Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Brainy Cooking

Cook Books, the one-of-a-kind cookbooks store on Washington Blvd. in Pasadena, is like a complete brain, with left and right hemispheres.

The left hemisphere would be the store's well-organized website. Faced with what seems an endless mound of books, you might think the right hemisphere is the store itself. But owner Janet Jarvits (whose brain contains all of Cook Books) or Webmaster Richard can point you directly to what you're looking for. In fact, the store is as organized as the website, with a selection so vast you'll find all you want and then some. As Jarvits says, Cook Books is the largest out-of-print cookbook store open to the public. But if you get lost browsing, don't worry. The cats will come and find you.

I bought a vegetarian cookbook. But if you want a recipe for brains, I'll bet you a dollar Cook Books has what you're looking for, and it won't take but a minute to find it.

24 comments:

Rose said...

The perfect place for me, Petrea. I have a few vintage cook books and several more modern ones.
I wish I had room to buy all the ones I really like...

Jim said...

That looks like a great store and the website is very good. I need to search to see if they have a book for people that can burn water.

USelaine said...

It's one of my secrets. I harbor a double shelf of cookbooks; some were my grandmother's, others my mother's, and a bunch collected on my own. I'm not a real recipe follower by nature, but I like getting the general idea, and adore seeing the artful presentations. I don't actually have dinner parties, just fantasize about having them. Kinda creepy.

Petrea said...

Rose, I'm not much of a cook but even I found this place to be fun.

Jim, they have that book. I'm going back for a copy for myself.

I think about that too, Elaine! I have "good dishes" I rarely use, just in case. Silly.

Tableau Vivante said...

Was good seeing you there, Petrea. I love going idea shopping there, just to see what's available. I find a few good buys every now and again, but their prices often hold me back. I have other places I go for bargains. But you're right, selection-wise, they can't be beat.

Christie said...

I could totally get lost for a while here! I love cookbooks and new recipes. Actually, I love looking at recipes and changing them somewhat to make them my own.

Thanks, Petrea!

Ben Wideman said...

I've noticed this place as I check out Archives next door for my textbooks. You've captured it perfectly! Cool shot.

Kim Thomas said...

I am so looking forward to my trip to this corner.

marley said...

It should be called Cooking The Books! This store has more cook books than I thought possible. What a treasure this place is.

Pont Girl said...

OMG - I wouldn't want to be stuck in there during an earthquake!! I love cookbooks, and wish I had more time to cook. I stayed up until 3a.m. last week making some English dishes for my book club - it was a lot of fun, but I paid for it the next day!

Freefalling said...

How absolutely fabulous!!
I want to go there NOW!

Petrea said...

But! But! But! Tableau, you're the one who turned me on to the place! Foodies, check out Tableau Vivante, her blog is mouth-watering.

Christie, I'm as brave as you are only if I'm missing ingredients!

Thanks, Ben. Have you photographed Archives? I think it's been there a long time--a venerable shop.

Kim: you, Ben, Tableau and I (the locals) will probably run into each other at Hill and Washington one of these days.

Marley! Surely you don't mean their accounting practices.

Pont Girl, I want to join your book club.

Freefalling. Thank goodness for the virtual experience.

ptowngirl said...

How neat! I LOVE bookstores, and especially ones that carry books that are somewhat out of the mainstream. How nice that they have a website to go along with the store's offerings.

ptowngirl
HamptonRoadsDailyPhoto.com

Louis la Vache said...

OH BOY! "Louis" would love this store! "Louis" loves to cook, and even more, to bake! (That's why "Louis" moved to Paris - to attend baking school.) "Louis" found a similar store in the 6th arrondissement he would spend hours in!

Rose said...

Petrea
I have a friend who is a "wonderful" cook. This is her recipe:
Buy lots of old cook books from charity shops (it will seem that you actually use them) and leave them on display.
Have many cook books in your amazon.com list (you will have to sacrifice some of the presents you would get)
Buy a professional chef jacket and wear it over your dress before the dinner guests arrive.
Make sure you put the food you got from the take away in your pans long before the first guest arrive and don't forget to hide the empty cartoons in a separate bag and place it at the bottom of the rubbish bin.

Bon appetite!

Kelly said...

This reminds me of Shakespeare and Company! I love cookbooks, and probably have too many!

Petrea said...

Me too, ptowngirl.

I hadn't known that, Louis! I know you love recipes, and now I know why.

I love this recipe, Rose! I'll use it!

Kelly: another point of interest to add to my Paris list.

Bibi said...

I would like to visit this store, but I must admit that I have a huge repertoire of recipes in my head, but only have four/five classic cookbooks that I use. I had a friend who had over three hundred... Too many.

Petrea said...

If I could keep them in my head, Bibi, I would. I need the books to remember what to cook, let alone how to cook it.

Chuck Pefley said...

I guess if you can imagine it, then you can find a shop somewhere in the world that specializes in that particular obscure specialty. One of a kind cookbooks. Never would have thunk it :)

Petrea said...

Chuck, for a while there Dave Eggers had a Pirate Supply Store:
http://tinyurl.com/m3w9j
I wonder if it's still there. There are 4 SF Daily photo blogs, all of them active...

Tall Gary said...

I loved the vegetarian cookbook "Tassajara Cooking" in the 70s. I would like to visit the eponymous hot springs in the Carmel Valley also.

Petrea said...

They had a copy of Tassajara Cooking at Cook Books when I was there. It was in good shape. I remember it because I worked at book store in the early 80s when that book was still popular, so the cover was familiar to me.

Andrée said...

Oh I'd love to browse in there! Not that I cook, but books piled like that call out to me.