever scanned a cookbook? Photographed a page?

Do your notes go up on a blog, or do you keep them private?


posted June 25th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Just wanted to let you know, in case you don’t, you can sign up for an RSS feed on new cookbooks that MultCo Libs receive. Think you’re overwhelmed now? :)
Happy cookbooking…

thanks Jessica- I just noticed that in the latest newsletter- wow!


- Jessica
posted June 26th, 2008 at 2:13 am

I have scanned a particular recipe from a library cookbook. I pretty much get all of my cookbooks from the library because I really don’t use them in my day-to-day cooking (so it doesn’t make sense to buy them) but I like to keep up with trends.

posted June 26th, 2008 at 5:51 am

most of my note-taking i write in a lined journal i keep in the kitchen for collecting my own creations/recipes. haven’t scanned any though. surely that makes a lot of sense and you could have that information at your fingertips easily anywhere.

posted June 26th, 2008 at 8:41 am

Most cookbooks have recipies that are already on-line. If I find something in a borrowed cookbook that I like, I do a Google search for it. Way more than half the time the same recipe (from the same book) has been used and posted somewhere on the internets. Then I just add the page to a favorites file. Try it, it’s very effective for contemporary cookbooks and those by name authors.

If it’s not on-line, then I photocopy it and put it in a binder.

posted June 26th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I’ve been known to photograph a page or two, but truthfully I generally buy the book. Not that I can really afford to but I’m the type that will forgo buying a new dresser say… and instead… buy cookbooks. I find fantastic deals on Alibris.com. Many times you can buy library or publisher copies (maybe with different covers) for only a few dollars!

- EB
posted June 27th, 2008 at 4:36 am

I photograph pages all the time, especially if I’m browsing a cookbook at a friend’s house. I type my notes right into my photo organizing program.

- Jake
posted June 27th, 2008 at 5:03 am

I have to confess that I have FAR too many cookbooks (mostly purchased as used copies on Amazon.com) and I finally quit getting them at the library because I realized that I love to write in the margins, right in the book! I used to have a notebook where I wrote down ideas in general for things to cook, but rarely do that now. Also used to photocopy pages a lot and have a file of “recipes to try” but don’t do that much now either.

posted June 30th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

I either write the recipe (with the changes I want to make) longhand and stick it in my recipe notebook to try or if I am being good I type it into my MasterCook program and print a copy for my notebook. I do this with cookbooks that I own or blog recipes too since I frequently need to change the recipes to make them GF and vegetarian. I then mark up the copy in my notebook as I cook the recipe and either type up the “final” recipe or add additional recipes if I come up with a couple variations.

- Ceri
posted July 3rd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

If you find you want to scan the entire book, you should probably just buy a copy. The author benefits from your appreciation of her work.
I even know people who will buy a book after they’ve read it from the library (whether or not they wanted recipes — i.e., fiction or whatever), simply because they loved it so much they wanted to send the author some props.
But, yeah: I Xerox pages from books when I want only a page or two. Libraries are great.

You’re right Cookie- glad you pointed this out.


posted July 5th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I LOVE to check cookbooks out of the library and am spoiled to also be living in Multnomah county – we have a fabulous library system! I have been known to photocopy a page or two. My rule is if I’ve checked the book out more than three times, it is time to buy it! If I want to copy more than a page or two, it is time to buy it! I used to copy recipes down on cards with a note of where it came from, I’m so lazy now!


- Jill
posted July 9th, 2008 at 11:30 am

I started with a hatbox full of cut, scribbled and xeroxed copies of recipes. After having family members call all the time to see if I had a copy of this recipe or that recipe, I finally created a cookbook on the computer and started with the family recipes first. It’s now huge and I’m still adding to it. But it’s also easier to go in and cut and paste a recipe to send to my Mom when she needs it (not that she does much anymore since printing a copy out for everyone for Christmas last year). I’m still adding to it though. Can’t wait to get a scanner with OCR capabilities.

I do have a small notebook with ingredient lists for recipes that I use on a regular basis. It’s more of a reminder so I don’t have to open up the computer while cooking.

- snarkychef
posted July 20th, 2008 at 8:32 am

I love the library. I love how I can go through the catalog online at home, and put in requests. I love the books that include stories–of travels, of tastes, of heritage.
I blogged one here:
But I scan pages that intrigue me. If I like it, I’ll write notes on it (the copy) and keep it. If I don’t like it, the page gets tossed. If I really like it, I might buy the book. But I prefer the old vintage books, the ones with full fat and full flavor.

- Barb

Leave a comment