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EatYourBooks.com: search your own cookbooks for recipes online


nickrey
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well, entered all that the system recognized, a couple I could not find via author, title, or isbn. some others I found, but not the edition I have or I could not compare as only the 13 isbn was shown and my book only has a short one.

Sadly, so far only 84 of the 193 books I entered are indexed and of course I left all my German books out, but still, I think this will be a nice resource. Hopefully more will get indexed.

As a side note, sometimes the title did not bring up an entry, but title plus author did, or just author instead of title, etc. Sometimes title got me nothing but isbn did, sometimes vice versa. Also search does not seem to recognize unfinished words (like google does for example). The complete robu got me no result, robuchon did of course.

Just some things I noticed, and some books I simply could not find any which way, despite that they are US edition with isbn numbers.

Phew, that was a boring task, glad I'm done....

A couple of my books are un-indexed yet - for example, Everyday Harumi, The Korean Table and Yan Kit-So's Classic Chinese Cooking. Because they're regional books, I guess it'll take a while before they get indexed. It seems like, however, according to their forums, that they will be opening up a service where members can start to index things themselves - including their own family recipe cards and magazine clippings. That's some big appeal, there - I look forward to that coming out.

I spent yesterday going through the recipes in my favourite books and tagging them with "bookmarks". I geekily love this sort of thing - my tags, along with "Favourites" are "made", "made and liked", and "want to try". I was trying to come up with some more useful tags - I might start to tag regionally as well. I also starred and commented on as many recipes as I had something relevant to say on. The "friend" function has also gone on the current site, but will apparently come back. I hoping that when it does, there's some intelligence so that you can see how trusted commenters/raters are - right now the stars are aggregate, I think, but it would be nice to know that when "kittychef47" says "This dish is good" what kind of person is saying that. Sites like Hostelworld do this so that you can match your profile to other members and know whose comments you're most likely to trust.

I did, in my travels, notice some errata - for example, the recipe for stir-fried pork and green peppers in Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Cooking is indexed as having Cornish Game hens as an ingredient. On a suspicion, I thought perhaps it might have called for chicken stock, and the index was referring back to a recipe for that, but on reading the recipe, that was not the case. No Cornish Game hens, no chicken stock. Now, I've made the dish before, so I know there's no chicken in it, but if I had a couple of Cornish Game hens I was looking for something to do with, that search result would throw me for a loop. I noticed several other recipes in the same book doing the same thing.

Actually, I spent the whole Saturday afternoon geeking out with the site- and I only have about 20 cookbooks. I can imagine if I had to add more than a hundred books how daunting the task would be. I did notice that the most commonly owned book on the site - is this correct? - is Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I wonder how many people regularly cook from it?

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I think it depends on people's collections. Like I said, my books are kind of quirky, since I cook a lot of regional cuisine - so a couple of books I use quite regularly are not indexed, but a few others that I hardly ever use have already been indexed. Six out a total of twenty books in my collection haven't been indexed yet, but I'm taking a long view. Eventually they will be indexed, either by the site or myself, if they open that up to members. I've requested an index on all that are not yet indexed.

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Put in 30 books so far and only 15 are indexed. Anybody else having this problem? I didn't think the books were really old or rare......

Clark

My equivalent to that is 60 out of 270 (or 22%). At 50% you seem way ahead. My total also does not include many books whose ISBN were not recognised.

According to the website, they have indexed 1344 books so far. If you think about the amount of work indexing one book alone, this is going to be a long-term project.

All that aside, I now have access to 14,417 indexed recipes in a form that makes them so much more accessible.

The site is still in beta with modifications to software and further indexing to occur prior to it coming off beta.

Like Nakji, I'm taking a very long term view of this site which is already giving me a lot of return.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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For sure! I did sign up for the lifetime. Just wondering what kind of rates everyone else was getting! I imagine we'll have to put in a lot of them ourselves, we all probably have a few weird ones.

I ended up entering all of my books today. I had 123 books.

62 are in the system but not indexed (8 of those shouldn't be since they are more reference type books so I did not request the indexing of those....)

41 are indexed

16 are not in the system at all

Works out to 35% (removing the ones that shouldn't be indexed)

Looking forward to using the program!

Clark

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146 books entered, 54 indexed (just under 37 percent; this is actually huge growth from when I first registered, when they had barely a handful of my books indexed). How do you know if something is "in the system"? by whether there is a photo or not? If so, a large portion of my books are not in the system. And many of them are classics. Some books I could never enter, no matter how many different ways I tried to search.

Still. A search for baby artichokes turned up some sources I would not have initially looked to. Overall, I am cautiously optimistic.

