Get a Vintage Cookbook: VNSA Used Book Sale Starts this Weekend

The cookbooks section at the 2019 VNSA Used Book Sale.
The cookbooks section at the 2019 VNSA Used Book Sale. Lauren Cusimano
For some, the VNSA (Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association) Used Book Sale is just like Christmas, while it can be news to others. We’re talking to both camps. The 63rd VNSA Book Sale is a two-day bazaar of over 500,000 gently used books — plus CDs, DVDs, videos, books on tape, puzzles, and maps — starting at 8 a.m. this Saturday, February 9, at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

In 2018, books were stocked across 27 categories and hundreds of sub-categories. That includes cookbooks. Some rare ones, possibly.

click to enlarge So many of the classics. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
So many of the classics.
Lauren Cusimano
“We have every celebrity chef cookbook you can name,” says publicity chair Jennifer Doan, plus “ethnic foods, diets, and wonderful old treasures like the red-and-white-checkered Good Housekeeping to Julia Childs along with rare finds.”

For the recipe-seeker and rare cookbook collector, this sale is dynamite. There is a whole section of cookbooks occupying the corner of one room. There are several tables, dozens of boxes, and a seemingly endless amount of cookbooks and books about food.

Sections range from international to vegetarian, beverages, special diets, baking and cake decorating, and vintage. There are also many celebrity cookbooks, and there's a whole section dedicated to the slow cooker. Spot everything from the old Betty Crocker's Cookbook to A Treasury of White House Cooking, The New York Times Cook Book, The Outdoor Cook's Bible, and everything Martha Stewart has ever put out.

click to enlarge Cookbooks a plenty at the 2019 VNSA Used Book Sale. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Cookbooks a plenty at the 2019 VNSA Used Book Sale.
Lauren Cusimano
But be prepared — last year saw more than 15,000 shoppers. That’s because books are sold at a significantly reduced price, and are even half price on Sunday except for books in their Rare and Unusual section. We’re talking as low as $2 a paperback. Bring a couple of reusable bags and wear comfortable shoes and clothes (that you don't care about getting a little dusty).

The 2019 VNSA Used Book Sale is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 10. Entry to the sale at the Arizona State Fairgrounds Ag Center Building is free, but the fairgrounds do charge a parking fee of $8, cash only. Cash, check, or card is all cool for the books.

For more information, see the VNSA Used Book Sale website or call 602-265-6805.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano