by Anneli Rufus
You can now buy hundreds of cookbooks online, yet still buy locally, thanks to a revolutionary new cataloging project conducted by the folks who run Moe's Books.
Yesterday, Moe’s announced the completion of this undertaking, which enables readers to purchase online nearly 500 in-store titles related to cooking and food. Moe's is the only Northern California bookstore with such capabilities; it's another notch on the belt for the venerable 52-year-old Telegraph Avenue emporium.
“I believe that with our newly enhanced online ordering option, we've brought some of the excitement of our in-store cookbook shopping experience to the Web," said Moe’s owner Doris Moskowitz, daughter of original owner Moe Moskowitz. "We’ve struck a balance between the convenience of the computer and the thrill of making discoveries by physically perusing our shelves, something that our customers, which include many local chefs and restaurant lovers, have told us is an important part of the allure of Moe's.
"Because our stock changes daily, they compare a visit to the store with the pleasure of seasonal farmers'- market shopping."
Moe’s website now also features litblogs written by store insiders including award-winning Roxie Theater film programmer Elliot Lavine, crime novelist/poet Owen Hill, and recognized Asian art book expert and appraiser Ken Eastman.
Along with a vast range of new, new-ish, eclectic, and classic food books (such as Jean Galopin's Tahitian Island Cooking and Cecilia Novero's Antidiets of the Avant-garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art), currently in stock at Moe's are such rarities as E. H. Rixford's The Wine Press and The Cellar (in an 1883 first edition recounting the 1860s origins of the De Martini Winery) and 36 issues of La Salle a Manger — Revue de la table et de l'office dating from June 1890 to May 1893: It's one of only two sets known to exist.