What's the Best General, Comprehensive Cookbook to Buy?

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Q: I have been wanting an "everything" type of cookbook, but I have limited space. Is Joy of Cooking or Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything more essential? Or is The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser a better choice? Should I buy all of them?

I'm a bit confused on what should be my first choice and would appreciate any advice from you and your readers!

Sent by Chelsey

Editor: Chelsey, I think it depends on what kind of food you normally cook. I cook mostly vegetarian dinners with lots of whole grains, beans and vegetables from the farmers market, so my go-to general cookbook is Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. I almost never open my copy of Joy of Cooking.

I suggest trying to find all three books at your local library and cooking from them a bit before you commit to one.

Readers, what is your favorite general cookbook?

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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)