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Lately, I’ve been getting my cookbooks from the library. Now, you know I’m more than slightly obessessed with the powers that be within the library system, no matter where I live (although the NY Public Library System was my absolute fav, shhhh don’t make Miami jealous).

Some of the obvious pros to checking out a library cookbook include not having to pay for it right away and taking it for a test run before deciding if you want to make it a permanent addition to your kitchen’s repertoire.

An added benefit, people leave their notes! You get free words to the wise from folks who have tried the recipe already and want to share their two cents… Free of charge!

Oh, and if you’re thinking “Nadia, you’re crazy to think that I can make it through a cookbook in 28 days” (or whatever the library mandates that you have a booked checked out before turning it back in), then remember these words: online renewal.  I live by those words.

They serve me often and well. At least in Miami, you’ll find that people tend to ignore the wealth of cooking knowledge available for them to check out and cookbooks won’t be in high demand. What does this mean for you? You’ll probably be able to renew that cookbook four or five times before having to take it back in. And that means having the book for oh, about 100 days, or should I say about four months?! If that’s not enough time for you to decide if you need to just go ahead and buy the book because you can’t live without it, then you are just a lost cookbook soul. (and I’m definitely starting to sound like a salesman)

If you’re too impatient to check out your cookbook interest from the library, then go to Food Blog Search. This is always my go-to search engine for recipes since it looks into thousands of great food blogs for recipes. This way, you don’t always get the usual All Recipes and Epicurious search results (though those can be useful too).

Really, who needs recipe cards anymore?