Cookbooks or apps - what will it be?

There seems to be a lot of online debate in the last few days on what the future holds for cookbooks.  The most exciting article for us, because EYB was the focus and it was carried around the globe, was the Associated Press article by Michele Kayal.  One of our most enthusiastic members, Mary-Claire van Leunen does a great job promoting the benefits of using the site.

On the side of print cookbooks is Adam Roberts, whose blog The Amateur Gourmet, has spawned a memoir/cookbook.  As Adam says "Cookbooks aren't just vessels for information, recipe containers that serve a purely functional purpose. The best cookbooks transcend their function-they become indelible objects, beacons of inspiration."  The vast majority of the post comments couldn't imagine switching from print to digital (and EYB got a couple of mentions as the perfect bridge between the two).

On the other side of the argument was Paula Forbes on Eater.com who said "Much like how music has become a cheap, digital commodity, cookbooks will follow suit - mere texts that will be sold on Amazon or iTunes for, say, $3.99. The printed cookbooks of the future will be gourmet trophies."

Jennifer Day in the Chicago Tribune takes as her starting point the imminent release of Mastering the Art of French Cooking as an eBook.  Cookbook author Molly O'Neill is quoted extensively and backs up the assertions of Paula Forbes "Ultimately, O'Neill says, she thinks that print cookbooks will continue to thrive, but with more of a literary bent. Recipes and instruction will continue to migrate toward electronic formats. Some cookbooks may feature fewer recipes and push people to the Web for more."

I'm going to leave the final word to Jay Rayner, the extremely witty British food writer, whose memoir The Man Who Ate the World I can highly recommend.  In an article in the Guardian last year he said "What I would love to see is someone going into the Apple store on Regent Street to explain that the reason their iPhone is broken is because they smeared pesto all over it.  I think people will find when their iPhone is covered in crap, that cooking with an iPhone is not such a good idea."

3 Comments

  • Christine K.  on  10/2/2011 at 9:01 PM

    I sincerely hope that printed cookbooks do not fade away! As much as I love some of my favorite websites and blogs, I use them in addition to cookbooks, not in place of them. Believe me I am all for technological advancement, but I will always treasure the printed word (and photo) on actual paper bound into book form!

  • Stacy  on  10/10/2011 at 11:18 PM

    With a wonderful tool like EatYourBooks, actual printed books have become more relevant again. I have recipe apps but I keep coming back to the printed word. Thanks!

  • GREG  on  10/18/2011 at 3:53 PM

    i agree with christine; i love the printed cookbooks and combine them with the blogs. i am starting because of this site to get the books on my kindle also and printing the recipe to take in to the kitchen

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