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The Death of the Cookbook


adey73
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Dakki: I believe that nothing in the iPad's design precludes embedded videos in cookbooks or other books - it's just that it won't play flash embedded on a website. But there are other ways to do it (and other ways to embed video in websites now; people are experimenting with HTML5 and .h264 video, to get geeky on you).

The interesting thing is that a cookbook could not just be published on the iPad but repurposed as an App which could incorporate how-to videos, better picture galleries, updates from the author, corrections pushed to it by the publisher, even reviews and comments by users. I could see a built in calculator function, so if you wanted to do a half or double a recipe it would recalculate amounts for you - gosh, we could even have weights and volumes...

I tried out a Kindle for a while, and downloaded a sample cookbook (Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day), and was unimpressed. The Kindle was fine for a novel or nonfiction book, but a cookbook cries out for illustrations and photos.

But yes, I agree that paper books are not going to vanish; they'll become specialty items and probably (if not cheap, on-demand versions) get higher in quality to distinguish them from more disposable electronic content.

Edited by agray (log)

www.cookbooker.com - Rate and review your cookbook recipes.

Cookbooker Challenge: July/Aug 2010 - collaboratively baking & reviewing Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.

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agray: Does the Apple e-book format (whatever they call it) support embedded video? My understanding is that it doesn't but that's just something I heard.

EDIT: Looked it up. ePub (a standard industry format, which is used by Apple) specifies image support but no video, which makes sense because video on e-ink screens would be ridiculous. Maybe they'll develop a format specifically for LCD-based readers, maybe they'll put h264 support on there, maybe they'll even support Flash in the next update. As things stand now, no.

Edited by Dakki (log)

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Dakki: Interesting to know. But I was thinking more about a cookbook as an app than an ePub file. Obviously an ePub file with nice photos would replicate the paper version fairly well, but to make it truly interactive would require an actual app which would then run like a program rather than an ebook.

Though maybe this would be fairly rare for publishers considering they'd have to pay someone to program such an app. It's much easier to translate your InDesign files or whatever into the ePub format.

www.cookbooker.com - Rate and review your cookbook recipes.

Cookbooker Challenge: July/Aug 2010 - collaboratively baking & reviewing Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.

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I hadn't thought about that.

Something like Pepin's Complete Techniques using video to demonstrate each technique would be super nice to have.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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  • 1 month later...

The Kindle is my GOD! Sorry to publishers on the forum (this coming from a writer and editor). I buy all of my leisure reading material on the Kindle. And living in a condo in Boston (not tiny, but not huge), we have been able to curb the number of paper books into the house, thus saving space and not having to buy more bookshelves. I love everything about it. But for cookbooks . . . not for this guy. Nothing is better than curling up on a rainy Saturday in my comfy chair with a tome of recipes in a beautifully bound book -- I am captivated for hours turning pages and dreaming about my next dinner party. The Kindle just doesn't do it for me for cookbooks.

More important, cooking from recipes: When I do, I need a paper version in front of me. I don't like the Kindle format for recipes, and the thought of an expensive device sitting next to my stove as I stir a simmering sauce or brown meat with splattering grease -- ACK. No way. The format is great for reading, but working from an e-reader leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, I am not a fan of using my recipe software (Mac Gourmet) when I cook. I always print a recipe so I have it near. I have tried using the Chef's View, which does a nice job of giving me a large screen version of the recipe on my laptop, but I still didn't get the rhythm of cooking when using it (having to scroll down, having to disengage sleep mode, having to turn to my work counter where the laptop sat).

As much as I am a fan of e-readers, I just can't use it for cookbooks. I love the convenience of paper (moving the book around, marking notes in the margin). That said, will cookbooks go digital -- maybe someday. But I hope it's not in my lifetime!! Of course, I can always fall back on my collection of 160+ cookbooks (and still growing).

"I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage." -- Erma Bombeck

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As a tecky I love to get certain info off the net fast. For a quick overview of a particular dish, or ideas for an ingredient I do a general scout on the net. Then I think, hmmm, yes that sounds good I think I have a recipe for that in xyz book. If not I have already saved the ones that looked best from my scout to refer to if I need to. Also I collect cookbooks, when I travle and especially obscure, and strange vintage ones. Just the act of searching for a lovely cookbook in a second hand bookshop - the treasure hunt and the oh my god I can't believe this is here - is fun. Also, there is nothing better than lying in bed/or by the garden on a sunday morning with coffee/tea, reading cookbooks.

ps. its interesting to note that when I do find a recipe off the net that I like I too print it off, put it in a sleeve and it goes into a binder.

The more I use a computer, the more I cook and garden.

Edited by kermie (log)
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