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Eat Your Books

John E. Dec 23, 2010 07:36 PM

Has anyone here registered and used this website's services?

http://www.eatyourbooks.com

  1. The Dairy Queen Dec 23, 2010 07:49 PM

    beetlebug (and the Boston Globe) was way ahead of Kathie Jenkins

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/677870?tag=post_5947955_content;post_content_5947955_in_place_editor#5292022

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7311...

    ~TDQ

    11 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen
      John E. Dec 24, 2010 06:33 AM

      Thanks, I don't recall those threads. If I don't have time to look up recipes in cookbooks I certainly don't have time to read 488 replies.

      1. re: John E.
        The Dairy Queen Dec 24, 2010 06:37 AM

        They didn't always have 488 replies! EYB is pretty life-changing if you have a lot of cookbooks. I use it a couple of ways: one to search for a recipe I know I saw in one of my cookbooks the way Kathie described; the other to just type in a random ingredient (say, something that came in my CSA box) and see which of my cookbooks have a recipe for that. Unfortunately, the lifetime membership option went away about 2 weeks ago. Still, for the price of a cookbook or two, the annual EYB membership enables you to get a lot more use out of the books you already have.

        ETA: It's also great for looking up a recipe at the office and determining if you need to swing by the grocery store on the way home to pick something up. Note that the recipes themselves are not listed--just the names of the recipes and the ingredients they require.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          John E. Dec 24, 2010 06:50 AM

          Does the free option with 5 books have the same features as the subscription version? We really don't have that many cookbooks and my mother's old cookbooks were mostly the Better Homes & Gardens and church fundraiser-type. We might like to try it out first. If Kathie Jenkins had been a few weeks/months quicker it would have been nice (or if I would have noted the earlier threads).

          1. re: John E.
            The Dairy Queen Dec 24, 2010 07:34 AM

            I don't know about the free option, alas, because when I signed up they offered a "trial" version where you could enter as many books as you wanted and use the site for 30 days before you had to decide whether to pay to sign up. When they did the switch-over a couple of weeks ago (ie., when they went out of Beta), the "trial option" disappeared and the free 5-book option appeared in its place. (My guess is Kathie was waiting to write about it until they were out of Beta...).

            The more of your books that are "indexed" the most useful EYB will be to you. Church fundraiser type books are not likely to be indexed, nor are books that have a limited regional appeal. In my opinion, they seem to be focusing on classics that have national appeal and new, high profile books. Nearly all of the COTMs have been indexed, for instance, and just about any book that got nominated for Beard or an IACP award, for instance.

            Nevertheless, even if you aren't a member, you can search their library and figure out pretty quickly which books have been indexed and which haven't and, therefore, figure out how helpful it might be to you.

            To see what I mean, go to their website and type in "Around My French Table" and see what you get. This is a book that is indexed, so your search will return a listing of all of the recipes in that book and all of the ingredients each of the recipes requires.

            Next type in "Damn Good Food" (this is Mitch Omer's cookbook from Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis.) This is a book that is in their library but not indexed. If enough people have it in their library and/or request it to be indexed, it might get indexed in the future. (But I'm guessing not, that this particular book has only limited regional appeal.)

            They have been saying they will be rolling out a feature to enable users to index their own books, so, if you have a few books you use a lot that aren't indexed and you think will never be indexed, this could be an option for you. (Too much work, in my opinion, but then again, I haven't seen the feature yet. Maybe it's not as bad as I imagine.)

            Next type in "crippled children's school, inc. cook book"--this PI-named school fundraiser book is one of my husband's favorites. This is a book that is neither listed in their system nor indexed. EYB has a feature whereby you can request they add a book to their database, but I'm not sure how it would work for a book that doesn't even have an ISBN number (which this book does not.)

            I hope that helps.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              John E. Dec 24, 2010 07:46 AM

              Thanks for your help. I'll try the free option and see if I use it.

              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                John E. Dec 26, 2010 10:43 AM

                Which CCSI cookbook is your husband's favorite, volume 1 or 2? I have both. Yep, I spent some time in Worthington. I drove through there a couple of years ago and the school is completely gone and replaced by some houses. (It's very likely that we are the only people on this site with these particular cookbooks. I am interested in which recipes are your husbands favorites).

                1. re: John E.
                  The Dairy Queen Dec 27, 2010 04:56 PM

                  You might be right!

                  We have volume 2. My mother-in-law has both volumes. When my husband was little, he used to cook from these books. When he went off to college, his mom gave him a copy of Vol 2 she'd picked up cheap at a garage sale. The recipes were fine (cheap, easy) for a college guy. Unless you're a college guy, he only recommends the cookie recipes from Vol 2. As far as I know, we've never cooked from this book since we've been married. But, we would never get rid of it. :).

                  I personally love the "quantity" section (beginning on page 174)--esp the recipe for Pioneer Bars, which serves 100! Also, the wedding cake on page 247 (serves 70). I honestly want to know if anyone has ever made a wedding cake from this book. The "household hints" section at the back is pretty awesome, too. I just imagine this book represents the very earnest, combined kitchen wisdom of the women who produced it. I think it's so neat.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    John E. Dec 27, 2010 06:14 PM

                    I had to dig the book out of a box of my mother's cookbooks. It doesn't appear that she ever used the CCSI books.  Her Mixing & Musing (Dorothy Rickers) cookbook is well-worn however. I bet your MIL has that one too. I looked through a couple of church cookbooks. What I find hilarious are recipes for chili that call for a teaspoon of chili powder or spaghetti sauce recipes that use 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano. 

                    We may try the recipe at the top of page 174. We might have to go to Restaurant Depot to buy all of the ingredients. 

                    1. re: John E.
                      The Dairy Queen Dec 27, 2010 06:24 PM

                      You never know when you might have to bring a dessert to feed 100!

                      I will have to ask my MIL about Mixing and Musing. I just googled on it and got a few references, including to a Lutefisk Pudding recipe she published 25 years ago!

