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Member: ErstwhileEditor

CollectionsYour library (7,487)

Reviews65 reviews

Tagscookery (6,273), US cookery (4,335), old recipe booklets (2,398), general cookbooks (1,819), old cookbooks (1,592), Asian cookery (845), nonfiction (720), 1930s cookery (627), 1940s cookery (624), 1920s cookery (415) — see all tags

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About meI guess you could call me a bibliophile. :-) But that is probably obvious, because I am here. As my user name suggests, I was an editor. Now I am a burnt-out editor. In my second life, I want to be a librarian. Note the common theme!

Update (6/2009): I am looking for a place to live with my daughter and three cats. Other than that, this will be dictated by books and finances. (Note the order in which these words occurred to me!) I may be slow logging in books until the move is achieved, but I am hoping that I will be more organized after the move.

In late November 2009, I purchased a house, which is still (as of May 2010) being renovated. It has a lot of perimeter space, as well as a full attic over the garage. I hope that this space will be conducive to getting my holdings organized.

Update December 10, 2010

I still have not moved! I have, however, been schlepping cookbooks to the new house and trying to organize them, so I can splice them into the books that I have already organized. This is not easy.

We built ca 170 feet of new shelving. I started out by putting unlogged and previously unsorted books, in categories, onto more than half of those shelves and quickly ran out of space. The other shelves were supposed to be for books that had at least been logged in, even though they also had never been sorted. Areas of those shelves have already been filled.

This is taking so much time. I fear I will just have to dump books onto some additional shelving and then sort and log them later. I can barely walk in my "library" and my living room! Oh yes. And then there is the garage. One does want to use a garage in the winter here in New England.

March 2012 update. I am still sorting. Eeek! Logging in books takes so much time that I occasionally find myself shelving books without doing so. This will end up complicating life.

July 2012 update. Still sorting books and ephemera. I am loving the ephemera as I go through it--it is like eye candy. The illustrations are increasingly interesting as time passes, and the content can give a good idea of what recipes were just introduced or in vogue at any particular time. If I had it to do over again, I would have concentrated more on ephemera. (It is also small!)

About my libraryAs you might guess, I am buried in books. I actively collect cookbooks, especially old cookbooks and recipe booklets, and Asian and third-world cookbooks--the more esoteric, the better. I also have an extensive collection of foreign lit and lots of random books.... I had more, but I am beginning to think they were lost while they were supposed to be safe in storage. I'm trying NOT to think about that.

I have a lot more books to log in, so stay tuned for further developments!

GroupsAll Books Africa, Anglophiles, Asian Fiction & Non-Fiction, Banned Books, Best of British, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Bostonians, Cats, books, life is good., Combiners!, Cookbook Collectorsshow all groups


Favorite bookstoresBearly Read Books

Favorite librariesBedford Free Public Library

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJean

Locationabout 12 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs (profile) (library)

Member sinceJun 1, 2007

Leave a comment


Dear EWE:

I am adding your collection to my interesting libraries list. I appreciate the many comments you make. I use the comments field quite often myself and appreciate it when others do the same. Now, since we only share 13 books as of right now, it's going to be interesting to see what sorts of things you have that I can covet. :-)
Dear EWE,
No problem. I will leave them disconnected until I find some evidence one way or the other. And thank you for the thoughtful comments.
I recently acquired "The Book of Indian Battles" by H. B. Skinner; published in Boston in 1853. I see that you have three books by Henry Burchstead Skinner; a Boston publisher of that era. I suspect they are the same person and was thinking of combining them but I thought I would check with someone who has some knowledge of this person. Thanks in advance for your help. BTW it is fine if you have no opinion.
Wow, you're awesome! Thank you so much!
what a pleasant surprise! yes, if you can, that would be great. but please don't put yourself out!

I do live this funny bibliophile world.
Gosh! A kindred spirit - I am thrilled to be friends with someone who can spend lots of time mulling over cataloging... My friends think my addiction to all things bibliographic is weird, but, I don't ask them how many shoes they own. Yes, by all means, let's be friends! Joan
Hi there,

I thought you might like to know, Vikas Swarup, author of Slumdog Millionaire is coming out with a new book July 7th called Six Suspects.

