Cookbook strategy

I used to buy cookbooks willy-nilly.  I'd see them at a clearance table and pick them up cause they were on sale. I never used to think much about whether or not I'd use them, I just kind of assumed that I would.  When I moved to Toronto I had to cut down the amount I was moving because I was paying by pound and ummm books weigh a lot.  So I ended up abandoning some.  I found that the ones I kept, and the ones I use the most, are the ones that I paid full price for and therefore had considered carefully before purchasing them.

Lesson learned.  Mostly.

When I comes to books I'm often an impulse buyer. So if I were to quickly leaf through a book at the bookstore changes are if I saw one recipe that I'd use I'd buy it.  So I've worked out a strategy and I'm sticking to it pretty well.

If I'm interested in a book I add it to my library request list. Then I get to keep the book for three weeks which gives me ample time to browse through it and seriously decide if this book is for me.  I did that with Small Batch Baking. I liked it. I made a recipe from it. I forgot to write the recipe down and now I'm kicking myself in the butt cause I want to make it often. The book itself is on my list of books I need to buy someday.  Small Batch Baking is good for me because I rarely crave sweets and I don't want to make a full sized cake cause I won't eat it all and there's no one else here to eat it so it would go in the trash.  So wasteful.

This is what I have out right now. I had taken another one of Hay's book out of the library when I lived in Montreal.  There are many things that I like about her books.  The meals themselves tend to be simple in terms of preparation. There are photos of *all* the dishes. A lot of ingredients are staples of my kitchen and ones that aren't, such a fish sauce, are used for several recipes in the book (there's nothing more annoying than having to buy an "uncommon" ingredient for one recipe). And in each chapter there are a number of recipes that offer variations.

The one thing that I don't love about her books is that they are large and hard to place on my bookshelf. That's probably why I haven't bought them yet.  But am I finding that I'm jotting down a fair number of recipes from her books when I have them so I think I'll be adding them to my wish list.

Do you have a strategy for cookbooks? How do you decide what ones to buy?