                      ~TDQ

                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                  d
                  dkennedy May 25, 2011 04:39 PM

                  DQ,

                  Do you have Damn Good Food in your library? I just bought it and I am wondering how you like it. If nothing else, it should be a very colorful read!

                  Oh, I hate when my post gets sent further down the thread so it doesn't make sense. DQ, this comment was in response to your Dec 2010 comment.

                  1. re: dkennedy
                    The Dairy Queen Sep 29, 2011 07:58 AM

                    Sorry for my belated response to this question. If you're a fan of Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis, then this book is a must-have. The book includes recipes for all of the restaurant's signature dishes, (lemon ricotta hotcakes, peanut butter, bison sausage, bison sausage bread, wild rice porridge etc.) and then just some favorites of the chef from his upbringing and restaurant past. A lot of the recipes are pretty complicated and many of the dishes require several recipes. But the results are very good. The recipes have been scaled down for the home cook, but he didn't appear to hold anything back: these seem to be the restaurant's actual recipes.

                    ~TDQ

        2. flourgirl Dec 25, 2010 06:37 AM

          I have over 550 cookbooks in my EYB library. I was really struggling with trying to use my books effectively before EYB. I love it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: flourgirl
            d
            dkennedy Mar 20, 2011 02:19 PM

            170 and love it too

            1. re: dkennedy
              a
              AGM_Cape_Cod Mar 20, 2011 02:29 PM

              242 and I agree.

          2. j
            jnachow1 May 24, 2011 06:41 AM

            Yes-its totally awesome. They have a library of 89,000 books soon expanding to 100,000.
            Out of my collection of 188 cookbooks I found all but 4 and I have some old and unusual books so their inventory is very comprehensive. They have only indexed about 2,000 of the 100,000 but they do them by most popular first so while they have only indexed 2% of the entire inventory I found 125 of my 188 cookbooks already indexed and they are indexing more every day-It was very easy too do, I spread over several days. If you have a scanner its even easier.
            The result is dramatic. I have over 50,000 recipes in my own private collection which I can now sort and access just about anyway I want. Typed in pig ears and found out I had 24 recipes among my collection of books-who knew. It changes the way you will cook and use your own personal library of the best cookbooks and not have to rely on recipe sites where only god knows where the recipes come from. Was always wishing someone would do this and now these two English sisters have done it-Bravo and highly recommended.

            Note: Please understand-no recipes, just the reference to the recipe and cookbook which you already own

            10 Replies
            1. re: jnachow1
              d
              DougRisk May 24, 2011 07:52 AM

              I am going through the website for the first time right now and have a quick question:

              I am doing a search on books that are indexed and that I am familiar with. But, the ingredients list will invariably say something like:
              - Swiss Chard
              - Parmigiano Reggiano
              - Flour
              - store-cupboard ingredients (???)

              And, in this example, I know that many more ingredients are included...which, I am guessing, are covered by the "store-cupboard ingredients" note. Is that how it looks when you sign up, or do they give the full listing of ingredients?

              TIA

              1. re: DougRisk
                Monch May 24, 2011 08:34 AM

                I've wondered about the precise, EYB, answer to this question.

                I've posed it on the EYB forum and will report out with their answer, in their words!

                1. re: DougRisk
                  Monch May 24, 2011 10:27 AM

                  The answer from the EYB forum:

                  Store-cupboard ingredients are those ingredients that people can be expected to have already. These are things like butter, flour, eggs. They are listed separately if a recipe uses a large amount, but if there is a smaller amount used they can be listed as store-cupboard ingredients. To the reader, this basically says: you will probably have the the basic ingredients needed for this, but do check before you start cooking.

                  The information loss (from typing a full list of ingredients) is not that great, and if the indexers don't have to type those two tablespoons of flour, one egg and a pinch of salt every time, it does make indexing easier and therefore faster, and therefore more books can be indexed this way.

                  1. re: Monch
                    d
                    DougRisk May 24, 2011 05:30 PM

                    Thanks, Monch, I had read that as well. The recipe that I was familiar with had things like Pine Nuts and a few other "NOT Usual Suspects" not listed. That is disappointing.

                    1. re: DougRisk
                      Breadcrumbs May 25, 2011 11:08 AM

                      I've been a member of EYB for over a year now and it has enhanced my cooking and planning experience markedly. I'm far more effective and efficient at researching recipes to make the best possible dish and, I am getting far more use from my extensive cookbook collection.

                      Doug I'm wondering if perhaps the particular recipe you were looking at contained an error in that the indexer possibly missed the pine nuts? Did you contact EYB about this? While this is the rare exception, not the norm, there have been instances where an ingredient was missed . . . just due to human error. EYB is eager to hear about these situations and makes the correction right away. I've looked up thousands of recipes since joining EYB and have probably found 3 such instances in that timeframe.

                      Without hesitation I'd recommend EYB to cooks and cookbook lovers alike, its such a terrific resource. Oh and now they've started indexing food magazines as well so we'll soon get better use out of our Cook's Illustrated, Gourmet and other food magazine recipes as well!!

                      Not sure if folks here saw the recent NYT article on recipe search engines but EYB was preferred over Google and BIng. Here's a link if you're interested:

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/din...

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                        d
                        DougRisk May 25, 2011 11:29 AM

                        "Did you contact EYB about this? "

                        I am not a member. I started looking at the site only recently after I saw so many references to it in Chowhound.

                        That does not preclude me from contacting them, but I did not want to an annoying backseat driver.

                        "Without hesitation I'd recommend EYB to cooks and cookbook lovers alike, its such a terrific resource."

                        I will probably still join. I love the idea of looking up ingredient lists in books that I own.

                        I am curious if we should start another thread for people to comment on something like this:

                        "How do you use EYB along with your e-books and Kindles/Nooks/'iPadded/tabletized'-Books?"

