Good Idea: Check Out Cookbooks from the Public Library

While reading Ten Things I love: Jennifer's Sturdy Tools over the weekend, we noticed the caption for the photo of her cookbook stand. Jennifer wrote, "Currently it's holding my latest cookbook checked out from the library, being tested to see if I want to buy it. I do!" Try before you buy- so smart.

Cookbooks are expensive. When we're trying to curb our spending habits, a $40 tome from Barnes & Noble doesn't usually make the cut. And Jennifer is right: You need to cook some recipes before you decide whether or not a book is a keeper.

You can use library book as testers, ultimately buying the books you like, or just use them as inspiration for a few new recipes here and there.

We haven't been into our local branch in a couple of years, so we're not sure how updated the collection is. But we did get on the New York Public Library website and found a bunch of cookbooks available for download. Not the same experience, in our opinion, as having a book with us in the kitchen, but it bodes well.

Does anyone else check out cookbooks from the library? What advice do you have?

Related: Thoughtful Cook: Culinary Titles at Chicago's Newberry Library

(Image: Flickr member Here's Kate, licensed under Creative Commons)