The permanence of print — and why you should read cookbooks in a digital age

A couple of weeks ago, the Huffington Post published an article about why you should still buy cookbooks. The piece examines the evolution of cookbooks in the digital age, in which many home cooks have turned to blogs and websites like mine for recipes. After all, they’re convenient and free.

So why should you invest in a cookbook?

HuffPost interviewed Francis Lam, an award-winning food writer, who had this to say:

A modern way to think of cookbooks ― and this is the way I tend to think of them ― is to think of them as a book. A book you’ll want to read; a book that has a story; a book that might evoke emotion in you; or that might provoke you; or that might challenge you; or that might ask you questions about society and culture; and cause you to question some things that you didn’t think about before.”

Lam hits on something very important to me, no matter the medium: storytelling. People seeking emotional or intellectual connection often find narratives focused on human experience most rewarding. That’s why it’s so important to include real-life voices in our work.


There’s some really great stuff out there, including some of the cookbooks highlighted by HuffPost. And you wait a couple of months or so, you’ll likely find many on sale or even at discounts at stores like Ollie’s.

But if you’re like me and you can’t afford to purchase a cookbook right now, I highly suggest checking out the selection at your local library. At my library, I found dozens of cookbooks, including some popular recent titles like “Cooking for Jeffery” by Ina Garten. img_7730And best of all, they’re free!
Right now, I am working my way through “Knife Skills: In the Kitchen” by Marcus Wareing. Since I don’t have the freedom of cooking whatever I want, I thought it would be a good time to beef up my technical skills, which will make food prep quicker and better tasting.

And if print isn’t your thing, that’s OK, too. Either way, get out there and read! It’s never too late to grow your palate and culinary skills.


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