I had this bright idea during my two Christmas days off that I would actually read books in 2008. So, I put a shitload of hardbound printed matter on hold at the library, assuming they would slowly trickle over to the Carroll Gardens branch (it took months for my requested The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to show up and when I went to pick it up someone had taken it from the holds shelf. There is a place in hell for patrons who “steal” others’ reserved items). But now I’m freaking out because they’re all coming at once and the tomes are laughably enormous.
I’ll never be able to get through 753-page American Food Writing: An Anthology: With Classic Recipes, 582-page Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink and 614-page Tree of Smoke in my allotted three weeks. I don’t even know where to begin.
Thinking about books got me to playing around with Shelfari, a social networking tool that seems fun yet ultimately as useless to me as MySpace, Facebook and the rest. I started adding all of my cookbooks that were available and quickly realized that I have hundreds of cookbooks and pamphlets, yet probably only cook from about ten on a regular basis.
Great, in 2008 I could start cooking from all the books I’d bought for one reason or another, mostly reasons having little to do with good eating. For instance, Girl Food (an old zine pal made ziti from this for Robert Crumb–and wouldn’t you know it–she got laid) and The Madison Avenue Cookbook (which is poo poohed in this 1963 Time article that does give the nod to new book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking with no mention of one of the now legendary authors). It would be fun.
Except that Slashfood practically started doing the same thing, I recently stumbled on Cooked Books which champions gems from NYPL, the kitchn just started a book club and now Eat Drink One Woman has a guest blogger also talking up old cookbooks. Whew. Never mind, then, I'll keep my cookbooks to myself.
Um…because everything else I write about here is so original. No matter, I do foresee some tweaking and revamping in the immediate future. I just don’t think it will involve cookbooks (or god forbid, viral videos).