Follow us:

Not About Food 48

A Rant! About the evolution of books. Cookbooks especially!

Caroline1 | Oct 31, 201312:20 AM

Okay, we've had discussions before about our cookbooks, how many we have, whether we cook from them or just read them... All kinds of interesting stuff like that, BUT.....! Is anyone else ticked off at the way "books" are going in the world today? I'm talking about eBooks. And eMovies. And electronic whatevers.

I have a hundred or so cookbooks in my hard copy collection. A couple of genuine first editions, like Mrs. Beeton's, replete with hand colored plates and tissue overlays bound right into the pages in that fine leather cover. You just can't get that kind of "touch and love" and yes, even a sense of companionship from an eBook. But there's more to it than that. If you buy an eBook from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, you can't loan it to a friend. Well, you can if you want to loan them your eReader too.

In another thread someone mentioned the stories her hard bound cook books tell about her family's joy for certain recipes. She can tell which ones by the cooking splashes on the pages from using the actual cookbook in the kitchen. And that's another thing you cannot get from an eBook. Yes! You can take your Kindle or your Nook or your whatever eReader into the kitchen, and it will prop quite nicely into a recipe book holder, but... if you lift the beater from the merangue too soon and plop a big smear on it, you just wipe off the screen and all record of how much your family loves your Pavlova is gone! No one will ever know.

And then there is the question of whether you REALLY own an eBook? How can you own it if you can't loan it to someone? Yeah... I have a Kindle "paper white." And I have a tablet PC that does all of that kind of thing too. I have, oh, I don't know, maybe 20 or so electronic cook books on my Kindle. But I don't really feel as if any of them are mine. "Owning" any sort of eBook makes me feel as if I'm constantly reading over someone else's shoulder. I can't put the eBook on my bookshelf. I can't loan it to anyone. I can't smudge the pages with chocolate frosting or Burgundy wine... THAT means it is not MY cookbook! I'm just reading over someone's shoulder! So then, how come I paid so much for the damned thing?

The glory of real hard bound books is that you can love them, touch them, and put them on your bookshelves. I have at least several hundreds of books, not all of which are cookbooks, but a real bona fide home library. I learned a long time ago not to loan out any books. If someone I enjoy shows a genuine interest in one of my books, they're welcome to read it... in MY house! Or I might well buy a copy for the friend as a gift, but I will never loan them my copy to read at their home!

I have close to as many books on my Kindle as I have in my home... BUT... The big difference is that people can come into my home, glance over my books, including my cook books, and they will know more about me than they did before that. What kind of clues will someone get about me by looking at my Kindle? And wouldn't all of my three rooms of bookshelves look ridiculous bare naked with a Kindle sitting on one shelf?


Or think of it this way: Your books -- all of your books -- are a record of who you are... and.... AND...


Rant over. Thanks for reading! CBS cares! '-)

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›
Log In or Sign Up to comment

Recommended from Chowhound

Plan your meals around fall premieres with TV Guide