I was reminded once again this weekend why being part of a community and paying attention to what moves it, does everyone good. First off, I was nosing around the Book Fair at the public library in town. I cannot tell you what a top notch resources book fairs are for cookbooks, which I am aware, can be staggeringly expensive at times. I made a major score: Le Cordon Bleu at Home, Beard on Bread, and the Boston School Cookbook came to $6.00. Not to mention a stack of children's books could be had for next to nothing and some great coffee table design books, all $2 a piece ($7 a bag full if I had waited until Sunday). Keep an eye on your local paper and be an eager beaver when this happens in your burg. Help the library, help yourself.
Secondly, Amazon.com used copies. I bought a stack of great books last week for $12. They were sent to me by Goodwill. Which brings me to my next point: If you have a thrift store nearby, you can check there because, apparently, they have them and sell them on ebay as well as in stores.
Book clubs: Okay, okay. I know some of these services are rip offs, but some do help
to offset the cost of very expensive new editions. If you choose to particpate, my suggestion is to pick the most costly books on your wish list. It is not worth it for $15 soft cover books.
I tell you all this because, even as much as you surely love tuning in here everyday, there is nothing like flipping through the pages of a beautifully photographed book, or one lovingly dog-eared by the recipe another family enjoyed, or cooking from a book upon which there are inexplicable drops of sauce - you know; the universal sign of a cookbooks value is in the number of stains on it, in the end.
No one should be denied the pleasure of books - cookbooks or any other. If you are like minded and find yourself with a few extra books, you can donate these to local book fairs and let the circle be unbroken.