Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cheap Cookbooks

The Topic: Veg Bargain Books

The Dish: I may have mentioned before that I'm a bit of a bibliophile. It's a problem, really, when you live in a small city apartment and the majority of your square footage is taken up by books. That's what all that vertical space is for, right? Regardless, I can't help myself, especially when it comes to vegan cookbooks. It's hard to say no to a reasonably priced (read: cheap) page-turner that could potentially hold my new favorite recipe.

Sure, there's always used bookstores, thrift shops, and even mainstream chains' used collections. But they can be a bit of a grab bag, which I'll admit is half the fun. The other alternative is heading online, where Amazon has made it possible to find almost any veg cookbook at a bargain price, both new and used. New to veg cooking? One of my first cookbooks was How it All Vegan! by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard, and you can grab a copy for only $3.99 used. If you still haven't jumped on the vegan brunch bandwagon (what do you do with your Sunday mornings?), then Isa Chandra Moskowitz's stellar Vegan Brunch can be yours for $4.99.

A great seller on Amazon is HalfPrice VeggieBooks.While all books are not vegan, there's a great selection of veg and health-related books. Narrowing down the crapshoot that is used-book shopping, it still has a wide enough selection to make the search fun. From cookbooks to animal rights to green living, there's something for everyone.

Wanting a title but out of storage space, like me? Check out Swaptree, which allows you to make a trade list (your offerings) and a wish list. Peruse the books other swappers have to offer, and trade up! There's more than 150 veg books listed right now, which of course can change daily. It's free, minus shipping charges, which will run you about $2.20 when sent using the media mail option at the post office.

The Final Word: I rarely feel regret when buying books. They're a worthy investment, especially when they're cookbooks that can lead to more eating in, less dining out— of of my favorite money savers. Oh, and as a bonus, I have to share that KitchenAid appliances are on Rue La La (a discount shopping site with free sign-up) today! Score a sweet stand mixer on sale (a very worthy investment, says Mom) and put those cookbooks to good use. The sale ends in two days, so shop while all of the great colors are still in stock. If anyone wants to send me the fancy yellow mixer, I promise to bake you cookies for at least a year.


  1. Check out your library too. My library has a decent sized collection of vegan cookbooks. It gives me the opportunity to test-drive cookbooks that I wouldn't have given a second glance otherwise. And while copying recipes is the ultimate no-cost option, sometimes, I've gone ahead and picked up a used copy of a cookbook that I first read via the library. - Maria

  2. I agree with Maria. The library is awesome, especially if you're looking for something that's out of print. - Sherrie

  3. Though not as deep a discount as your pics, I do sometimes give in to the need for instant gratification so long as it's coupon day and I'm at Rainbow. 20% off is better than noney percent off!

  4. Thanks for all of these great resources! Do you know if there is a way to subscribe to HalfPrice VeggieBooks so you can follow new books that as they are added?

  5. What a neat idea! I have a book problem, too. While I should visit the library more often, I love owning the book as I reference back to it often.

  6. A great place to buy gently used/ new books at bargain prices is www.alibris.com. I have bought a ton from there. You can create a wishlist as well, so others can know what you want. Also, remember to choose books from the same dealer if you want to get the best shipping price. Usually, shipping is costly when you order in huge lots, but it is a lot cheaper than b&n.