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Just signed up for the free trial to see how it worked - Greatest Website EVER! Of 89 cookbooks, 83 are in their database and 59 are indexed.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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146 books entered, 54 indexed (just under 37 percent; this is actually huge growth from when I first registered, when they had barely a handful of my books indexed). How do you know if something is "in the system"? by whether there is a photo or not? If so, a large portion of my books are not in the system. And many of them are classics. Some books I could never enter, no matter how many different ways I tried to search.

Still. A search for baby artichokes turned up some sources I would not have initially looked to. Overall, I am cautiously optimistic.

So far, I have 308 books on my EYB bookshelf; only 65 of those (that's 21%) are indexed. Another 56 books aren't in their library, and I have countless older and foreign texts that lack ISBNs. About 6 boxes of older books to go...I'm trying to be optimstic!

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While all these statistics are interesting, I'd caution everyone to actually use the site for a while before passing judgement based on how few of your titles are indexed. Even only searching half my cookbook collection, I have still managed to come up with dinner options every single time I've used it. Of course I'd love to have more books in there, but I personally find their focus on quality over quantity admirable. Of course there are still some mistakes, but one can only imagine how hard it must be to get these hundreds of thousands of recipes entered manually and relatively error-free!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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While all these statistics are interesting, I'd caution everyone to actually use the site for a while before passing judgement based on how few of your titles are indexed. Even only searching half my cookbook collection, I have still managed to come up with dinner options every single time I've used it. Of course I'd love to have more books in there, but I personally find their focus on quality over quantity admirable. Of course there are still some mistakes, but one can only imagine how hard it must be to get these hundreds of thousands of recipes entered manually and relatively error-free!

One thing I find interesting is the results it's turned up for me when I used it this week. Because I have so few books, and because "How to Cook Everything" represents such a large percentage of my total number of recipes, every search I've run this week has turned up two or three recipes from that book that I had never noticed before. It's essentially a book I bought so I'd have some sort of resource for recipe basics like pancakes, roast chicken, legs of lamb, yogurt...now I'm taking a second look at it. Some pasta recipes came up that looked decent. It's not an exciting cookbook, but it works for a weeknight.

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Hear, hear on the actually using it. The second time I took a spin through eyb to figure out dinner, I found a recipe for lamb shoulder with apples and pomegranate molasses in Paula Wolfert'ss Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean that is now one of my favorites (for the next time I have lamb shoulder in the house, of course). Since I live in the country (I'm not allowed to call it the middle of nowhere...), I had the added fun of making pomegranate molasses (for which Wolfert provides a recipe that I'd also never have noticed without assistance).

Edit: Just to clarify: I like the country/middle of nowhere....

Edited by faith (log)
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Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with all the latest comments. For reasons unknown my email alerts from eG haven't been coming through and I've been completely bogged down with the indexing interface we are writing. Eventually this will become the form that will allow members to index their own books and personal recipes. This should get over some of the issues people have with the percentage of their books being indexed. We hope that if a lot of people decide to participate in indexing then you will see your recipe count going up quickly without you necessarily having to index them all yourself.

But as Chris H. said, the important thing is actually to use the search and you will be amazed at how many recipes you already have, even if it's only a fraction of the books you own. About 30% of my own cookbooks are indexed and I am often stunned at how many recipes I can find for an ingredient. The key then is to use the filters to whittle down the results to something manageable.

If there are books you own that are not in the Library, enter the ISBN (if it has one) in the Data Import feature and when we expand our affiliates soon we will add those books to the Library. If you have requested that book it will automatically go onto your Bookshelf. We will be expanding the data fields so you can add books and magazines without ISBNs.

There will be some errors on the data entry. It is a manual process and initially we were using students whose culinary knowledge wasn't great. We have now vastly improved our indexing staff (a lot of them are back-of-the-book cookbook indexers) and we are proofreading the data from the early books. But if you spot an error, please just click Report an error at the bottom of the page and we will correct it.

Finally, when we come out of Beta and stop the lifetime membership offer, we will be completely changing the registration and payments process (so no more PayPal). We will be opening up the site so anyone can view and search individual books and recipes but you will need to be a member to create a Bookshelf i.e. to search your own books for recipes.

Jane Kelly

Co-founder of Eat Your Books

www.eatyourbooks.com

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well, entered all that the system recognized, a couple I could not find via author, title, or isbn. some others I found, but not the edition I have or I could not compare as only the 13 isbn was shown and my book only has a short one.... Just some things I noticed, and some books I simply could not find any which way, despite that they are US edition with isbn numbers.

Jane, OliverB's experience raises a couple of related questions about books with multiple or non-ISB numbers.

