Books for CooksOctober 1, 2009
In my next life I want to be Celia Sack, the owner of Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I have always loved all types of books- Scholastic books in grade school, biographies, fiction, and nonfiction, table top, used- anything with words on a page. And cookbooks are even better. I love the idea of being surrounded by books about food all day. It’s like putting a kid in a candy store. I think subconsciously I wrote my first cookbook not only to share recipes but to have my name listed in the Library of Congress among all the famous authors.
Celia’s shop is devoted solely to books on cooking, food, and everything related to these subjects. It is an oasis. I walk in the door and I want to stay for hours and sometimes do. Omnivore Books has all the cookbook authors you expect to see plus books about food, agriculture, wine, foreign publishers with book in both English and other languages, and vintage books. I love the old, small, mostly, English baking books that have intricate sketches of pastry equipment. There are also obscure books that you have never heard of but once you know they exist you have to have them. Like the cookbook I found yesterday called Royal Recipes. It focuses on dishes made for the Kings of England throughout history. She also has wine and old food labels. But don’t go looking for any pastry ones this week- I just bought them all. You will have to wait until she restocks. (Sorry- but really I’ m not.)
Besides its wide inventory what makes Omnivore Books so special is Celia. When you walk in the door you are immediately caught up in her enthusiasm and passion for her books. I call them her books because she intimately knows about each one. You mention a book and she says- “Oh, it is right over here.” Followed by, “Have you seen this one, this is a wonderful book.”
With the stash of books I got yesterday I am having a reading marathon this weekend. The stack of books by my bed makes navigating in and out of the covers cumbersome. Time to clear them out so I can get ready for the next pile that I know I will pick up the next time I stop by Omnivore Books.