“For recipe search, there’s no question the internet wins,” says artisanal ham peddler and cookbook lover Monte Mathews. ”But for people like me, the sheer pleasure of a new cookbook, read like a novel, adored for it’s ‘food porn’ images, is something that I’ll continue to spend money on.”
Cookbooks also offer “themes and consistency to their readers” in a way most recipe sites don’t, says Matt Moore, author of the e-cookbook Have Her Over For Dinner. ”Well written books not only provide reliability, but they also contain consistent and similar ingredients, methods, processes, and descriptions to pull off an incredible dish.”
E-cookbooks might not give you the same tangibility factor as print cookbooks, but they do allow for pulling together recipes around a central theme, niche or method—and they’re doing quite well.
“E-cookbooks are here to stay, and it makes a lot of sense,” says e-cookbook author Cynthia MacGregor. “E-cookbooks store on your Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader, don’t take up shelf space, and are easily carried into the kitchen to be read and followed while you cook.”
If anything, it seems all this digital recipe sharing and the print cookbook industry complement one another. ”As people are able to rediscover the excitement of cooking, through websites like Pinterest, I think that people will start turning back to their cookbooks,” says food blogger Katie Lipovsky.
“Finding a author that I trust online and testing their recipes that they offer on their blog is a great way to help understand their style and build trust in the quality of their creations,” notes Heather Blackmon, a vegan foods blogger. ”I’m much more likely to spend money on their cookbooks than one I’m unfamiliar with.”
Meanwhile, food blogs provide fodder for the cookbook industry. Bethany Carland-Adams, a spokesperson for cookbook publisher Adams Media, says “We find many of our cookbook ideas spring from popular bloggers who are eager to take their ideas to the printed page.”