Books! Glooooorious books! I can't/won't/will never/absolutely ever/never will have enough books in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I remember the feeling of losing myself in the pages of books.  I vividly remember traveling to the worlds of Narnia and Oz and getting lost inside a magical tollbooth. I remember road trip escapades with the Sweet Valley Twins (don't hate), reading anything I could get my hands on (shampoo bottles come to mind) and copying pages of the encyclopedia for fun. Did anyone else do that or am I just weird?

Books make me feel secure. I find solace in their pages and comfort in their presence. When I travel, I pack mad books, more than I could possibly read, because it simply feels good to have them around.  Sometimes when I think about all the good books I will never read, I get weepy.  Am I qualifying for an hour with Sally Jesse Raphael yet? Or, this show?  

I fancy entire wings of my imaginary (and sprawling) estate filled from floor to ceiling with books. I want a two-story ladder on wheels that takes me from one end to the next of my giant, make-believe library. At home, my nightstand is piled with anywhere from 4-8 books at any given time. There are magazines too. Too many magazines. Something to read on nearly every surface. Okay, maybe a little mad scientist clutter. 

And now, since discovering my passion for home cooking and food writing, I have gone cuckoo for collecting cookbooks- for inspiration, for learning and for aesthetics. This Christmas I was gifted with an amazing collection of great food books including Ratio by Michael Ruhlman which I have heard is as indispensable as The Flavor Bible. The Mister bought me L.A. Son, the contemporary memoir by Roy Choi, who delivered this amazing speech at MAD Symposium this year. I was thrilled to open The Art of Simple Food II by the inimitable Alice Waters. I am looking forward to using this book as inspiration for our home garden after an epic fail last year. I cannot wait to crack open Andy Ricker's discourse on Thai food in his book, Pok Pok and to explore all the wonderful flavors of Thailand in my own kitchen. Then, for the rest of my life, I plan on working my way through the Bouchon Bakery and Bouchon cookbooks by Thomas Keller thanks to my mom. Check back on me in 25 years and I'll let you know how I'm doing with those. 

I'm over the moon for my new additions and cannot wait to study each and every one.  As always, I hope to share a bit of what I learn here on the blog. Here's to reading more books and finding culinary inspiration in 2014!