What do you do when you have 30,000 cookbooks?


Many EYB Members have impressive cookbook collections numbering in the hundreds and a few have thousands of cookbooks on their shelves. One man in Berlin puts us all to shame. He has collected over 30,000 cookbooks and did what anyone with that many books would do: he opened a cookbook store.  

In the article, we only learn the collector's first name - Sven - although we do learn more about his impressive array of books. Some are centuries old, handwritten treasures that scholars frequently use to conduct research into cultural traditions. The store, Bibliotheca Culinaria (not to be confused with the Italian cookbook publisher with the same name), is located near the center of Berlin, and contains books in a number of languages. 

When asked, Sven cannot easily explain how he has come to own so many cookbooks (we feel you, Sven), only that he's been collecting since he was 22 years old. The books cover the gamut of cuisines and styles. Among the most valuable are the vintage bartending books. The most expensive book Sven has ever sold, for one thousands euros, was an 1890 copy of Jerry Thomas's  The Bar-Tender's Guide.

You might think that Sven cherishes a handful of special books that he will never sell. You'd be wrong. It seems that the collector enjoys the thrill of the hunt; he will sell you any of the books in the store and will begin an enthusiastic hunt to find its replacement. Bibliotheca Culinaria is a must-visit destination for any cookbook lover who travels to Berlin. 

1 Comment

  • ellabee  on  10/23/2017 at 3:36 PM

    Here's the bookstore's website (English page): http://bibliotheca-culinaria.de/index_english.html

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