                        1. re: DougRisk
                          Breadcrumbs May 25, 2011 11:57 AM

                          Hi Doug, I'm confident that Jane and Fiona at EYB would welcome and be most grateful for your feedback, whether or not you're currently a member. In my experience the level of customer responsiveness on EYB is unprecedented on the web. They'd be happy to assist and, correct an error if you find one.

                          I like your idea of a separate thread too.

                2. re: jnachow1
                  r
                  Rella Sep 30, 2011 04:51 AM

                  Re: "Note: Please understand-no recipes, just the reference to the recipe and cookbook which you already own."

                  So: the search index is 'only' for your own books. If I understand correctly.
                  And this would also go for blogs? Or magazines? If you don't have a blog, nor subscribe to a magazine, they wouldn't show up?

                  1. re: Rella
                    The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 06:38 AM

                    No that's not correct. You can search the entire EYB library (if you're a member). If a blog or magazine is indexed, you can search that too. It doesn't have anything to do with having your own blog.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: Rella
                      s
                      sueatmo Oct 1, 2011 07:23 AM

                      Hi Rella: you can join for no money and add 5 cookbooks to see how it works. You can ask for a monthly subscription (email), and there is a blog or two if you like to read those. If you decide to take it a step further, you can join at a monthly rate, and I think that will be my next step. If you subscribe to a food magazine, then you can add that. At the monthly rate, you get unlimited cookbook and/or magazine additions. The site also links to any online recipes if they exist. Hope this helps.

                      I think this is a useful site, if one would use it. I am now deciding if I would use it. But the good thing is you can take it step by step. Even at $25 per year, this isn't a horrible financial commitment. But I am not ready to take that step yet. Here is the link to the site:

                      http://www.eatyourbooks.com/home

                  2. s
                    sueatmo Sep 29, 2011 07:32 AM

                    I'm bringing this to the top because I am interested in the experiences of any of you who use this indexing service. I do have a modest cookbook collection. I found some of my titles in EYB list, but certainly not all of them. I did find all three editions of JOC that I own, though. Wow! I don't exactly understand some of the concerns voiced by the older posts on this thread. And, the recipes you locate aren't displayed, right? Just a pointer to the recipe in your own book.

                    How quickly are the recipes being indexed? And are members doing some indexing of their own?

                    How does this service work for you? I'd like to know more before I spend $25 on an annual subscription. Thanks in advance.

                    47 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo
                      The Dairy Queen Sep 29, 2011 07:50 AM

                      Books are being indexed all the time. They have indexed about 2 thousand books, maybe half of those in the year or so that I've been a member. It's somewhat slow going but it seems like there are 7-8 new ones every week.

                      Eventually, members will be able to index their own books, per the EYB folks. I believe it is in Beta testing now.

                      I really love being able to search my library for a particular recipe or ingredient. And, no, the recipe itself isn't in EYB. There isn't even a pointer (ie., page number) to it because the page numbers might differ depending on the edition of the book. What EYB does is list the recipes that are in the book and list the ingredients that each of those recipes calls for. (But, no quantities.) Lately, they've also provided a link to the recipe if it appears with author's permission somewhere online.

                      You can look at the books in EYB's library even if you're not a member if you want to see how the recipes are listed. For instance, do a search on the Essential New York Times Cookbook to see how the recipes, and the related ingredients, are listed.

                      Also, I will often search EYB's library (that is, even books I don't own) if I'm looking for ways to use an obscure ingredient or if I'm looking for an obscure recipe. Then I can go look at that book at the library or Amazon or whatever.

                      It's a great way to track all of your recipe notes, too. If you liked it, didn't like it, what you'd change. You can also mark recipes you'd like to try, ones you want to avoid, etc.

                      I now think twice before buying a book if it isn't indexed on EYB, because I know I will be less likely to use it...

                      I hope this helps!

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        s
                        sueatmo Sep 29, 2011 08:52 AM

                        Thanks for the good information. I am tempted to try this. Several of my cookbooks are indexed, but not all. I've catalogued books. I would be tempted to index at least one of my cookbooks. I will do some more looking around the site.

                        1. re: sueatmo
                          The Dairy Queen Sep 29, 2011 08:59 AM

                          You might try the free trial. I think you can set up an account, add five books to your bookshelf, and play arouind as much as you like. My only caveat is to make sure that the five books you add to your shelf have been indexed so you can really see how it works.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: sueatmo
                            Caitlin McGrath Sep 29, 2011 10:46 AM

                            When I first subscribed, around half my books were indexed. They really stepped up the indexing pace once the site was out of beta, and it seems like each time I return, more of my books are indexed or soon to be, and now the majority of my 70 or so books are - but I don't have a ton of the heritage and community cookbooks that might never be indexed. If you buy new (i.e., recent) cookbooks, they seem to index lots of those very fast. In addition to cooking magazines, they're now indexing some blogs, so that really opens things up if you just want to find recipes for _____.

                            I admit I don't really exploit the features such as bookmarking and notes much and mostly use it to search for recipes for _____, or using such-and-such ingredient. I'm not sure I'd pay $25/yr. personally unless I did plan to really use those features. (I bought a lifetime membership that was offered while the site was in beta).

                        2. re: sueatmo
                          sockii Sep 29, 2011 09:11 AM

                          I subscribed earlier this year, and while I do use the site on (odd) occasion, it's not supremely helpful for me given the nature of my cookbook collection. I have somewhere around 150-170 cookbooks currently. At last check 97 of them are listed at EYB, but only 22 of those are indexed, and only 1 more on their list to be added soon. I did have some (very nice) discussion with one of the people behind the site a while back who talked about how they choose the books that are on their high priority list, and it was pretty clear that a lot of my older/out-of-print and inherited library probably wasn't going to be on it.

                          I love the site in theory, but until they open it up for users to start indexing - and I actually have the time for such work - it doesn't really help me a lot in finding recipes quickly for the vast majority of my cookbook collection.

