By Rachel Belle
I love cookbooks. I love to read them in bed. I love to sink into the covers and look at the glossy, colorful photos and dream about my next meal. Truthfully, I have never even cooked from some of my cookbooks, but I love them just the same.
If you can relate to any of this, then you will be excited to hear that an all cookbook book store has opened today in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
Lara Hamilton is the owner of the Book Larder, the only all cookbook store between San Francisco and Vancouver. Turns out, it’s more than just a bookstore: there’s also a full kitchen.
“The kitchen will be used for demonstrations and classes,” Hamilton says. “So when an author comes to town they might want to show off some of their techniques or some of their recipes.”
Along with new cookbooks, written by both local and international authors, there is a collection of rare books which excites shopper and avid baker Kate McDermott.
“This is the Betty Crocker Pie and Pastry cookbook, which I don’t have, and I’m just filled to have it join the other pie books on the shelf.” I asked her what year it was from. “1968, and I think that was the year I bought my very first cookbook.” Does she remember what cookbook she bought? “Yes, I do. It was the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.” Does she still have it? “Yes, I do!”
With the rise of e-books and Borders going out of business and Barnes and Nobles shutting down its University Village store, people must be wondering why someone would be crazy enough to open a bookstore now.
“It’s funny, people who aren’t necessarily cookbook people ask that question. But people who like cookbooks are like ‘This is the greatest idea ever.'” Hamilton says. “I think we’re definitely very different than a Barnes & Nobles because those are big stores that are trying meet the needs of many different interests. We’re very specialized. You know, we’re more than just a cookbook store, we’re also a place to gather.”
Cookbook enthusiast Kate will be amongst the gatherers.
“I think that we’ll, as a community, support this store. In general, with bookstores, if you want it you better go support it. Just go by a book.”
Expect a glowing light in the Book Larder window on chilly Fall and Winter evenings as authors come by to meet readers and whip up dishes from their books.
“Lots of local authors in the early going, and then we’ll have Melissa Clark from the New York Times. We’ll have Christina Tosi from the Momofuku Milk Bar coming in.”
My little foodie heart was beating fast as I walked through the light filled bookstore and even Olivia, a browser who doesn’t have time to cook, was hearing the siren song of the cookbooks.”
“I think it’s really dangerous when you’re hungry. Everything looks really delicious. I want to cook now. Right now.”
Click here for a list of cookbook authors set to pop into The Book Larder.