Thursday, April 28, 2011

Go To Daedalus To Check Out Cookbooks

If you have a little patience and a taste for cookbooks, make a short trip to Daedalus Books in Columbia.

Last weekend, I wandered the stacks for more than an hour with my brother-in-law, a book lover who is always an inspiration to stop at the bookstore that I drive past every week.

Daedalus sells remainders and other odd-lot books and music.  That means you can't guarantee what you'll find, but you might always discover something interesting.  Daedalus isn't selling dollar books.  It fills a spot where the books are cheaper than retail, but still good enough to worth your time and your money.

Last weekend, they had a pile of the Food Matters Cookbook that I recommend. Priced about the same as Amazon, but you can cook from it tonight if you stop at Daedalus today.  Plus, you can check out hundreds of other books, including some that I recognized like One Big Table by Molly O'Neill and Local Breads by Daniel Leader.

(My fear with remainder bookstores is that the books ended up here because other people knew not to buy them.  But many of the Daedalus cookbokos looked high quality.  Local Breads fascinated me, although the starters and precision are just a step too much for me right now.)

I'm tough on cookbooks.  I have come to avoid anything associated with a restaurant chef or a television host.  Far too many pages larded with celebrity friend stories and recipes that call for ingredients like the best Nantucket Bay scallops.  My bias is towards big, encyclopedic books that I can flip through to find a recipe that matches the food in my fridge.

But whatever you want, Daedalus should have something interesting.

Daedalus Books
9645 Gerwig Lane
Columbia, MD 21046

NEAR:  This is off Snowden River Parkway just north of Rte 32.  You can see the warehouse from Rte 32.  To get here, it is easiest to go south on Berger Road from Snowden, then turn right on Gerwig Lane.


HowICook said...

It's about time Daedalus cookbooks got a prime HowChow call out. I've been going for years at least once or twice a month. I've even left a couple of comments on HowChow over the years.

From what I can tell they sell different tiers of books. The new hot sellers are sold at the typical bestselling discount of 30% - 40%. Another tier is the one offs, these are books that they obtain from a publisher where they only get 1 copy. You have to scour the bookshelves to find them. They tend to be more coffee table like. The remaining 90% are sold at deep discount usually under $10 with many under $6.

I really don't think there's a correlation between deep discount and how good the cookbook is. I do know that the good ones sell out faster. So you need to go often to score a real steal. On the other hand, I've seen good ones linger for years.

Holly said...

Daedalus is truly a local treasure. My food library is fortified with many great finds from Daedalus, including such otherwise hard-to-justify-the-expense hefty hardbacks as Michel Richard's "Happy in the Kitchen," among others. I just wish that this location, unlike the one in B-more, had equally delicious neighbors as Atwater's and Ceriello Italian Market. Granted, Bon Fresco isn't too far...

Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

You can follow or subscribe to Daedalus Books' very own blog!