Vintage Cookbooks Can Be Worth Dough

Vintage Cookbooks Can Be Worth Dough

Most of us who loves to cook also tend to collect cookbooks along the way. The best cookbooks are not only filled with wonderful recipes, but helpful tips and tricks that make our lives easier in the kitchen. Anyone with a Julia Child cookbook, Mastering the art of French cooking, on their shelf knows the pages are filled with timeless culinary tips. Those lucky enough to own a copy of her first cookbook may also be able to roll in a lot of dough — and we aren’t talking about her bread recipes.

And if you, by chance, have an autographed first edition sitting in your kitchen shelf, it could earn you a big payday, too. According to Woman’s World, a rare copy could fetch up to $5,000, while selling it as a set alongside its 1970 sequel could double the price to $9,500. You can perhaps even get more if it’s in mint condition, meaning it was purchased and forgotten rather than used regularly. As consolation for those who have an unsigned first edition, you can still profit by selling the copy for as much as $250.

Don’t have any of Child’s cookbooks? You can also make money by selling other rare titles, such as a 1907 edition of Auguste Escoffier’s “A Guide to Modern Cookery” (as much as $2,500), or a signed copy of Salvador Dali’s “Les Diners de Gala” ($4,400).

While you’re at it, scan your shelves for another classic cookbook that could be worth even more money: first editions of Joy of Cooking go for up to $15,000! Or you can buy the current Joy of Cooking on Amazon $17.49. Or if you just want a budget-friendly copy of Child’s quintessential book, you can grab a reprint online (Buy on Amazon, $22.90).

Of course, the value of your book will also depend on its quality. If you have a copy that seems to be in pretty good shape, it might be a good idea to check with a local book appraiser in your area.

Will your family cookbook be worth this much down the road? It will be to your family as your legacy will live on through your recipes.


Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!