                          1. re: sockii
                            The Dairy Queen Sep 29, 2011 09:35 AM

                            It's true that older books, unless they are bestselling classics with a nationwide, perhaps even international, English speaking audience are unlikley to be indexed. Quirky, old, or highly local books are unlikely to make the cut. New high profile books--such as Beard and IACP nominees or books by big name authors-- are the most likely candidates for indexing in my opinion based on my observations. Nearly all of the COTMs have been indexed. Since that's a big part of my personal collection, a lot of the books on my shelf have been indexed.

                            But, if you don't own a lot of those kinds of books, you may not get as much use out of the site. However, you might still consider it if it's helpful to you to keep an inventory of your books online. And you can put in some limited notes about the book, including listing your fav recipes, in the cookbook notes section of EYB, even if the book is not indexed. I wish they'd allow more text in this notes section actually. And the more people that have any given book on their shelves, the more likely it is to be indexed. So, if a bunch of people own an old obscure book and no one is putting it on their shelf, it probably won't get indexed.

                            Also, certain magazines (Cooks Illustrated, for instance) and blogs are now being indexed, too, which might be helpful to people with extensive magazine collections.

                            I like the idea of members being able index their own books, but to be honest, I personally don't have that kind of time. It would be interesting to see how many people actually do that once the feature is live. I'll bet everyone loves the idea of it but few will follow through.

                            They also say eventually you'll have the capability to index your own recipes, newspaper clippings and handwritten recipe cards and such, but I'm not sure how that would work or when it will be available.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              s
                              sueatmo Sep 29, 2011 10:36 AM

                              Indexing would be time consuming. If the indexing software functioned like a template, and assisted you in entering standardized information, it could be done by someone who was motivated to get her/his book done. That might be me!

                              I like the idea of trying it for free to see if it is helpful.

                              1. re: sueatmo
                                d
                                dkennedy Sep 29, 2011 10:59 AM

                                I would be one of the people who would take advantage of the self indexing feature. 110 of my 240 cookbooks have been indexed so far. I probably have around 25-50 more that will eventually be indexed by the site, but I have at least 10 of my go-to books which will never be indexed and I would go through the bother of indexing those myself if given the opportunity.

                                1. re: dkennedy
                                  s
                                  sueatmo Sep 29, 2011 11:24 AM

                                  And I assume that self indexed books would be available to others with a membership?

                                  1. re: sueatmo
                                    The Dairy Queen Sep 29, 2011 01:07 PM

                                    I assume so! Gosh, that would be a terrible waste of effort if it weren't for everyone's benefit!

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: sueatmo
                                      Breadcrumbs Sep 29, 2011 04:52 PM

                                      EYB is currently testing Member indexing and, as books have been indexed by Members they are identified as "Member Indexed" vs "Indexed". They are available to all Members.

                                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  sockii Sep 29, 2011 04:46 PM

                                  A lot of my cookbooks are quirky and old :) I inherited a lot of my grandmother's collection which I love because it's the food I grew up with. But it's not the kind of stuff likely to ever get indexed (everything from traditional Polish & German cooking to the original Galloping Gourmet series)--and my partner collects obscure Italian regional and Medieval/Renaissance cookbooks which again, doesn't have as high a priority as Giada or Mario's latest releases. I don't buy celebrity chef books generally and often find the bargain book selections at B&N very good and useful...but again, not likely to be indexed.

                                  I use Collectorz software to index my basic book & magazine collection and have been trying to figure out how to use that to be more functional for individual recipe searching. In the long run it might be more useful for me than EYB.

                                  1. re: sockii
                                    s
                                    sueatmo Sep 29, 2011 06:29 PM

                                    This is interesting software. So, you scan the ISBN or the LC classification number? I understand that doing this retrieves the specific title and ed. that you own, with the correct bibliographic information. But--how does that help you?

                                    1. re: sueatmo
                                      sockii Sep 30, 2011 05:54 AM

                                      I'm just starting to play around with it (my husband is using a copy right now to catalog his 5,000+ library of art books, lol). But specifically you can, for each title, include page numbers and descriptions of "stories" (or as I'd use it, recipes) which can then be searchable. I could also add location notes and indexing so I'd know where a book or cooking magazine actually *is* on my shelves.

                                      I have (thanks for the compulsive collector husband) a library of 20 years or so of Italian cooking magazines that surely will never get indexed at EYB (unless member indexed), and are difficult for me to use well without some sort of cataloging system. So I'm either going to have to do it myself some way, like with Collectorz, or try it with EYB.

                                      I didn't know they were testing member indexing yet and can't find the info on the site. Is it only open for certain users at this point in time? Because I'd probably get a lot more out of the site if I could just index a few of my most-used cookbooks that are likely not otherwise going to make it on there.

                                      1. re: sockii
                                        The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 06:50 AM

                                        I suspect a handful of people were invited to beta test the member indexing. That's how they've done things in the past.

                                        ~TDQ

                                    2. re: sockii
                                      s
                                      sueatmo Nov 29, 2011 04:16 AM

                                      I've reread a lot of posts on this thread, and I wondered how you were doing with Collectorz? Doing what you are with the software and your large collection is very intriguing. The stuff that cooks do on this forum is always interesting. Keep us posted!

                                  2. re: sockii
                                    r
                                    Rella Sep 29, 2011 07:42 PM

                                    "At last check 97 of them are listed at EYB, but only 22 of those are indexed, and only 1 more on their list to be added soon."

                                    I'm trying to understand the concept of the EYB site, so I'll ask: What value is 97 books that one owns being listed if they are not indexed. Just don't get it!

                                    1. re: Rella
                                      pamf Sep 29, 2011 10:05 PM

                                      I am just getting started with EYB, so other people here may have a better information. But I would think that there is some sort of feedback mechanism that lets the site managers know if a book that is listed, but not yet indexed, is selected by many users it would move that book up on the list of those that they are working on.

                                      From some of the posts on this thread it's obvious that EYB is more useful to people who have a lot of current/popular books than those who collect older/rare books.

                                      I think it's great that they offer a free trial, so you can browse around the site and test it out.

