Learning to love eBooks

 eBook recipe

Hello, my name is Darcie and I’m a cookbookaholic. My friends contemplate the rows of cookbooks lining my bookshelves in stunned silence, yet I don’t think I have enough! Few things make me as happy as curling up with a cup of coffee and a cookbook filled with possibilities. My favorite books have receipts, Post-It notes, and torn envelope flaps serving as bookmarks for recipes I love to make or plan to try. The fact that it frequently takes a more than a year before I get around to making a flagged recipe doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for dreaming about another. If I ever attempt Marie Kondo’s tidying method, I’m confident that no cookbooks will be sent away, as they all spark joy in my heart.

Until quite recently, I could not say the same for eBooks. I’ve resisted getting one because I enjoy the tactile feedback from holding a book and turning its pages, whether they are slick like those in Bouchon Bakery or velvety like my well-worn copy of The Cake Bible. But after visiting the EYB Forum’s Kindle books topic and seeing great deals on Amazon, I felt it was time dip my toe into the waters. Being a cookbookaholic, one wasn’t enough so I purchased two – Pasta by Hand and Baking Chez Moi, both currently $2.99. (I added these and more to the Forum topic.)

Would I enjoy browsing and cooking from an eBook as much as I did a real book? As I perused Pasta by Hand, I was struck by the clean look and ability to change the font size, color, and even typeface. This particular eBook is “page flip” enabled, which replicates the look of turning a  page. It’s a nice touch, but browsing through Baking Chez Moi was just as effortless.  I appreciated the links found in the index and table of contents, as both made moving through the book quite easy. 

After playing around with the bookmark tool and other settings, I was ready to try a recipe. As always, the proof is in the pudding – or in this case, Martine’s lemon and apple tart. I propped my tablet on the backsplash and began to prep the Sweet tart dough (Pâte sablée), which I reached from a link in the main recipe. As I worked, I become more enamored with the eBook’s feature. It was easier to move back and forth between recipes than with a regular book, and being able to adjust the font size meant I didn’t have to grab my reading glasses. The only experience that I missed was being able to scribble a note to myself in the margin – but of course I have Eat Your Books as a place to save my notes! I can even share my notes and experiences with others – and check for pitfalls before I begin cooking. 

If you are ready to try eBooks (or are already a convert), it’s easy to add them to your Bookshelf. To make it easier to search for an eBook, filter the Library to only show eBooks. If you purchase an eBook for which the hardcover is indexed but there is no eBook linked, let us know before you add it to the Library and we will link it. Just send an email to info@eatyourbooks.com with the details. If you add an unlinked eBook it will not automatically link to the hardcover edition.

Remember to check the Forum topics on Kindle books and other eBooks and post any deals that you discover. 

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  • TrishaCP  on  September 27, 2016

    I have over 300 cookbooks, and I would estimate at least half (if not more) are e-books, usually purchased when on sale for $1.99 or $2.99. The ebook format has vastly improved over the last few years in my opinion, in terms of search ability and appearance (I use an iPad with the Kindle app), and I would never be able to have so many books without ebooks. Plus, when I buy an ebook, I get the joy of a new purchase without the stink eye from my husband about yet another box of cookbooks arriving! I still buy hard copy books, but I'm generally limiting my purchases to books by my favorite authors or books that do not have an ebook format available.

  • Radish  on  September 27, 2016

    I too am a junkie. I buy slightly more ebooks than hard copy and I am mad when I have bought one and not the other. I rather disagree with Darcie. I think it is much harder to find what I am looking for in a ebook. And I have almost never bought a book for Kindle at a fraction of the price. I would be delighted if you Darcie could help us out with making reading from them easier. Send tips.

  • Gigidecs  on  September 28, 2016

    I don't use my iPad that much these days as my laptop is not much bigger and just as light, but it is absolutely fantastic for two things….watching tv in the bath and cooking. A tablet device really comes into it's own in the kitchen….fantastic images, easy to move back and forth in the book and wipe clean at the end. I highly recommend trying a cookery ebook, though it is fair to say that their formats are not all equal. I have returned one book on Kindle as the interface was terrible. I also have Kindle on my laptop so will often find myself using that too…..especially once I've dipped into EYB.

  • nwaterman967  on  September 28, 2016

    Over the past few years, I have gradually moved from paper cookbooks to ebook cookbooks. I use the Kindle app on my MacBook Air mostly. I typically flag recipes I want to try using the Notes feature of the Kindle app and then after I've tried the recipe, I'll update that note on what I think about the recipe & any changes I made. I've found that most newer ebook cookbooks are well formatted and easy to navigate but I've learned to be cautious about some older ones where the publisher has been lazy about the conversion. (To have a non-clickable index that refers to page numbers is ridiculous in an ebook cookbook but I've seen it!) Cookbooks where the recipes are based on a template and you have to go back and forth to different pages to follow a specific variation are a pain . . . but they are in paper format too. I do love being able to increase font size. Those tiny fractions in many print cookbooks give me eyestrain and can cause errors when they are hard to read!

  • annmartina  on  September 28, 2016

    I probably have close to 1000 cookbooks, including what I own as ebooks. While I love the cost-effectiveness of the deals I'm able to find for my Kindle, I am still much more likely to drag out a pile of hardcover books to look through than I am to go through my ecookbooks. I love sitting among a pile of books (like all my New Orleans or Asian cookbooks), open to multiple books, flip around, compare recipes, make notes in the margins, etc. Many of them have memories attached to them because of when and where they were purchased. I also collect vintage and antique cookbooks and part of their charm is running across notes or a page that is covered in spills that you know was someone's favorite recipe. And I have Eat Your Books, so searching through my collection isn't as difficult as it used to be. So I have yet to find a way to love my ecookbooks the way I do my bound cookbooks.

  • FJT  on  September 28, 2016

    I almost only buy ebooks these days. We move far too often to pack up a lot of books each time!

  • vickster  on  September 29, 2016

    I echo what TrishaCP says – I have been buying a lot of ebooks for 1.99-2.99. I also like avoiding my husband's stink-eye! I kind of have way too many cookbooks now, but I just can't resist the prices. I love flagging recipes in Kindle and adding notes.

  • sbh2006  on  September 30, 2016

    IN my case, it's a matter of necessity; my 500 cookbooks came with me on my latest move as I didn't want to leave them behind in non-climate-controlled storage for several years, but the majority of my recent purchases have been ebooks.

    I'm slowly warming up to the idea of ebooks (and many of the cookbooks I'm currently reviewing are digital galleys). I worked in publishing for the last several years, and there is a great deal of variability in user-friendly aspects (easy linking / indexing, layout, etc.) between publishers / imprints.

    Some are a joy to cook from, while others are so poorly translated into the medium that I want to throw my iPad on the fish grill.

    The fact that many publishers offer titles for $1.99 weekly has been the major incentive in my finally embracing the format!

  • ShoreGirl  on  September 30, 2016

    You CAN write notes in an ebook! Even in Kindle 's PC reading app! Just refer to a page number or Bookmark on your note. Add in the recipe name if there are more than one on a page.

  • LaurenBears  on  September 30, 2016

    I have MANY e-cookbooks and still have yet to actually use one. It doesn't hit my radar to grab my tablet to look for a recipe yet, which is funny because I do all of my fiction reading on the tablet. Will try because I know if Darcie can do it, I can. 😉

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