A Vintage Cookbookery Mystery: What do Pachyderms and Cookbooks have in Common ?


Music – “Hatari!: Baby Elephant Walk (arr. R. Hayman): Baby Elephant Walk” from The Music Of Henry Mancini by Richard Hayman Symphony Orchestra. Released: 1991

What weighs approximately 8,900 pounds or 4.46 tons ?

The average weight of an adult elephant (Pachyderm) ?

The “Little Boy” atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima ?

Lunar Excursion Module Simulator (LEMS), built in 1965 ?

Thermal Protection System of the Orbiter Space Shuttle ?

The approximate annual weight gain for a Tyrannosaurus rex?

2.69 Beluga Whales ?

6.36 Bluenose Dolphins ?

Amount of marijuana seized in one haul in 2007 by Texas authorities ?

4,528 cookbooks ?

Answer: all of the above

As long as I can remember, I have wanted a house with a HUGE kitchen with plenty of cabinets and counter space. A center island would also be appreciated, as would bright lighting and a certain “ambience”. I am now avidly seeking that kitchen and a larger home to accommodate my 4,528 cookbooks (in addition to approximately 1,500 additional books between my husband and I). I lust after what I have heard called a “trophy kitchen”. You know, the enormous kitchen with a huge pantry, Viking, Subzero and Wolf appliances and all of the latest technology, but that most people don’t really use except to “show off” (they eat out a lot so as not to mess up the kitchen). I would actually use it!

However, the primary reason for house-hunting is because of the ever expanding cookbook collection, which now resides in a spare bedroom, part of the family room, the bedroom, the hall, etc. When I complained to my spouse that there was no more room for cookbooks, he said that there was an easy solution to that. I icily told him that was not an option and that I was, by my own admission, addicted and unable to stop adding to the collection.

"To buy more cookbooks or not buy...humm" (Photo Credit:  www.diannej.com)

“To buy more cookbooks or not buy…humm” (Photo Credit: http://www.diannej.com)



Thus, I have spent the past few months glued to the internet, searching for that elusive house, which must be on one level, bigger than a breadbasket and younger than Methuselah. It’s a tough search.

This past weekend, I did an experiment to estimate how much my cookbook collection weighs. After a random sampling of several shelves, I estimated that the “average” cookbook in my collection weighs approximately 1.97 pounds. With 4,528 cookbooks, then, the collection weighs in at just about the weight of an average size African elephant, 8,900 pounds or 4.46 tons !

1 African Elephant = 8,900 pounds OR 4,528 cookbooks )(Photo Credit:  www.hdnewwallpapers.com)

1 African Elephant = 8,900 pounds OR 4,528 cookbooks )(Photo Credit: http://www.hdnewwallpapers.com)

Now you know why the house has to be on one level. Storing 4.46 tons of books on the second floor would mean your second floor would quickly emit the wrenching moans of breaking beams and would rapidly commingle with the contents of your first floor!

What can happen when you put 4,528 cookbooks on the second floor of your house (Photo Credit:  www.the-two-malcontents.com)

What can happen when you put 4,528 cookbooks on the second floor of your house (Photo Credit: http://www.the-two-malcontents.com)

So, the search for the big kitchen and even bigger rooms goes on. I only intend to move the collection once, so finding that perfect location is top of the list. Movers recommend that when moving books, no more than 25 pounds per box is the maximum, or they become unwieldy. Based on that recommendation, I figure I’ll need about 360 boxes just for the cookbooks. Then, there’s the rest of the house contents to consider. On second thought…….maybe we’ll just stay put for now!

About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,500. What next? More shelves?
This entry was posted in Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Cooking Technology, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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