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Commitment-free cookbooks

(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)

Every year, hundreds of cookbooks, food memoirs, and lush tomes of food photography appear in bookstores. It's hard to resist the latest collection of recipes, thoughts, and art. But there's only so much shelf space the average home can offer. And then there's the commitment issue: Will I love this book enough to keep it forever?

Fortunately, our convenience-loving society has spawned a company that sends books right to your home, just like Netflix sends movies to your door. For a small fee, Booksfree will send you popular titles like Anthony Bourdain’s [%bookLink code=1582341400 "A Cook’s Tour"] or more obscure titles like [%bookLink code=1887896562 "The Prickly Pear Cookbook"]. The service allows you to enjoy multiple food-related books without the commitment of purchasing them — and without much more exertion than rooting around in your mailbox. 

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Those who aren’t fans of mail-order services might enjoy another online company for bibliophiles: Shelfari. Members of this free interactive networking site can create a virtual bookshelf of their own recommendations and peruse friends' bookshelves to see what they're reading. They can even create a virtual book club surrounding their favorite book authors, topics, or genres. 

Current groups on Shelfari include “Cook’s Books,” described as the group for “cooks who like books.” The group's top bookshelf picks: The Silver Palate Cookbook and [%bookLink code=081185342X "5 Spices, 50 Dishes"], by Ruta Kahate.

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