|A selection of the Tuscan Foodie's cookbooks library|
And then there are the worst cases: those who love books and love reading. Alas, I am one of them.
A lot of the (limited) space available in our apartment is taken by my books, including cookbooks. My wife - trying to limit my purchase of books - gave me a Kindle a couple of years ago, and I have been using it with the utmost pleasure. Unfortunately for her, it didn't stop the avalanche of books being bought. On the contrary: I am buying even more physical books than before, on top of a lot of ebooks. The Kindle only scratch half of my itch, the reading bit, and it scratches it beautifully. But it doesn't satisfy my lust for books.
|Still struggling with the order: by cuisine? By quality of the book? By how often I use them?|
I only own a couple of e-cookbooks for my Kindle, but I really don't like them. As any Kindle owner knows, the Kindle's greatest achievement is that it disappears in your hands when you are reading a novel or an essay or a newspaper article: you simply forget you are holding a Kindle, you are projected into the story, deeper and better than with a physical book. Alas, what makes the Kindle great for reading is exactly what makes it a less than optimal vessel for your cookbooks.
When reading a cookbook you don't want the book to disappear. You want to feel its weight, you want to be reminded every minute that you still have many pages to sift through (at least I do). Also, I like it when I open an old cookbook and I see stains from my previous attempts at recipes. As much as I don't want my "other" books to be ruined, I want my cookbooks to age with me. And then there is the photo issue: the Kindle can display photos, but they are in B&W, and frankly, they suck.
I have read somewhere that a growing number of chefs are coming out with cookbooks designed exclusively for the iPad. Could the iPad be better than the Kindle for cookbooks? I think Apple is good at selling what in Italian goes for "fried air" for a lot of money. I am not a fan (I don't like cults in general), but I do see how an iPad - or any tablet - could work for reading cookbooks. Granted, you lose the "weight" part (although the iPad is a lot heavier than a Kindle, and you never forget that you are holding it - or so I am told), but you have full color for the photos, you have videos that can show you how to do things...but wait: you do not need an iPad for this...your pc (or mac) is perfectly fine for looking for recipes online and follow them while you are cooking. Or at least this is what I do, and hopefully, this is also what some of you have done with my recipes.
|Heavy weights and light weights next to each other: you never know where you are going to find your inspiration, right?|
I can only talk for myself obviously, but I would not buy a cookbook only sold on the iPad. It may look mighty fine right now, but where will this book be in 5 years? I know it is an argument that is valid for all digital content in general. I guess my recent misadventure with my ipod, which caused me to lose a big part of the music library I only "owned" digitally, made me very weary of the limits of digital content.
Plus, I think that my cookbook-only library looks very nice... And I hope that one day, not too far away, my son Piero, who is now only 3 months old, may pull one of the books out of the shelf and ask me to cook something together...