Not every person has an ethnic Chinese family member full of their own biases/traditions cooking in the kitchen. For many people interested in learning about a cuisine different from their own an ideal cookbook gives some background and context to the dishes it sets out recipes for. Food is a very personal area, and for many, a good cookbook not only contains recipes but explains the culinary point of reference of the author.
Isn't "very good recipes" what most people buy cookbooks for? Cookbooks are meant to be read in the kitchen, I would think, not sitting on the crapper.
I'm curious, we know you do a lot of eating, but do you do any cooking? I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, just that if your view towards a good cookbook might change in different circumstances.