(Excuse me if this has been done before and I missed it.) I have a feeling that the answers may break down along generational lines (I go back to the days before the Commodore 64, when all word processing was done on manual typewriters with carbon paper), but maybe not. I ask because, since moving to Italy, buying books suddenly requires tactical decision-making. I have schlepped and shipped a lot of books of all stripes to Italy over the years, and I now have a lifetime's collection of food and wine books assembled here. The sheer lack of availability of English-language literature other than cookbooks more or less compelled my adoption of iBooks/Kindle books, and instant availability eliminates any sadness associated with the tactile joys of hard copy. I do have the option of buying from Amazon UK, and the shipping cost is not prohibitive, but between a lousy exchange rate and shipping, it is not always my first choice.
My need for new cookbooks has dwindled, but giving up, say, a sauce-spattered copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 in favor of my iPad next to the stovetop is still not that appealing. This post is occasioned by having pre-ordered, and received while I slept, the new edition of the Ruhlman and Polcyn Charcuterie book, simultaneously on three i-devices. I am on the fence as to whether the "magic" of that little bit of technology will sustain me, or whether I will end up suffering buyer's remorse! I have used my iPad many times to call up one-off recipes for things, and I like that fine. I have also purchased food and wine books that are reading/reference in nature, rather than cookbooks, and I am good with those. I also understand that I always have the option to print recipes (if you have all of the right equipment) and cook from the hard copy, although that doesn't seem all that appealing or ecologically sound, especially if the e-cookbook is offering step-by-step illustrations or photos. And lastly, I suppose, if you do not drop your tablet into your sous vide pot, a tablet screen is easier to clean than a cookbook.
What sayeth this wise and august assembly of foodies about e-cookbooks?