Library?: Cookbooks and Art Books

Libraries are great resources. You can find information on practically everything in the books housed in a library. If not at your local library, then through interlibrary loan. And, of course, many university libraries are just awesome. The question, I guess, is can you really use material from the library for instructional purposes? I’m not talking about research. I’m talking about long term instruction. Like going through an entire cookbook’s worth of recipes. Or learning how to draw and paint. Only using books from the library.


The big issue with trying to learn new recipes from cookbooks checked out from the local library is obviously the size. It is unfeasible, even with the shortest of cookbooks, to be able to produce every recipe. And for the very long ones like The Joy of CookingHow to Cook EverythingThe Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, etc., there is no chance in hell, to be honest. Now, I guess a reader/ cook can run through the book, find a few recipes that they really like, and try the recipes out. That could work. And the recipes that come out great can be copied in some form and saved into a personal cookbook. Sounds doable.

What about collecting the ingredients (and needed implements)? This could be an issue depending on what kind of recipes are on the agenda and the kinds of ingredients/ implements required. For example, I really want some onigiri. But where the hell do I get some umeboshi? And the other ingredients that aren’t available from my local HEB? Heck, I still don’t know where to get any brown rice syrup (or any healthier cane sugar substitutes). 

Art Books

The issue here (and probably for cookbooks, too) is one of quality. Is this book any good at giving instruction and advice? What about that one? I guess a reader/ student can shift through the morass and experiment. And take advice from other books. 

I was reading a book on comic book art. One of the artists interviewed mentioned drawing every drawing in George Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life. I’ve since read the book, and I it is a damn good one. And good advice, too. 

Reading a book is one thing, but actually doing is another. That requires materials. I’m lucky in that there are at least two local craft stores near me. Unfortunately, both of them are rather known for supporting right wing politics. And I really don’t want to give them my money to further causes that I oppose. Maybe getting my supplies online would be a better option? And I always did regret not going into Pearl while I lived in San Francisco.

Hey, Maybe it is Possible?

When I started out planning this post, I had expected myself to argue that it is difficult to use library books for instruction. But, as I outlined and later wrote, I discovered that I am wrong. It is possible. Now, a few renewals may be demanded. But with enough time and attention, it can be done. 


Next Up: Sasuke Uchiha


Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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