Far more books in current use have 10- than 13-digit ISBNs, the latter being relatively recent. I've noticed that books in print since before 2007 (when ISBN-13 took over) often list both (sometimes the two numbers look related, though I don't think that's guaranteed) as in Oliver's experience above. So I wonder if you permit more than one ISBN when they exist, or (similar question) linking ISBNs for books reprinted identically by different publishers or at different times (I know some popular examples -- one classic Chez Panisse cookbook for instance) -- all of which would resolve Oliver's situation.

Related: Before book numbers went international (the I in ISBN) there were some longstanding national catalogings. For decades before ISBN's advent, US books carried unique Library of Congress Catalog (LCC) numbers filling a similar role. That describes most US books I have that are pre-ISBN. That would be another natural number to allow for (and again, books may have both LCC and ISB numbers or if they stay in print, may start with an LCC and have an ISBN added later).

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All books with ISBN 10-digit numbers also have an ISBN 13-digit number. The 13 digit has 978 at the front of the 10 with a different balancing number as the last digit. ISBN has a different formula for the last digit of the 10 and 13 digit numbers which checks that the other digits are all correct. So if you look on the Book details page on EYB you will see both the 10 and 13 digit numbers listed and you can see they are basically the same apart from the first three and last one number.

When you import ISBN data using the Import Books feature you can import either 10 or 13-digit ISBNs - we recognize both. The same when you are searching the Library for a book - you can put either the 10 or 13-digits in the search box.

We do link many different editions/ISBNs of the same book - you can see what they are by clicking the links symbol under the book title. The books can be different formats, different publishers, different countries, even slightly different titles - they just have to have the same recipes. So we don't link revised or updated editions where the recipes have been changed.

We will be using the LCC numbers for pre-ISBN American books and will use other national ID numbers as required for international books.

Jane Kelly

Co-founder of Eat Your Books

www.eatyourbooks.com

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There will be some errors on the data entry. It is a manual process and initially we were using students whose culinary knowledge wasn't great. We have now vastly improved our indexing staff (a lot of them are back-of-the-book cookbook indexers) and we are proofreading the data from the early books. But if you spot an error, please just click Report an error at the bottom of the page and we will correct it.

Thanks. I hadn't noticed that link on the bottom of the page before. I can't imagine the task of having to proof-read other people's indexing. Thinking about it makes my eyes cross.

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  • 2 months later...

Bump.

Just got a mail out from Jane at Eat Your Books that included the following information:

We will shortly be introducing a new registration and payment system, including a monthly subscription. Lifetime memberships continue to be available until then. And if you're stuck for present ideas for cookbook loving friends we'll be launching Gift Subscriptions in time for the holidays.

If you were delaying getting a lifetime subscription, time is running out.

I'm still using it a lot by the way.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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  • 1 month later...

OK, I know this feature has been in there since forever, but this is the first time I used the shopping list function. Wow, awesome. I love that it is all organized by what store and section of the store I probably need to buy it at. The only suggestion I would have for improving it would be to somehow indicate next to each ingredient which of the recipes it pertains to, so it's easier to look up the quantities.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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OK, I know this feature has been in there since forever, but this is the first time I used the shopping list function. Wow, awesome. I love that it is all organized by what store and section of the store I probably need to buy it at. The only suggestion I would have for improving it would be to somehow indicate next to each ingredient which of the recipes it pertains to, so it's easier to look up the quantities.

I love this feature too but have found that too many recipes are missing ingredients for it to be helpful. I still have to double check all of the recipes which eliminates some of the efficiency of the shopping list function.

For example, in the Hot & Hot Fish Club cookbook Hastings has an ancho rubbed pork chop recipe that I love. The ingredients list doesn't even list ancho as an item though it is obviously in the dish.

Jane,

Is there a way to flag incomplete ingredient lists so that they can be corrected?

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At the bottom of the page, across the left, there are some title links, starting with "About". The last title is "Report an Error". It brings up a message screen where you can contact them.

I ended up posting on their forum and received a reply from Jane asking me to use the report an error button. The issue is that the report an error key doesn't appear to link directly to the page you are on which means you have to type out an exact description of the book, recipe, nature of the problem, etc... for every issue you have. If it automatically logged the page you were on you could just type the nature of the issue.

After receiving her reply, I realized that the problem is that recipes that contain component recipes don't list the ingredients for everything you need. Since this practice is so prevalent, I have found very little use for the ingredients lists. I still have to go drag out and flip through the cookbook to all the component recipes to come up with a comprehensive ingredient list.

Looking through my cookbooks that I have entered, I can tell you that at least half of Frank Stitt's recipe's have component recipes in the ingredient list and Hasting's book has more than that. It's just frustrating because this website is exactly what I've been looking for. It would be great to be able to access my ingredients list I needed at work and pick up everything on the way home. Then I would just have to break out the book to see proportions.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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