Buy some good books, do a great deed

Most of us, when we get touched by something we’ve read, reflect on it briefly and then move on, swept along by the tidal pull of our daily lives. Not Luisa Weiss; not this time.

Weiss, proprietor of the popular Wednesday Chef blog and author of the new cookbook “My Berlin Kitchen,” was so moved by a recent newspaper series about a homeless family living in New York City that she decided to do something about it.

She is auctioning off a sizable chunk of her cookbook collection, with the proceeds going to the Invisible Child Fund set up by the Legal Aid Society of New York for the benefit of homeless children.

And rather than going through EBay or another online auction house, she’s running it herself. To bid, you simply leave a comment on her blog along with your name.

Among the books offered are some real finds — a copy of dessert chef Claudia Fleming’s cult book “The Last Course” is at $225 (still less than it’s pulling on the used-book market). That’s also the current price for what is billed as a “good, clean, unused condition” copy of the Time-Life Foods of the World book on Provincial France, written by M.F.K. Fisher.

A signed copy of Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” is $100. Deb Perelman, the popular blogger and author of “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” says she will match the sales price of her book, which is now standing at $100.

Not everything is so pricey — or collectible. There are some books going for as little as $15 to $20.

“I haven't been able to stop thinking about the family — and the thousands like it” since reading the series, Weiss writes. “When I take a shower alone and unmolested, when I watch [her son] Hugo eating his dinner that I have no trouble putting on the table, when I lie back in my clean, quiet bed at night to read, I think about all these silly little things that make up my everyday life and how completely out of reach they are for a girl, and a family, that has simply had the bad luck to be born into different circumstances than I have.”

Get your bids in fast. The auction ends Friday.


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