Announcing the Evanston Public Library Community Cookbook!

May 26, 2020

When you live through a significant moment in world history, you may feel an overwhelming need to document it in some fashion. But how? Do you write your descendants letters about it (“Dear Great-Grandchild, We had very little toilet paper…”)? Do you write in a diary every single day that you’re sequestered inside (“Today my ZOOM meeting was very very glitchy”)? Do you create art or music, write books or compose great symphonies?

For a lot of us, we bake.

Baking provides food, but it’s much more than that. The sheer act of baking and cooking can be a soothing activity for many. Not everyone, of course. But even if your average time in the kitchen consists of blood, sweat, and tears, by the end of it you may still have something edible on your plate.

When the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 struck, many people found themselves suddenly stuck inside their homes with no idea how long they would have to socially distance themselves from their friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers. The sheer uncertainty of the virus (How easy is it to get? Will there ever be a cure? How long is this going to last?) can be terrible. And in such times as these, Evanston Public Library strives to provide a modicum of comfort.

This cookbook does double duty as both a document of life in a world beset by COVID-19 and as something we can turn to in times of trial. We may not be able to break bread with our community, but we can at least share the recipes that give us hope and happiness. Submitted by Evanstonians everywhere in the Spring of 2020, Evanston Public Library presents to you The Cozy Evanston Cookbook for Uncertain Times.

Read the book here and be sure you click on “CONTENTS” and then the plus sign next to “Main Body”. You can also download a pdf copy.

Use it in good health.

In Demand Books Lifted From Libraries and Bookstores

August 5, 2011

In the wake of the major theft of historical documents this summer from the Maryland Historical Society, this PW blog turned up a short list of most stolen books from bookstores.  According to various sources, the 5 most stolen books are: anything by Charles Bukowski and William BurroughsOn the Road by Kerouac,  The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, and anything by Martin Amis. (Links are to EPL)

Similarly, I saw this article from a Pittsburgh paper about cookbooks leaving the shelves at libraries. Apparently, sometimes people watch cooking shows and are inspired to improve their cooking skills, but not to check out the books! Libraries use different methods to cope  with the issue, such as posting notices that books may be returned in the book drop without questions being asked. Let’s hope both trends are not very widespread.

Shira S.

PS- I don’t have to tell you what a terrific cookbook selection we have, with over 1500 items!

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