Thursday, March 30, 2006

More cookbook

It's been quite interesting - I sent the last post to about 100 or so friends & family to see if anyone knew of the aforementioned cookbook, and I've gotten about 2 dozen replies, I think - people who had it as a child, or have it now, but it's a) too battered or b) indispensible. Almost as if they were bragging - "I have one, but you can't have it!" It's nice when you realize that an oft-used, practical item still has a shelf value, isn't it? Doesn't help ME, now, does it?

Called the 2 main used bookstores here in town - Bookman Bookwoman (no idea WHAT that name is supposed to connote; that they actually *gasp* allow both men & women to shop there? Or, that they're segregated? It was originally just Bookman, I believe, but I think the owner took on a female partner, or there was a protest at the gender-exclusive name and this was the result. I'm inclined to suspect the latter, because the shop is in Hillsboro Village, which is Cool and Liberal Central for Nashville, and That Sort of Thing wouldn't be allowed there. But I deliberately digress...) and Elder's Bookstore on Elliston Place which is a City Treasure since it's been there since the 50s and is family owned. (It's interesting that the very idea of family descendants running the same shop/restaurant for over 20 years makes something a Treasure. I mean, the place could have nothing but copies of Hardy Boys mysteries and crappy remaindered books, and we'd still be inclined to think it's a Treasured Emporium just because it isn't a chain or franchise. But I casually digress again...)

Elder's is searching and will call me back, and Bookman/woman didn't have it. The Bookwoman I talked to felt it necessary to describe the similar Betty Crocker cookbooks she had on hand, despite the fact that I had clearly identified the year and appearance of the book - maybe my memory was a bit hazy? Despite the fact that I have become an disinterested expert on the various incarnations of BC cookbooks from the latter half of the 20th century and could describe the features, publication dates, and cover of the one I want in impressive bibliophilic detail. Even though I could personally care less about which one it is, never having used any of them.

But that's true of me in general. I have a quite respectable range of cookbooks atop the fridge that are used or consulted a few times a year; I mistakenly thought in high school and college that I was interested in cooking and started to collect them, only to find a decade later that I could care less, and the internet has loads more recipies than I could ever need. So, the one cookbook that I use with any regularity is my blank one - one of those 3-ring binder types with blank pages and pockets that you can store accumulated recipes; the majority of which seem to be for cookies. Yet I shall never let go of the unused ones - cause they're BOOKS, and Might Be Useful Someday.

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