Old Cookbooks: Trash or Treasure? Tasty Titles Worth Finding and Keeping.

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A new guide to collectible cookbooks catalogs 75 years of culinary treasures and celebrates the authors who wrote them.

Antique Trader's Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide

There are many undiscovered treasures - cookbooks that are forgotten, but valuable or desirable for their historical or regional significance.

When Krause Publications contacted OldCookbooks.com entrepreneurs Peter Peckham and Eddie Edwards to compile and write their Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide, the husband/wife team were thrilled. "We liked the idea of being able to catalog and present some of the years of information we have accumulated."

Krause chose Peckham and Edwards for their in-depth knowledge of the collectible cookbook market. Four years earlier the couple turned their cookbook collecting hobby into a full-time venture with OldCookbooks.com, an online store specializing in used, out-of-print, vintage and rare cookbooks. The Antique Trader Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide catalogs over 600 cookbooks and recipe booklets from the turn-of-the century through about the 1970s, complete with color photos. "The hardest part wasn't deciding what to put in it, it was deciding what to leave out. We narrowed our choices from an inventory of about 15,000 cookbooks to about 600 entries," says Peckham. "Eventually we picked cookbooks that were that were fun or funny, famous or extraordinary, or just plain appealing," adds Peckham. "There are many undiscovered treasures - cookbooks that are forgotten, but valuable or desirable for their historical or regional significance."

Organized by author, the guide features many biographies, collecting tidbits and historical information valuable not only to the collector but to the foodies as well.

What makes a cookbook collectible?
"It's a question often asked, and not so easily answered," says Edwards. "A few years ago, a New York Times article asked famous chefs what cookbooks they collect. The answers ranged from the irreverent Mrs. Rasmussen's One-Armed Cookery - a 1940's comic guide to cooking with one hand while drinking beer with the other - to Fernand Point's French gastronomic masterpiece Ma Gastronomie. After years of experience, we just encourage people to buy what they find interesting, try to find cookbooks with dust jackets (which often contain hard-to-find information about the author or edition) and buy the best condition they can afford."

How much is it worth?
Each listing in the guide offers an estimated current value for the cookbook and presents salient points about the edition or other details. "Values in the collectibles market are subjective and always changing," says Edwards, "but the guide will give you an idea of what collectors find interesting and help you hone your sense of what kinds of cookbooks to hunt for."

Historical tidbits offer deeper look
Using dust jackets, cookbooks themselves and other resources, Edwards and Peckham researched many authors and cookbook history to round-out their guide. The biographical info helps put the cookbooks in context and fosters a deeper appreciation. "It was an opportunity to learn even more about cookbooks and cooking history and to capture some of the information that is hard-to-find," said Peckham.

Whether researching the value of Grandma's cookbooks or searching for historical tidbits and collecting hints, you'll find the Antique Trader's Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide, an engaging, informative and fun read.

The Antique Trader's Collectible Cookbooks Price Guide is published by Krause Publications and available for $21.99 at OldCookbooks.com and bookstores nationwide.

For more information or to talk to a knowledgeable cookbook seller visit them at http://www.oldcookbooks.com or in Reno at:

OldCookbooks
Antiques and Treasures Bldg.
151 North Sierra St., between 1st and 2nd Streets
Reno, NV 89501
Phone: Toll-free (866) 282-2144
Parking: Street or validated garage off 1st St.
Hours: M-Sat 10am-6pm Sun 11am-6pm

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