It has gotten great reviews and promises to be a good read. Here is the link to his latest review from The New York Times. Also starting tomorrow July 7th you can enter to win a free copy of the book on the Macmillan website, the link is below.

A hairbrained cookbook idea eh? Sounds intriguing. Spill the beans when you are ready!
Because you own this vintage cookbook set, I invite you and the 38 other owners of this cookbook to a group talk in COOKBOOKERS, on META GIVEN'S MODERN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COOKING. I'm curious about how you came to own this cookbook and what is your favorite part about the set. Thank you! See
LOL ErstwhileEditor, I think we are more alike than you know. I also "rescue" old books, but I'm sure they didn't ask to be rescued by me! I'm starting to upload my vintage cookbook images, and I'd love to see covers of your old books. You might want to look in my blog for the German cookbook from the 1800's; I uploaded quite a few plates to drool over.


I noticed we have more than a few books in common so I thought I'd say hello and tell you that I uploaded this cover:
How to make Tempting Nutritious Desserts
If you want to add it to your library as a cover, since it appears to be missing.
I'm in the process of entering my cookbooks, so I'm sure we will have more matches around the corner!

This was a pleasant surprise, indeed, because I ended up not reviewing the first book. I was rather discouraged because it arrived well after the book was published. I guess the proper procedure is to review it anyway, right? Is the early reviewers board the correct place to do that--or one's own listings with a link or???

I'm assuming the first book was Love Marriage? I'm sorry the book took too long to get to you - but actually, I think it was released the same time that it was put out in Early Reviewers, in April. Some publishers give advance books, others give *just* released books.

So yes, the proper procedure is to review it anyway -- add it to your library, and review it there, and it'll count!


I recently joined the All Books Africa Group. As a publisher who has just released a novel about the Angolan Civil War, I thought it might be worth bringing to your attention. Ondjaki's Good morning Comrades has just been released (indeed, i'm not sure amazon has changed it status yet). Ondjaki is a Lusophone writer of international reputation, and our edition of Good morning Comrades introduces him to an English speaking audience for the first time. It will not be the last: Aflame Books in the UK is set to release his fable The Whistler, and I know New Directions is also looking at publishing something by him soon. We expect he will become one of the most celebrated African novelists of his generation.

Anyway, if you would like further information on Comrades, you can chcekc out our website at It is also available online on amazon and elsewhere, and available through any good bookstore.

Thansk for your time, and I do hope that this was not too intrusive. (We're a small literary press based in Canada, and we're just trying to do whatever we can to let potential readers know about the book.

Best wishes,

Dan Wells
I forgot to answer your question about my mother. I don't live with her. She lives about 20 minutes walk from here. She is quite fit. She tends to spend a lot of Sunday here and will come tomorrow for lunch. If the weather is not too bad she walks. She is 87 in March and quite surprising for that. She also has me under her thumb, and I rather do what I want to do....
Hello Jean, I have just discovered and joined LibraryThing and am slowly entering my library onto the site. I'm saying hello to everyone who shows up in my "You and One Other" list. It looks like you and I are the only two members who have included The African by William Conton on our lists. I haven't read this one yet, though, have you? Thought I'd also let you know that I scanned a cover image for this one, in case your interested.

Anyway, greetings from San Francisco, and all the best.

Jerry (aka rocketjk)
Hi Jean,

I just uploaded a cover for the Baker's Coconut Recipes. Is this the same cover as yours?
EE, you've made great progress in entering your books (I seem to have slowed way down over the summer) and what an impressive collection of cookbooks. I admire a focused collection as mine is not and you have some gems not shared by others. Are you familiar with this bookseller's website which helps me see what I'm missing? Be sure to enter the cookbook pile contest at LT next time they do one - I won $100 from ABE which was immediately spent on books, of course (see and enter Cookbooks on Ice to see the)entry. Do you have any ambitions for your collection? I'd like to compile a Soup & Salad cookbook from the community pamphlets but not sure that jello will sell:)
Well, I've upgraded to a 1-year account. Of course, I assume I can later renew or upgrade to a life account. I just want to make sure I can keep up some momentum. :-)
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