Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

June 22, 2012

Slate: The future of cookbooks

You may have heard that the print cookbook is indomitable. Last summer, the San Francisco Chronicle reported an 8 percent increase in cookbook sales, even as overall book sales slid downward. A few months later, Amateur Gourmet's Adam Roberts hailed print cookbooks as "indelible objects, beacons of inspiration," in a post titled, rather straightforwardly "Why Cookbooks Are Here To Stay." Not long after, Grub Street's Hugh Merwin posited that cookbooks "are evolving in ever more interesting ways" and quoted chipper literary agents and booksellers affirming their absolute faith in the staying power of cookbooks in a food-media landscape increasingly cluttered by websites and mobile-device applications.

Don't believe it. Cookbooks may indeed outlast other print books, but they will eventually go extinct. And that's OK.

I'm not exactly objective about this. When I was a teen-ager, my idea of a relaxing after-school activity was to read cookbooks in my family's La-Z-Boy, salivating over the photography, relishing droll turns of phrase, and dog-earing recipes I wanted to try. My first job out of college was as an assistant for a successful cookbook author, a position for which I spent thousands of hours writing, testing and editing recipes. Cookbooks dominate my bookshelves. A good friend ghostwrites cookbooks for famous chefs. You'd be hard-pressed to imagine someone more predisposed to be sentimental about cookbooks than me.

And yet I'm not only certain of the imminent demise of the print cookbook — I'm fine with it. That's because print cookbooks offer nothing that apps, e-books and websites can't, despite print enthusiasts' efforts to recast them as objets d'art.

To understand why we shouldn't mourn the impending extinction of cookbooks, it's worth asking why people buy them in the first place. The primary reason — and the reason they've been relatively resistant to the book-publishing industry's deterioration in recent years — is that they make remarkably convenient gifts. You don't need to know a person well to give him a cookbook as a gift; everyone likes to eat, and most people prepare food for themselves at one point or another. And while you really must read a novel before giving it as a gift to a relative or acquaintance — it might contain laughably bad prose or weird sex scenes — you can get a pretty good sense of a cookbook's content by flipping through it briefly. They're are often visually appealing, and the price is right: The $20 to $40 price sticker on most cookbooks neither yells "cheapskate" nor breaks the bank.

Text Only
Online Only
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read