Seattle's best book-shopping event is happening this weekend, and I'm already clearing space on my shelves to make room for it:

The Friends of the

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The Hunt for $1 Cookbooks

Seattle's best book-shopping event is happening this weekend, and I'm already clearing space on my shelves to make room for it:

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library is holding its biannual book sale this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Building #30 at Magnuson Park. Open to members on Friday night and to the general public on Saturday and Sunday, the place is a zoo, with 30-minute checkout lines stretching around the perimeter of the building. Readers turn out to be a brutal bunch of shoppers; if you want to delve into the literary fiction scrimmage, wear long sleeves and padded jackets.

Judging by last year's sale, there should be about two long rows of cookbooks. As anyone who's spent some time looking over the cookbook stacks at thrift stores will tell you, 60 percent of the selection will be microwave, vegetarian, and low-carb/low-fat cookbooks, as well as a staggering number of Galloping Gourmet collections. In another 10 years I look forward to being overwhelmed with Paula Deen and Rachel Ray books, but that day has not yet come.

If you're not a Food Network cookbook junkie, there are hundreds of amazing finds amid the dreck. Last year I picked up some James Beard, a Moosewood cookbook I'd lost years ago, a 1915 "Scientific Cooking" book, and a pamphlet on Creole cooking published by Trappey's (makers of fine canned yams and pickled okra). The sale is also a great place to fill out your collection of Time-Life Foods of the World books, which hold a place in food-geek circles akin to Atari 2600s in the gamer world.

I'll be there as early as I can stand, with a packet of cash and elbow pads. Watch out.

 
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