I thought this was just the coolest thing. I don't know why. Maybe because I fetishize books, especially cookbooks, and writing in them implied a more active, passionate relationship than what is usually available to the passive reader?
For thirty years, I have written in all my cookbooks. They are not "lightly used." They are trashed. About ten years ago, I considered desisting -- how would I, or my heirs, ever sell my growing collection if I had defaced all the books?
Well, there are many answers to that question. First of all, most of my cookbooks aren't worth much to anyone but me, and I don't write in my (few) valuable, antique volumes. And I think cookbooks are meant to be used. How would I ever remember what I thought of a dish unless I wrote it down?
I can read my life story in these annotations. From (picked at random) prim middle-school notations when I was trying to be just like my mother:
to effusive, sloppy adulthood:
I'd be interested to hear how other people relate to their cookbooks. Do you keep them pristine on cookbook stands? Do you use them as cutting boards? Is writing in them a sacrilege?