The Joy of Cooking Cookbook Review - Collectibility

The Joy of Cooking cookbook 1946 edition - wow...has the price dropped on this book. Cookbook values like everything else it seems, have really dropped in the past year...but not their popularity. The Joy of Cooking is a good example of a classic vintage collectible that peaks in good times and falls hard during the bad times. This book used to fetch double what it does today. Still, it's value is somewhat higher than many similar classics, remaining over the $25 range dependent upon the condition, availability at a given point in time and the edition.


This 1946 book actually sells for a bit less or on par with some of the later editions. That's unusual as generally, the earlier editions of these type of vintage classic cookbooks tend to be more sought after and valuable. The book shown is my third one this month (though the editions/years have been different). I hadn't seen any in quite some time. Guess this is my month for vintage finds... I found two Julia Child Mastering The Art of French Cooking copies on the same day. What luck! A few already sold at my store. Anyway... here's the low down on the book's collectibility rating.

Cookbook Title: The Joy of Cooking
Author: Irma S Rombauer
Publisher: The Bobbs-Merrill Company
Copyright: 1946 Format: Hardcover - 884 pages
Specialization Categories: Vintage Cookbooks
Average Price: $25
Noted Recipes: What recipes aren't in this book? It's loaded with just about every dish imaginable. Some of the more interesting recipes include: Fried Potato Balls, Chinese Firepot, Baked Stuffed Lobster, Hungarian Dobos/Drum Torte and Sachertorte (my all-time favorite dessert)


Availability: 4.0
Popularity: 9.0
Investment Outlook: 6.0
Final Collectibility Factor: 6.33 (out of 10.0)

The Joy of Cooking Cookbook - Availability Rating - 4.0

There is an abundant supply of this book online but I've given the availability a 4.0 because it's still not an easy find offline and not something you see in every used bookstore. Like I mentioned above, I haven't come across this book until a recent shopping trip. After the holidays, less copies will be available online so pick one up beforehand if you want to get a quality condition copy.

The Joy of Cooking Cookbook - Popularity Rating - 9.0

This book is number four on my list of Top 10 Most Collectible Cookbooks. It's positively one of the most popular classics of all time... sitting on the shelves of collectors and cooks alike. It's popularity remains steady. This is one of the highest popularity ratings I've given to any of the books I've reviewed.

The Joy of Cooking Cookbook - Investment Outlook - 6.0

The projected increase in the value of this vintage cookbook is higher than the $25 average price of today. As the earlier editions become older and older, the value will eventually increase. As noted above, the book at one time fetched about $50 and I still see quality copies selling for that price or above it today. The value I mentioned in my intro is based on average selling price for the book if it was to be sold today.

The Joy of Cooking Cookbook - Final Collectibility Factor Rating - 6.33

Overall, this is a good rating and a recommended purchase for your collection. There's a reason it's one of the most popular cookbooks of all time. It's chock-full of wonderful recipes and how-tos and is geared towards cooks with all levels of experience. With prices at a record low, it would be smart to purchase one now as it will not likely decline further and instead could again double up in value.