                                      1. re: pamf
                                        The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 01:36 AM

                                        There is a feature to "request" a book to be indexed. EYB can also tell how many people's shelves each book is on. They use this information, as well as some other criteria, to determine what should be indexed.

                                        They do have a free trial where you can set up an account and add five books to your bookshelf. But, even without the free trial, EYB's library is visible to everyone. And the listings of recipes (and related ingredients) for the books that have been indexed are also visible to anyone.

                                        Only full or trial members can "search" EYB's library, though...

                                        ~TDQ

                                      2. re: Rella
                                        The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 01:50 AM

                                        Well, first of all, just because a book isn't indexed today doesn't mean it won't ever be indexed. Dozens of my books have been indexed since I joined EYB, which has been about 15 months or so?

                                        Also sockii is saying there isn't much value in the situation where only about 25% of your books are indexed. I'm not sure I agree, but to each his own. Even if I can't get better use out of all of my books, I'd personally be willing to get better use out of 22 of my books. It's that useful to me. Let's say you're wondering what to do with your celery root. The old fashioned way would be to flip through all 97 of your books. Now you only have to flip through 75 books. That's still a lot of books, but it's a lot fewer than 97!

                                        I'd estimated that about 50% of the books that I own are indexed. I have a ton of old/obscure and community cookbooks that don't have ISBNs so they aren't even listed in EYB. (My understanding is that it's their intention to eventually enable these kinds of books, without ISBNs, to be added to your shelf).

                                        Of the books that I have that are listed in EYB, about 75% of them are indexed. That's not entirely coincidental. I've culled my cookbook collection and I'm less likely to get rid of a book if it's indexed. Also, sometimes I won't buy a book if I don't think it will be listed in EYB. Or, if I'm trying to decide between two similar books, all other things being equal, if only one is indexed in EYB, that's the one I'll get. So, my 75% number is a little distorted because I've been skewing my collection that way, if that makes any sense. In other words, I've changed my book buying (and retention) behavior since joining EYB.

                                        But, even if a book isn't indexed, as I said above, I still find value in having a listing of all of my books to peruse (because sometimes I do forget about a book and it's nice to peruse my list of books on my "shelf' periodically and be reminded of them)--and the books are categorized by ethnicity, etc. so occasionally it's useful to remind yourself of all of the Chinese books you own for instance, if you're planning a Lunar New Year Party or something. Finally, if you have cookbooks in multiple locations, you can use EYB to keep track of where your books are physically located. I had a friend with lots of books in storage, EYB could help her keep track of which ones are at home and which are in storage. FInally, you have the ability to make notes about a cookbook (ie, you could just make a list of your favorite recipes) in EYB, even if it's not indexed.

                                        A friend of mine had her cookbook collection destroyed in a fire. It would have been nice for her to have had an inventory off her books. At least I know I have an inventory of all of my cookbooks!

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          r
                                          Rella Sep 30, 2011 05:07 AM

                                          Thanks for your thoughtful reply; as a result I went to EYB for the first time and like what saw. However, the Boolean search is one that always looks like it will work and never has for me. I'm wondering if anyone has used this Boolean search and just how well it does work. Otherwise, as they are illustrating in this helpful Boolean FAQ, "chicken" could be a headache to find in one's books.

                                          http://www.eatyourbooks.com/help/how-to

                                          1. re: Rella
                                            The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 06:42 AM

                                            A common ingredient such as chicken or carrots is a nightmare to search on, to be honest, because you'll get a million hits. If I feel like having chicken for dinner, I find it's easier to decide what kind of cuisine I want for dinner, say Vietnamese, then just limiting my search to my Vietnamese books, or something similar.

                                            It's great for obscure ingredients or specific combos of ingredients or for a specific ingredient+specific preparation...

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: Rella
                                              s
                                              sueatmo Oct 1, 2011 07:33 AM

                                              Hi rella: I went to my bookshelf, recipes and did a Boolean search this way:

                                              chicken and artichokes -rice

                                              Every time I added an search term the results changed automatically. I did not get further results using NOT as a search term, but I did using the minus sign. I repeated this search using brisket and onions, and brisket and onions -soup.

                                              Hope this helps.

                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                r
                                                Rella Oct 1, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                Did you find it satisfactory for your search needs? I'm pretty sure I'm going to sign up tomorrow when I have time. The most exciting part of this is entering one's books. After that, I wonder how exciting a search and results will be :-))
                                                Thanks.

                                                1. re: Rella
                                                  s
                                                  sueatmo Oct 1, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                  I started a monthly subscription. This will deduct automatically every month through Paypal, unless I move to an annual subscription which will be more economical--if I continue it!

                                                  It is like a new toy. Almost all my major cookbooks are added, or about to be added. Many of the older ones can be found when I search, but heaven only knows when they will be added. I can't figure out how many books I actually entered. (I should have kept count.) so I emailed the site and asked how to see of list, and how to know how many I had put in.

                                                  I have messed around with adding recipes from food blogs. I gather they haven't added many of those. But I was able to add recipes from Epicurious. And after adding Smitten Kitchen to my book shelf, the recipes from that site showed with a recipe search, unless I specifically indicate to only search recipes from my books. These online recipes have a link to their web location.

                                                  A search for macaroni and cheese pulled up quite a few recipes from my modest cookbook collection. I intend to search by ingredient next. And by ethnicity. This is very interesting. I am looking foward to using it.

                                                  Have fun!

                                                  1. re: sueatmo
                                                    Caitlin McGrath Oct 1, 2011 07:19 PM

                                                    If you click on "My Bookshelf" and then on "Books" you'll see the list of books you've input, with a count at the top (number of result matching your search).

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                      s
                                                      sueatmo Oct 2, 2011 04:46 AM

                                                      Yes. After I went back to the homepage I saw the totals. And I received a quick answer from one of the site's owners. So far, it is a very nice site. I played with it last night.

