Organizing my Cookbooks
Where has the time gone--it's hard to believe that it's been almost a month since my last post. Part of the time was spent catching up on things after being out of town for a while and then I was sick for almost two weeks. Once I started catching up again after that then here came Hurricane Ike.
We survived the hurricane quite nicely in my small town just west of Houston--we were much more fortunate than many around us. It feels good to do something normal again, like post on this blog, although at the same time rather strange, in light of the devastation and problems just a short car ride away.
Someone asked in the Comments how I organized my cookbooks. I had been giving that subject quite a bit of thought these last few days, as the main room that my cookbooks are in sits at the front of the house which is almost directly beneath a 100 year-old oak tree.
I didn't voluntarily evacuate as was suggested by our Chief of Police, but I almost did, just because of that oak tree. In the end I stayed because of a stubborn cat who steadfastly refused to join her buddies in the carriers and because the west side of Houston was supposedly safe from the worst of the storm.
I keep many of my cookbooks on wall-to-wall bookshelves in this room. I have my desktop computer in here too and many of my reference books. I like having my desk at the front of the house because the street traffic I can see from the window is more interesting than that at the rear of the house. I could see a steady stream of trucks hauling away sheets of plywood last Thursday and Friday from the hardware store. The stream of mandatory evacuees from the coast was different than last time--it was actually moving. I saw more boats on trailers going down that road those two days than I saw the entire summer. Right now I have a hummingbird feeder hanging off the front of the porch that is just swarming with hummingbirds. I'm not sure if this is part of their normal migratory pattern or if it's something to do with the hurricane. There are so many of them--more than I've ever seen before.
After seeing some of the storm damage, and all those fallen oaks, I realize that although the tree didn't fall this time, it very well could the next time we get in a good blue norther. So I've decided to move the bookshelves to a room at the back of the house. It's not that big of a house, but if the tree ever does fall, they might not be totally destroyed in that room. (I seem to be obsessing over the tree falling--probably the result of a solid week's worth of media hype. Also the three days I spent picking up limbs and twigs from the yard.)
I have some plastic storage boxes of cookbooks that are in a closet. This would be the same closet that I'll be hiding in should a tornado come along, so they're already in the safest place they can be.
So far, only a part of the advertising cookbooks are catalogued in a database. I put those that are catalouged in numerical order on the bookshelves. For my purposes that works the best although sometimes I wish that they were grouped together on the shelves by manufacturer or product. Part of one shelf holds duplicates of those that are catalogued. Overall, I don't think I have that many duplicates.
The dates of the cookbooks range from the late 1800s all the way up to 2008. New ones come in the mail all the time.
I don't put them in little plastic bags although a few of them came that way. If I did scrapbooking, I daresay that I probably wouldn't be using archival supplies there either. I take my cookbooks off the shelves and look at them and use them way too often to have to be fiddling around with removing a protective wrapper. I do store all my books in air conditioning--Texas heat and humidity is murder on paper. I'm an expert on the cost of climate-controlled storage.
I spend a lot of time on these cookbooks but I really, really enjoy them and all they have to say to us.