Why printed cookbooks are here to stay


We loved this article from the KitchnFour Reasons Why I Will Never Give Up Print Cookbooks. Since we at EYB modestly believe that EYB brings you the best of both the online and print worlds - at least when it comes to cookbooks and recipes and blogs and magazines - this article sings to us.

The article describes four reasons to love print cookbooks:

  • They provide Inspiration and entertainment.
  • It's easier to discern and channel the particular voice of a cook.
  • Sometimes it's simpler just to open and use a book.
  • Not everything is online.

The article is worth reading not only for the rationales behind these ideas, but also for the contributions from posters as to why they also prefer print cookbooks. Some of the readers' reasons that jumped out to us are: the smell, the easy ability to make notes in the margins, their historical value, and family memories from old cookbooks.

We loved that there are so many emotional reasons to own cookbooks, finding it to be a tribute to cookbook owners that these warm and comfortable ideas are so obvious. But we'd like to add to the list of practical reasons:

  • Their batteries never run down when you're in the middle of a recipe.
  • They work in blackouts.
  • If you drop the book in a sink of water it will dry out.
  • If the book drops on the floor it doesn't break
  • The book is usually found where you think it should be.

So we enthusiastically agree, long live print cookbooks!


  • goecke  on  4/8/2013 at 5:11 PM

    I have to say that I completely disagree with this. My cookbook collection was out of control. I no longer had room in my home for the more than 300 books in my collection. My solution was to purchase Kindle versions of the books as they became available. I've done so with about three-quarters of the collection so far. I have to say that I would never turn back to the print versions. It is so much quicker and easier to located recipes then when everything was in print. Now I simply print out a copy of a recipe whenever I want to cook it. I now also have access to my collection when I'm shopping or on the road. I say goodbye print and hello digital.

  • rrossely  on  4/25/2013 at 6:58 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly with the article. I have recipes from my great grandmother, grandmother, mother and loads of other family members, some of them written inside old printed recipe books. I tried going digital in the kitchen but gave up after a week of getting irritated with it for some of the reasons you've listed. I do print out recipes from time to time from websites but after I've used them unfortunately generally manage to lose the bit of paper, or some helpful person throws out the grubby bit of paper on the bench! I love my books, the colour, the theatre, the feel and EYB gives me the perfect digital assistance. I bought a bunch of water spinach last week having never cooked with it. I logged into EYB and voila! got a list of which of my books had recipes and sufficient information on ingredients for me to decide which ones I wanted to take a look at.

  • mahealani  on  8/24/2013 at 10:32 PM

    I treasure my Mom's cookbooks, with her annotations written inside. "delish!", "Ex" for excellent, "add more liquid". All in her handwriting, which makes me smile (she passed years ago). I collect modern first of fiction and I'm fanatical about not marking them in any way, but my cookbooks are fair game-- a working collection. Love the print editions.

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