                                                    2. re: sueatmo
                                                      r
                                                      Rella Oct 6, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                      Just checking in. Hope your subscription if going well. I just finished entering 455 books (my total stash), 215 of which are indexed. 7 of those 455 will be indexed soon.

                                                      A month or so ago I gave 508 cookbooks to the library, so am curious as to how many were actually indexed. One cannot turn back time :-))

                                                      1. re: Rella
                                                        s
                                                        sueatmo Oct 6, 2011 01:17 PM

                                                        I have far fewer books than you. I have entered 25 books, about 2/3 of my collection. About half of those I entered are already indexed.I have in the last few years purged about 10 or so, which I felt were useless to me. When I sort my list, I realize that I don't have a newer usable book. I really should seek out a new book. I've tried to find a reliable low carb cookbook, but I can't put my hands on anything I like.

                                                        I have played with the software, but my meals were planned already. I should be able to use the software to plan food to feed family who are visiting next week. Exciting!

                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                          The Dairy Queen Oct 6, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                          That's almost 50% of your collection indexed, which is pretty fantastic.

                                                          I'm sure none of the 508 books you got rid of (yowza) were indexed! Did it feel incredibly liberating to lighten your load?

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            r
                                                            Rella Oct 6, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                            Yes, I feel pretty good about how many books I own are indexed.

                                                            I like also to see the number of members listed having the same books I have; that's fun.

                                                            Yes, it is liberating to lighten the load; an understatement. I think I could lighten the load even further :-))

                                                          2. re: Rella
                                                            s
                                                            sueatmo Oct 6, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                            I used EYB tonight to discover a recipe I can use to feed four. My search criteria were chicken and lime. I found a good recipe for chicken breasts baked in foil I believe my DIL is dieting, and I can sure use portion control, so this recipe sounds really good for the purpose. I noted to myself the p. number, and put a public note out as to how many chicken breast halves are needed. I should have put in the number of servings, I think. Later I'll rate, and bookmark it, if I like well enough. But--when I printed off the list, I found the print really, really small. Not good for older eyes. But otherwise everything seems pretty well thought out. I do wish I had the option of printing notes with the list, but it isn't designed that way.

                                                            I recommend adding page notes, to yourself. Pagination might be different between editions, so I think that notation should be "locked." But other notes about quantities of ingredients should be public, and I hope others add those. And of course notes about prep and taste are also welcome.

                                                            1. re: sueatmo
                                                              r
                                                              Rella Oct 6, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                              You're way ahead of me in your experimenting with the software. I just today figured out (perhaps) how to bookmark. Before I finished, I had 3 separate folders for one recipe, which is ok I guess when one wants 3 folders for one recipe :-))

                                                              As to number of servings and ratings, well, that's not on my radar yet.

                                                              I did try to print something, I believe, and the software ended up copying (wanting to) 16 pages So I ended up cutting and pasting into a Word document and printed it out that way for myself. I've had other programs where sometimes the print is too small to read, and then all of a sudden one morning after turning on the computer, voila, it's big!

                                                              Page notes will be a good idea. I've found that some of my books are different in their listings for the years published, and maybe they will list 3 or 4 years, and then finally I'll go look for the ISBN for the one I have and it will be a different year.

                                                              I was lucky today in that I was looking for ingredients 'Italian sausage" and "cabbage" and came up with 2 and possibly three recipes which sound good. Tomorrow will be making meatballs out of 6 lbs. of meat, so with a head of cabbage waiting to be used, I will save a few of those hot Italian sausages for the lovely head of cabbage.

                                                              I'm in love with this program and I know I've not even begun to use its potential.

                                                              1. re: Rella
                                                                beetlebug Oct 7, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                Red cabbage was my first search on EYB. I came up with a red cabbage and sausage from Marcella's Essentials book. A book I've had for years but never would have considered looking in for a cabbage recipe. It ended up being a great pantry ready recipe. I became an instant EYB convert.

                                                                1. re: beetlebug
                                                                  s
                                                                  sueatmo Oct 7, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                                  Even with my small collection, the recipe I chose is one I probably would not have searched for. I did have trouble finding it in the cookbook though. The name of the recipe did not match anything in the index. That's why I noted the page in a locked note. If you are going back to the recipe, after buying the ingredients, I would recommend noting the page for future reference. And since quantities aren't noted, it is a good idea to note quantities of some ingredients--such as how many chicken breasts or pieces of fruit--for yourself and others.

                                                                  I confess, I haven't messed with folders.

                                                            2. re: Rella
                                                              e
                                                              ellabee Oct 7, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                              [responding to Rella's Oct 6 at 3:30pm]
                                                              You can't turn back time, but you can create a bookmark called Library to hold any library cookbooks that you might check out -- including some of those you donated [assuming they make it to the shelves; our local library's monthly book sales are their primary way of dealing with the donations].

                                                              My "holdings" in EYB look bigger than they are because I have bookmarks for Library, Wishlist, and friends' borrowable cookbooks; the Kitchen Shelf bookmark, like the shelf itself, has about 50.

                                                              1. re: ellabee
                                                                r
                                                                Rella Oct 7, 2011 06:21 PM

                                                                Thanks for your reply and advise, ellabee.

                                                                I got to thinking and wondering about any books that were indexed in EYB that I had given away. I do keep photos of 'house-hold possessions' which included a lot of the books I gave to the library, so I was able to quickly see if I had actually given a treasure away. There were only a very (a couple?) few that were indexed and the books were of Chinese and Thai cuisine, and I kept the 'what I deem" important few of this type. Also a few of the important Japanese type, I did keep.
                                                                So, at this point, I'm satisfied they might be of use to someone else in some small way.

                                                    3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      r
                                                      Rella Sep 30, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                      A good reason to use EYB: for a backup for insurance purposes.

                                                      For those who are interested, here is what I do: About once a year (more or less) I document thru photo or video my household. Then I use 2 external backups which I keep in a small fireproof safe.

                                                      Yes, I suppose robbers could steal the safe :-)) but that's all they would get in it.

