Until Irma Rombauer published Joy of Cooking, most American cookbooks were little more than a series of paragraphs that incorporated ingredient amounts (if they were provided at all) with some vague advice about how to put them all together to achieve the desired results. Rombauer changed all that by beginning her recipes with ingredient lists and offering precise directions along with her own personal and friendly anecdotes. Her first instructions to the cook were “stand facing the stove.” A modest success initially, the book went on to sell nearly 18 million copies in its various editions. It has been revised and updated a number of times, including as a seventy-fifth anniversary edition published in 2006. A facsimile of the original 1931 edition was also issued at that time.