Me and my cookbooks - August 2013

At a time when the press relentlessly insists that no one is interested in cooking at home anymore, there is great joy in realizing that there are many others ( EYB members) who enjoy the creativity and pleasure of sharing good food. So we wanted to celebrate our members by regularly publishing vignettes about members and their cookbooks.

If you'd like to be featured, we'd love to have you. Just email us at

Sue's Cookbooks

Our featured member this month is Sue Jimenez  from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sue started collecting books at the age of 17 and hasn't stopped yet. Recently, when she had just bought another box of books, her husband commented that she had to have more books than anyone and should try for the Guinness Book of World Records.

So Sue "got on the Guinness site and sure enough, somebody named Betsy Ross McKay somewhere in the U.S. had, in 2011, 1125 cookbooks.  So I said, I've got that many, I can do this." Sue invited two friends over to count and ended up a total of with 3,231 - too many to even include in the photo. And she has now submitted her application to Guinness.

As Sue very sagely put it, "It's like you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket! " Of course, she realizes there may be others with more books - in that case she has thrown down the gauntlet, "let the games begin! " If you'd like to see what the challenge is, check out Sue's list of books on EYB - all 88 pages.

And we should note that Sue has an excellent security system for her books; Tux the cat doesn't look like he'll let anyone near.

cookbooks with Tux



  • Breadcrumbs  on  8/16/2013 at 5:46 PM

    How very clever of you Sue!! Not only have you validated the need for so many books now, you also now have a great excuse to keep adding to your collection. Bravo...well done! Your collection looks wonderful and your cookbook guard looks very similar to one of mine!! I'd love to hear what your favourite books are and if there's a genre of books that you are particularly interested in.

  • marym  on  8/16/2013 at 9:59 PM

    I'm impressed! I have only 90 cookbooks and I love every one of them. I too would like to know what your favorites are! Will keep my fingers crossed that you are the next Guinness winner, I'm sure you will let us all know

  • manycookbooks  on  8/16/2013 at 11:15 PM

    Thank you both for your comments...I hate to admit that I don't even have a 'favourite' (thanks Breadcrumbs, I moved from Mississauga, ON to Albuquerque, NM some time ago and always jump when I see the 'u' as in 'favourite' !). All of them are like little time capsules to me with so much to of my favourites/favorites is 'Feed the Brute, written by Marjorie Swift in 1925, published in London. She admonishes that in order to 'manage the brute', it is necessary to feed him first! She'd probably be deemed sexist in these times, but the book is such a reflection of cultures and ideas, it is wonderful. The problem now is shelf space.....Tux (and his brother Shadow) are guardians of the ever-burdgeoning collection!

  • sir_ken_g  on  8/19/2013 at 12:46 PM

    It's interesting to click on manycookbooks above - and then look at books in common. She has a long ways to go in the Asian department.

  • amatheson  on  8/20/2013 at 12:53 AM

    Ooohh I'd love a day browsing your library!!! How wonderful - must keep that photo of evidence (you know how the conversation goes "see, I don't have too many, look how many this person has!" - ha)

  • Regina Osborne  on  8/20/2013 at 2:44 AM

    I loved the books but mainly the CAT! :-)

  • mpennington  on  8/22/2013 at 7:02 PM

    Thanks manycookbooks, I showed my husband your bookcases (before I saw amatheson's comment). He's wondering if there is something in the Albuquerque water. I moved from many years ago. I only have around 1,200 cookbooks. Every few years, I think I have enough, but then I'll become interested in another area of cooking and start filling another shelf. Enjoyed viewing your library.

  • lesorelle  on  8/28/2013 at 6:44 PM

    Looks like you've an entire room devoted to your cookbooks, how wonderful! Reminds me of how Stephen King bought the house next door just to house his library... How are your cookbooks arranged, and do they indeed fit all in one room? I'm redesigning my home and wondering how much space I need to accommodate my ever-growing collection...

  • manycookbooks  on  8/29/2013 at 11:48 AM

    Wow, Lesorelle.....I can only dream of buying the house next door to house the cookbook library (but it's not for sale!). I started out with just a few bookcases, but after the collection kept growing and growing, I was making regular trips for more bookcases. Pretty soon, the master bedroom (which is now the cookbook library) had to be nixed as a bedroom (it was too big for the stuff we had to put in it anyway). It's pretty much packed now and every square inch is maximized. I couldn't go 'out' much, so I went 'up' the ceiling. I do have some overflow in our family room.....four or five shelves devoted to 'non-cooking' books, but food history, food preparation, anthologies and books by food writers and chefs. I did make a vow, however, that for every few cookbooks that came in, a few non-cookbooks had to go out (we also have a large collection of non-cookbooks). I am on my second database for keeping track. I just arrange them by genre: by country or region, by chefs, by specialty, etc. Although I do have some 'miscellaneous' shelves, most of those are books that would have a genre, but there's no more room on those shelves. People ask me a) do you cook (yes!) and b) why so many (because I love cookbooks and read them like some people read fiction). If you ask me, you can never have too many cookbooks! Thanks for your comment!

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