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                        sockii Sep 30, 2011 06:00 AM

                                                        "Also sockii is saying there isn't much value in the situation where only about 25% of your books are indexed."

                                                        Actually, that's not quite what I said. I mentioned that I actually have somewhere around 150-170 cookbooks at the moment. But many of them are old or have no ISBN - only 97 of those are even in the EYB system right now - and 22 of THOSE are indexed.

                                                        So it's really more like only 12-14% of my collection that's included on the site right now, not 25%. And of those included books, I'd honestly say there are only really 10 of those I consider staples in my kitchen (Joy of Cooking, Marcella Hazan's books, James Beard). The rest are mostly the Food & Wine annual cookbooks which I always end up getting every year, but rarely if ever use (always seem to require some odd ingredient I don't have on hand, that kind of thing). And "The Sopranos Cookbook"? Really? I got it as a gag gift once...I really have to wonder how that title got high indexing priority over much better Italian cookbooks. But...JMHO.

                                                        But the back-up/security thing is why we're working on cataloging all of our book collecction, eventually, with collectorz software. Not only can you easily get all the information from publish date, author, list/current price with a barcode scan, but you can export the info into a webpage document as backup protection as well.

                                                        1. re: sockii
                                                          r
                                                          Rella Sep 30, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                          "The Sopranos Cookbook"

                                                          On the front of the book, it says "Recipes by Michele Sciolone" as well as inside.

                                                          You can see here many books listed on Amazon.com

                                                          1. re: Rella
                                                            sockii Nov 17, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                            Sorry I didn't automatically know this was some author I should be aware of or something.

                                                            When I browsed quickly through the title it looked like mostly all the same basic Italian-American recipes I have already in many other cookbooks with a lot of cheesy tie-in text.

                                                          2. re: sockii
                                                            The Dairy Queen Sep 30, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                            The Sopranos Cookbook gets pretty high marks from 'hounds who have recommended it on the home cooking board. I own it and have (sadly) tried only one recipe from it, but it was a hit at my house.

                                                            Sorry, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth, and I did misunderstand about the number of cookbooks you own (170), versus the number of those books that are in the EYB library(97) versus the number of those books that are actually indexed.

                                                            They have said they will eventually enable you to add books without ISBN's to your bookshelf, it's not clear when that will be or how it will work. Nevertheless, those will probably never been indexed by EYB. If you don't mind indexing them yourself, that is fantastic. But I know I'll never make the time.

                                                            But, if you're saying you only think EYB is going to be useful for the 10 books you use all the time instead of all 22 that are indexed, then really, EYB probably isn't for you. What I find most helpful about EYB is that it enables me to locate recipes in the books that I own that I haven't cooked from as much. It doesn't really help me much with the books I know inside and out, because I already know the recipes in those books. It helps me with the books I've spent less time with. That, to me, is the real power of EYB.

                                                            ~TDQ

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                              sockii Nov 17, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                              I've found that even with cookbooks I "think" I know, it's mostly I know a handful of recipes I always "go-to" in that book because I've cooked them repeatedly in the past and enjoyed them. Even in my favorite books, when I spend time newly looking through them, I'll still find a recipe I never tried before or thought about. And if I have the ingredients on hand I'm more inclined to give it a try if I know I've liked other recipes from that book, over a book I'm not as familiar with.

                                                              FWIW, I *have* signed up to index my first book for EYB because I do think there is useful potential there - it just will take more work for those of us with a lot of obscure book titles :) I'm starting with one of my favorite soup & stew books, which is only currently on 8 "bookshelves" and even as my favorite, I've probably only tried maybe 25% of the over 100 recipes in the book to date. I'm sure by indexing them all I'll be more inclined to give the rest a try. Next time, I'll probably pick a book I've only tried one or two recipes from before but would like to learn better.

                                                            2. re: sockii
                                                              s
                                                              sueatmo Oct 1, 2011 07:42 AM

                                                              OK, so the idea is not to be able to put your hand on the book but to have a record of the books, in case of fire, flood or earthquake. A long time ago, I cataloged books. I have a fair collection of books myself, but have never considered cataloging them because it seems a waste of time, for my purposes. You used to be able to get cataloging from the Library of Congress, if memory serves. Their website is down now, so I can't double check. But I don't know how you would store the records to make them searchable. I suppose the Collectorz software does that for you. It sounds like a good project for a true collector.

                                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                                r
                                                                Rella Oct 3, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                Oh, Oh! I messed up.

                                                                I couldn't find this thread, so I asked this at another new thread, sorry!!!

                                                                EYB - Can you search one particular book

                                                                I just joined yesterday and entered about 45 books.

                                                                The first thing I wanted to do was to see if a new book I bought Saturday had any lobster recipes. (I don't have any lobster on hand ;-))

                                                                I can't figure out how to search one particular book for an ingredient.

                                                                Am I already disappointed to find that I can't do this? (Sigh!)

                                                                Maybe I should have taken a one-month subscription?

                                                                What do you think? Can you search one particular book for a particular ingredient, or does one have to search a particular ingredient for every book you have you entered? If that is the case, perhaps it would be better to limit the amount of books entered? Oh, my!

                                                                1. re: Rella
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Oct 3, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                                  Hi Rella, see my reply in your other thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8104...

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                    r
                                                                    Rella Oct 3, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                                    My eternal gratitude. I see that you helped another who didn't know how to do this. I was getting a-scared :-))

                                                    4. pikawicca Oct 6, 2011 08:18 PM

                                                      A number us CHs were Beta testers and are lifelong members. I love it, love it, love it. EYB has made my cookbook collection so much more accessible and useful. I use it every day.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                                        flourgirl Oct 7, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                        Same here.

                                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                                          s
                                                          sueatmo Oct 7, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                          I hope you and flourgirl share some tips with some of us newbies! I think I am going to enjoy using this tool.

                                                        2. s
                                                          sueatmo Oct 28, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                          http://www.eatyourbooks.com/bookshelf...

