View Poll Results: Do you buy cookbooks?

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  • yes, one or more in a year

    40 40.40%
  • Yes, but only once every 2 to 3 years

    19 19.19%
  • Rarely; I get them as gifts

    18 18.18%
  • Almost never

    22 22.22%
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  1. #1

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    Do you buy cookbooks? Often or rarely?

    I am considering writing a cookbook and would like to do some market survey. This may be a good place to start. Later I can post possible titles I have in mind.

    The first question is- do you buy cook books?

  2. #2
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    Nope.

    People buy them for me. I use them rarely. And I cook all the time. From scratch.

  3. #3
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    I don't because I know a lot of people who love cooking and recommend recipes to me. Buying a cookbook just isn't worth it when I'll only use a couple of the recipes, likely ones I can get from someone I know or online.

  4. #4

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    My husband is a compulsive cookbook collector, so we have enough for our own private library. They literally number in the hundreds. The sad thing is, we're both so busy, we only really use about 20 of them regularly. The others just sit on the shelf and look pretty.

    I'm with RockTheTassel - with the exception of a select few cookbooks I can't do without, I'd much rather get my recipes online.

  5. #5

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    I buy them once in a while. Just bought an "Indian Food for Idiots" type book so I'd become more familiar with the spices and techniques. For my go to book, I prefer my iPhone app - How to Cook Everything - as it has integrated shopping lists and is always with me.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  6. #6
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    My husband is chef so he buys a number of them just to read them for ideas, then he makes up his own recipes. Out of the gazillion he has, he likes Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook and the CIA Professional Chef for basics. For me, I might buy one every 2-3 years.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  7. #7

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    I've bought all of Mark Bittman's cookbooks, which are huge and comprehensive, and which have recipes that are understandable, easy to make, and fairly adaptable (e.g. in terms of substituting ingredients, changing the amount you want to make). And the results are very tasty. But those are probably the only cookbooks I've bought in the past 10 years.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  8. #8

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    Yes, I do buy cookbooks. I really don't know why, as I have limited shelf space and can dig up loads of perfectly good recipes on the internet, but sometimes the author's personality or overall approach to a cuisine draws me in anyhow.
    "Liking this sport is ridiculous, so you’re a little different for liking it, she explained. But you’re allowed to like what you like." - Robert Samuels

  9. #9
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    Yes, many. Before there was Food TV, cookbooks were my gastroporn.

    ETA: Ella Fitzgerald had a huge collection, which she read for the porn value.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 09-28-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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  10. #10
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    *runs into thread that is calling her name*

    I chose the most frequent option - one or more in a year - but the more accurate count for me would be "one or more in a week."

    I love cookbooks, and my overflowing library is well into the hundreds. Many new, many older, many vintage that I buy in used bookstores (when we travel, a used bookstore is always an important stop). I also have a small box of recipes I've clipped out of magazines, copied from a friend or printed off online.

    I find them inspiring when I'm looking for new ideas or planning a party, and that's why I prefer books to the internet. I like the pictures, but more so the discussion by the authors/editors/chefs on where the dish comes from, tips on technique, variations and suggested servings.

    I almost never buy a book for the pictures only, and if the recipes are just stand alone, I don't bother because I can do better elsewhere.

    Cookbooks also offer insights into other cultures, even other regions of the US in particular, because they speak to how people live, how they take care of their families and how they entertain. Vintage cookbooks also give us history and context for how things used to be done, and how that has affected who we are today. One of my most prized and beloved books is the new New York Times cookbook in which the excellent editor/writer Amanda Hesser surveyed the magazine since the 1800s and chose the best and most iconic recipes, complete with her commentary on why there were important, how they can be made today, etc - she tested every one of them.

    We have most of the classics (Julia Child, Claudia Roden), many favourite authors (Jamie Oliver, Martha Hall Foose), restaurants we've been too (just got Bobby Flay's Bar Americain this week!) and some that no longer exist (took me years to hunt down a cookbook from the Brown Derby).

    Quote Originally Posted by pilgrimsoul View Post
    My husband is a compulsive cookbook collector, so we have enough for our own private library.
    Wheee sounds like a great guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    My husband is chef so he buys a number of them just to read them for ideas, then he makes up his own recipes.
    Yes, we do that too. We'll consult several versions of a recipe, then do it our own way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    ETA: Ella Fitzgerald had a huge collection, which she read for the porn value.
    I didn't know that!

  12. #12
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    I buy some for myself to get some ideas. I am a fan of the Vancouver Cooks series, because most are accessible. I have the West cookbook but those recipes are kind of... involved.

    Cultural exchange in the cookbooks is so awesome though. Reading particularly about Italian and Southeast Asian culture through cuisine is something that I love to do (though the fact that I over the food from those regions may have something to do with it ).

    In particular, I like Khmer Cookbook - From Spiders to Water Lillies, and Hot Sour Salty Sweet as great books with some awesome recipes and vivid descriptions of the culinary culture of some of SE Asia. Oh geesh, the thought of stirfried squid with green peppercorns and oop (Cambodian pork and eggplant stew, with chilis) is just making me salivate now...

  13. #13

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    I voted for almost never. I used to buy a lot of them, but now I get recipes off the internet.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nubka View Post
    I voted for almost never. I used to buy a lot of them, but now I get recipes off the internet.
    So do I, plus there's a million videos that show technique.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I am considering writing a cookbook and would like to do some market survey. This may be a good place to start. Later I can post possible titles I have in mind.

    The first question is- do you buy cook books?
    Cookbooks are an interesting market. I don't really cook much, but I lurrrrve cookbooks. My mom buys me one every year. I find some of the most beautiful, well-written, descriptive, and evocative of a particular place/time to be cookbooks. Want to know all the important stuff about south Louisiana--skip the Frommer's and the Frodor's and go directly to John Besh's My New Orleans. If you want to know about Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian traditions, food and otherwise, check out Please to the Table. by Anya von Bremzen. I'd recommend that over any travel guide.

    If you can tie a picture/story/tradition to your recipes, I think your cookbook could sell well. And splurge for color--I never buy a cookbook that doesn't have color pictures of most of the food.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  16. #16
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    I buy one a year because there is always a request on at least one of my daughters Christmas lists. They all like to venture out in the kitchen and like to try new foods and recipes.

    (I really murdered the plural and possessive in that first sentence, didn't I?)
    If this is to end in fire
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  17. #17
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    We both buy cookbooks and get recipes from the internet. With a vegetarian daughter on a gluten-free diet, I need all the ideas I can get.

  18. #18

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    I love cookbooks and buy about 7 per year. I read them a lot and then use them to base my own recipes. I cook nearly every day.

  19. #19

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    All the time - my collection just keeps growing. I read them just for the knowledge in them, the explanations of the why of things that I don't seem to get elsewhere. (For example, I could never understand why recipes for orange cake always call for lemon juice. Then I found the answer in a cookbook; orange is a volatile flavor that dissipates easily, but the addition of lemon juice helps counteract that.)

  20. #20
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    When you win Lotto, you might want to get this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Modernist-Cuis.../dp/0982761007

    I read an article about this book in "The New Yorker", and there is a chapter about food pathogens with full frontal photos that sounds
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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