Years ago, in my Other Life, I cooked a lot. So I had a lot of cookbooks. Like my mother, I used to read cookbooks for the story, so it was fun to get a new one and meet a new cook. As the shelves sagged and overflowed and the cookbooks kept coming, I finally realized that if, on that day of dawning, I began to cook at least one item a day from the books already in my possession, I would not get through them all before I died. (Years later, Julie Powell decided to take a year and cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and look what happened to her. That's not a good example because she did very well.) Anyway, I sort of stopped buying cookbooks, and as I kept moving, and trying to trim down, I gave a lot away to my kids who had come of cooking age. I say sort of, because then I began to collect Weight Watchers' cookbooks and they kept changing the points system so I had to keep up with them. And then I caught on to this thousand-dollar cookbook online - dear Epicurious, worth its weight in spatulas. Well, and I also wrote three cookbooks, and did my own testing, but that's not what I want to say right now. I've been thinking, if I managed to slow - not stop, but slow - the flood of cookbooks coming into my kitchen, why can't I take note and stop buying so many other books? I buy more than I read. Lovely, lovely books are filling new shelves ( I need more new shelves now) waiting for me to get to them, and I do, but not fast enough. I read I guess three or four books a week (and then there's the re-reading) on average, more if I am researching something or pursuing a line of thought, but I take in more books than that. And I have realized, as i did on that day when I declared an almost-moratorium on cookbooks, that I should STOP BUYING BOOKS RIGHT NOW because I have more than I am going to manage to read in my remaining lifetime. But the publishing industry (and writers) are suffering enough as it is because fewer people are reading, and those who are, are reading other things, like e-books and graphic novels and Twitters and blogs and even cookbooks which you might think would go on forever but no. People do not read cookbooks for the story now or even for the recipes; they read them to see what celebrities are doing in (and out of) the kitchen. You know what? I'm going to go and cook something. And read.