                                                          If you want to index a cookbook of yours that is in the master list of EYB, you can do it now. The link gets you the page that explains a bit about this, and then there are links to a manual. If you ever wished you were a librarian, this might be something you would enjoy. I did some book cataloging, and I think I am up to indexing a book or two. It looks as they have made it doable. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly!

                                                          I really like using this tool.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                                            e
                                                            ellabee Oct 29, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                            Oooh, ooh, oooo! The long-awaited moment is here; thanks so much for the heads-up, sueatmo.

                                                            1. re: ellabee
                                                              pamf Oct 29, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                              I saw that too the other day, and clicked on the index button to see what their process would be like.

                                                              I got an email on Oct 27 saying that the feature was not quite ready yet and they will be in touch again soon, when it's ready for members to use.

                                                              So not quite here yet. But I would like to give it a try when it is ready.

                                                              The email also listed some of the constraints that will be in place, for example, members can only index one book at a time. It has to be a fairly unusual book: " generally titles that are on fewer than 20 Bookshelves".

                                                              1. re: pamf
                                                                s
                                                                sueatmo Oct 29, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                Good gracious, I got an email a couple of days ago announcing this feature. And it isn't quite ready?

                                                                Yes, but who would attempt to do more than one book at a time? I have several cookbooks that fit the latter criteria. There are some older titles that might benefit from the indexing. I am thinking strongly of doing at least one of my unindexed books.

                                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                                  e
                                                                  ellabee Oct 29, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                                  Hm; I should check my spam filter, I guess, because I usually get EYB emails but didn't see that one.

                                                                  Every cookbook on my actual kitchen shelf is already indexed or 'index soon' except for two books. One of those is on 5 other bookshelves; I'm looking forward to indexing it, as it has a fairly modest number of recipes.

                                                          2. e
                                                            ElizabethS Nov 19, 2011 08:36 AM

                                                            If you are on FB you can "like" the EYB page and as books are indexed they are posted on your FB page - very handy

                                                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eat-Yo...

                                                            1. s
                                                              sueatmo Nov 29, 2011 04:12 AM

                                                              New stuff from EYB. You can index your own recipes, the ones you've written out or clipped from newspaper or magazine. I haven't done this yet, but I do think I'll put copies from my gmail account into EYB. And they've added Kalyn's Kitchen to their 'holdings' so you can search recipes on her blog. I think having access to food blog recipes through this tool is fabulous. When you retrieve a recipe title on a food blog, you also retrieve a link to the actual recipe. Wonderful!

                                                              It is so nice to know that my index is with me wherever I go, and all I have to do is turn on my laptop.

                                                              If anyone is looking for a gift for a cook, you can give a gift subscription to EYB for $25/year. I might do this myself. The tool is evolving and becoming more robust all the time.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                                Caitlin McGrath Nov 29, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                Lord knows if I'll ever have time to index my clipped recipes, but I would be thrilled to have it done. Years back, I did create an index for my many notebooks of clipped recipes, but I lost it in a hard-drive failure. I may follow your lead and put in the ones I've pulled from online sources and also keep in email files.

                                                              2. Breadcrumbs Mar 26, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                I thought I'd bump this thread to share some great enhancements at EYB in case folks haven't seen them. Over the weekend they've updated the "My Homepage" with great visuals, a new blog and a fresh new look.

                                                                They now also have a "Recent Reviews" and "Latest Notes" section on the homepage so you can see what members are cooking and posting about.

                                                                My absolute favourite new feature though is the "Sort by Buzz" - this allows us to quickly find the recipes with the most notes, reviews, stars etc. I've already bookmarked a bunch of new recipes that I'd never have found otherwise!!

                                                                Overall it makes it much easier to find out what's going on at EYB and what members are doing...I think it's really brought the site to life. I'll be keen to hear if others have checked it out yet.

                                                                Also worth mentioning here in case folks haven't been back in a while, EYB has now indexed Blogs and has links to online recipes.

                                                                1. o
                                                                  obstundgemuse Aug 5, 2012 07:01 AM

                                                                  Has anyone here indexed a book yet? I have a few older community cookbooks I love, but I doubt they will ever make it to the index list. I was thinking of trying to do one.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: obstundgemuse
                                                                    pamf Aug 5, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                    Yes, I have done two books (one still in progress). It is an incredibly detailed process, they have quite a long list of guidelines that they want you to follow.

                                                                    http://www.eatyourbooks.com/help/inde...

                                                                    They will help you figure it all out and answer your questions. They also check your work and let you know where you need to make corrections.

                                                                    If you like this kind of detail oriented work, then you might enjoy it. You will certainly know your cookbook inside and out by the time you are done.

                                                                    1. re: obstundgemuse
                                                                      d
                                                                      DGresh Aug 6, 2012 04:39 AM

                                                                      I tried to index one of mine awhile back. I simply did not have the patience for it and gave up after a few recipes. IMO it just wasn't worth the effort-- it's a nice "charitable" thing for the world at large (perhaps), but as far as paying me back for my time, not worth it.

                                                                      1. re: obstundgemuse
                                                                        d
                                                                        debbiel Aug 6, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                        Oof...I started indexing a book. That project got lost in summer's bustle. Time to pull it back out and get going again. It is a bit tedious, but it seems like a nice contribution to make.

                                                                        1. re: obstundgemuse
                                                                          o
                                                                          obstundgemuse Aug 7, 2012 05:08 AM

                                                                          I think I'll keep it in mind for a wintertime project, with one of my smaller cookbooks.

                                                                          1. re: obstundgemuse
                                                                            e
                                                                            ellabee Aug 8, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                                            I indexed a book that I thought would be a small job, because recipes are only about a third of the book, but it turned out that there were still 250 recipes or so.

                                                                            It was a big job, but I'm glad I did it. It teaches you a great deal that comes in handy when searching EYB for ingredients, or reviewing recipes' ingredient lists. If and when we ever get a wireless network set up here so that I could work online in the kitchen, I'll do another, smaller one.

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