Cookbooks…Why Do We Have So Many?

Because We Love Cookbooks!

Julia Child Quote -If you are afraid of butter use cream

As we enter this holiday season, our cookbooks play a big role.  Let’s look at all the different ways to store these beloved collections and ponder a Cookbook Exchange this season.  After all, a cookbook is the one thing surrounded by food that does not have to watch it’s calories!

To start off, I’ll share how we store our cookbooks.  Let me say, most of the day to day recipes I use now are in digital format.  However, there is nothing better than stealing an hour here and there to simply “read” cookbooks.  Some of the books I have are really old like the Vincent Van Gogh one that is the story of his life thru the peasant pub food he ate.  I also enjoy foods of other countries.  Many of the recipes require ingredients I may never buy, but the photos are worth keeping these cookbooks.  We have a Goodwill bookstore which I use kinda like a library.  For $20 I can get 5-6 used cookbooks and make a habit of donating the equal number back to Goodwill at the same time.

Onto our cookbook storage.  See the small cabinet in the corner of the open floor plan dining area? (blue arrow) This is a record cabinet we have toted around for years.  Every time we move it becomes storage for something new.  For years it had cassettes, then CD’s and now the rotating cookbooks.

See The Full Post of Our Home Here

LBD Bella Vista Home Cookbook Storage Area
Photographer Al Larson

Radio Cabinet For Cookbook Storage

Interior of Radio Cabinet Cookbook Storage

LBD Mascot Daisy Dog

16 Year Old LBD Mascot Guarding Our Cookbook Collection

(see dogs know how nice it is to curl up with a cookbook)

There is no question that many of us have a passion for scouring cookbooks.  Therefore, in many design projects, we get asked to help plan cookbook storage.  Because we are all pulling out our cookbooks at holiday time, we thought it would be a nice time to do this post.  Some of us have too many cookbooks.  But WE LOVE THEM!

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Planned Cookbook Storage

In 35 years, LBD has designed a lot of kitchens.  We’ve been suggesting open shelving, for items we all used often, forever.  However, even with the popularity of open shelves in kitchen designs today, 80% of clients nix the idea because they think open units are for display items only.  What if the “display” items are the cookbooks we all cherish and dream we will use more often?  This example from The Vintage Object is done very nicely.

Cookbook Openshelf Storage To Right Of Refrigerator
image via the vintage object



Wire Basket Wall Storage

Wire Baskets Wall Mounted For Cookbooks
Image Rain On A Tin Roof

This cleaver shelf idea can work in so many places and is not only for books.  These baskets could be mounted upright and make great wall storage for kids rooms, mudrooms and garages.  Rain On A Tin Roof provides the “how to” in the link below.

 DIY Mounting Instructions

wire locker basket

Wire Locker Basket Link Here

Bench Storage For Cookbooks

We all love a window seat!  The first notion when planning one is for storage inside.  Typically this is done with a lid access (of course you have to remove anything stacked on top to access) or drawers underneath.  Below is an old photo we’ve had archived from This Old House.  We are currently working with a young family who’d like a bench at their table.  Why not a free standing bench, like the one below, with the cubbies facing out for easy access to cookbook storage?  Multi use items make sense for so many homes.

window seat with open shelves for cookbook storage
image via this old house

cookbook storage white bench with storage cubbies

Bench With Storage Link Here

Cookbook Exchange

Food for Thought

Instead of a new gift exchange with your best buds, how about a Cookbook Exchange?  That’s right, you can part with one of yours.  You can make up the rules to fit your group.  A White Elephant might be the worst cookbooks you have and everyone can get a good laugh.  Or you can do a Secret Santa and sincerely tailor your regift to fit your draw.  Do some pretty gift wrapping and plan a casual evening at your house or favorite restaurant.

Spine Cookbook Tower

In this great design plan, enough depth was allowed at the end of a tall cabinet run to install a spine tower.  What about placing one of these towers nearby and grab a cookbook with a cup of tea?  In our house, current magazines and newspapers might also find a home here.  The shelves are spaced far enough apart we might even incorporate a charging station for each of us.  However you think to use these towers, they can offer a lot of vertical storage.

Spine Tower with Cookbooks In Kitchen
image via sisters agency

Spine Shelf For Cookbook Storage


Spine Shelf Link Here

Wall Mounted Ledges For Cookbook Display

This blogger uses a photo ledge for cookbooks.  This idea allows a beloved collection to be transformed into art while “storing” the cookbooks.   See how she even has current food magazines tucked in?  Nice.


Ledge Wall Shelves For Cookbooks
image via


Wall Mount Ledge Shelves

Wall Mounted Shelves Link Here

An Idea To Store Small Cookbooks

Large cookbooks, what I call the perfect coffee table books, are easy to store in many ways.  However, the “benders”, the soft back books are tricky.  These books never stand up unless they are wedged between bigger books.  In a stack, the spines are too skinny to see at times.  A simple cardboard magazine holder can hold quite a few small cookbooks and can be placed on pantry shelves, in cabinets and on bookcases.  Pinterest has oodles of ideas of how to decorate these boxes and even make your own out of cereal boxes!  We at LBD will probably stick to the black and white ones below.

Black and White Magazine Holders


Magazine Holder Link Here

Cookbook Stands

So many recipes are digital now and my iPad can get a little grubby on the combo Victorinox knife block/iPad stand below that I currently use.  However, this one with the splatter guard may be on my Christmas list.  Just about anything Good Grips makes has proven to be well thought out and withhold the test of time in a well used kitchen.  This one can be used for both tablets and traditional cookbooks.  This cookbook stand looks nice enough to leave out with our always pending recipe, or to charge the iPad.  A plus is it does fold up skinny, almost like a book, and can be stored with our cookbooks if desired.  Once again, good job Good Grips!


Cookbook and Ipad Stand


Swivel Knife Block iPad Holder


Happy Holiday Cooking LBD Pantry

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11 thoughts on “Cookbooks…Why Do We Have So Many?”

  1. So enjoyed seeing your place again. It’s ready for inclusion in a high-style decorator publication.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Thank you! I want to add our home is very comfortable, dog and designed for lots of friend enjoying too. Your home(s) always make us feel so welcome too.

  2. Hi Laurel, great post! What’s cosier than curling up with a cookbook and eating vicariously through the lovely images! My favourite picture was the lovely window seat with the cookbooks underneath it! Lxx

    1. Thank you! We enjoy passing on the years of experience we have and learning from others everyday. Please pass our site onto other you think will enjoy our posts!

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