Books

Amanda Hesser is Hosting a Cookbook Stoop Sale 

by:
October 16, 2015

And she hopes you’ll stop by. 

Amanda has cleaned out over 200 books from her extensive collection, and she wants to pass them on to inhabit new shelves in new homes. But there’s a stipulation: You must come with a family recipe to share (we’ll be posting our favorites!), and you must love cookies—Amanda will be giving out a big stack of them. (What’s a book sale without snacks, anyway?) 

Shop the Story

Visit her on her stoop at 116 Willow Street in Brooklyn, New York from 3 to 4:30 P.M. this Sunday afternoon; books are $5 a piece, and all of the proceeds will go to Just Food. 


How did she choose the books to go? In her own words: 

As a food writer and editor, I’m lucky to get a lot of books sent by publishers, and there were a number of books that I had duplicates of—so I’m giving away duplicates. I also applied the Marie Kondo principle of “Does this give me joy?” to each book and if the answer was no, then I put it in the giveaway pile. In some cases, I simply hadn’t opened a book for more than a decade and with these books I bid a sad but respectful adieu. I tried to focus on keeping books that I (and my kids) would use in the kitchen—some are classics (Hazan, Child, Wolfert); others are more esoteric but authoritative (David Thompson on Thai cooking); I love my household manuals so I kept some of the real oldies; I held on to encyclopedic books like the Oxford Companion to Food, How to Cook Everything, and LaVarenne Pratique; and warily (because other than Bouchon, I rarely use them), I kept a few chef cookbooks—because they are like artifacts that I feel compelled to preserve. I still have food politics books that glare at me for not having read them (sorry, Marie, New Yorkers like to live with a little guilt!), and lots of food memoir and quirky gems like Saucepans & the Single Girl. But I had to let go of so many. They were weighing down my psyche and leaving no room for our kids’ burgeoning collections of Roald Dahl and The Famous Five. Or for any great new cookbooks—and there have been so many great new books these past few years!

Books like Cookwise by Shirley Corriher, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis, and The Great Book of French Cuisine by Henri-Paul Pellaprat will be waiting for you this Sunday—we hope to see you there! 

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7 Comments

Lillian R. October 18, 2015
So nice meeting you today Amanda! That cookie was worth the trip, Is it a food52 recipe? Amazingly good!<br />- Lillian and baby Colette
 
Amanda S. October 19, 2015
Yes! Here's the recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/38739-salted-double-chocolate-olive-oil-cookies
 
Emily L. October 18, 2015
Thanks Amanda!
 
Lori L. October 17, 2015
I started weeding out cookbooks a couple of years ago. It was liberating. I took mine to the library where they sell well and the library uses the monies raised. A win all the ways around.
 
Amanda H. October 17, 2015
That's great, Lori!
 
Emily L. October 17, 2015
Amanda, I'm in LA, sadly, so won't be stopping by. But I stop by regularly on your site, and wanted to thank you for the quality, thoughtfully curated content. ALSO ... can you tell me where you got those fab bookshelves?
 
Amanda H. October 17, 2015
Hi Emily, thanks so much for your note! These bookshelves are made of reclaimed wood that we bought at a lumberyard in Queens. The brackets are from Container Store! We actually had these shelves in a different configuration in our last office and our designer, Brad Sherman, found a way to use them again in this office -- we liked the idea of carrying this design thread with us.