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Oct 9, 2006 11:47 PM

Why do we keep buying cookbooks?

Only 10 to 25% of cookbook recipes get used,
and virtually any recipe (with every variation) is on the internet anyway, and SO many cookbooks still get published every year! Do they all make money, do you suppose? I don't get it.

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  1. I have no idea if they make money, but when I buy cookbooks it rarely for specific recipes, it is more about wanting to "get into the head" of a particular chef or kitchen staff, learn some new combinations and techniques, and generally be inspired to get in the kitchen.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Grubbjunkie

      Cookbooks are one of the biggest money makers for publisher. Why? Great gifts (few don't appreciate it and there's one for everyone, even dumb guys who can't cook), everyone eats, and food porn is universal.

      In a historical sense, once quality color photography became much more affordable...cook books took off. Looking at old school cook books, some don't even give an ingredient list, let alone quanity.

      1. re: ML8000

        HHmmmm. I'm not sure if you're right on this one...Food photographs are actually very expensive. A good photographer and person to set-up the photo cost *a lot* of money, as does the ink and paper to print those glossy, beautiful food porn shots.

        1. re: christinea

          My point is that color photography (regardless of recent or past) has help popularized cookbooks like never before. Can you imagine any modern cookbook without photos? Yes there are many but my guess is they don't sell quite as well to the mass market (non-cooks, foodies).

          You're right that food photographers (and stylists) do cost a lot. Off shore printing and new printing technology (computers) has brought the price down although I couldn't tell you anything specific.

    2. I buy new cookbooks mostly when I want to learn more about cuisines I don't know well. I don't necessarily expect to cook anything from them.

      1. I am addicted...just bought 5 more recently. I love cookbooks and I read em like novels, front to back.

        1. I'm pretty sure it's related to the reason I keep buying more lip gloss.

          2 Replies
          1. re: danna

            This made me laugh, danna--an astute observation!

            1. re: danna

              LOL! My SO is going to laugh at this post... this is ME... although I should also add purses and shoes along with lipgloss and cookbooks... ;)


            2. I am also addicted to buying cookbooks. I chalk it up to the fact that cooking is a hobby of mine and we all know someone who spends way too much time and money on their hobbies, don't we (i.e. golfing, skiing etc.)?
              Lately, though, I'm finding that I'll put off buying a cookbook if some of the recipes look like I might find them or something similar in something that I already own. I study the book in the store and make adjustments to the recipe that I have.