HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Your favorite e-cookbooks (kindle or ipad)

My husband and I are moving to Istanbul in early 2013. It's a transfer through my job so we'll have shipping up to a certain weight covered, but I plan to store most of our kitchen stuff as our new flat will likely have a considerably smaller kitchen than what we have now.

Part of what must go in storage is my collection of about ~70 cookbooks. I'll probably toss 4-5 of my absolute favorites in the shipment. That will be sad. But, it is also an opportunity to get the ipad or kindle version of some of my favorites and those I'm unfamiliar with. I cook pretty much everything, but my tastes skew strongly towards the spicy, south, east and SE Asian, Middle Eastern and Mexican.

So if you use electronic cookbooks, which are some of your favorites? What would be your top five?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've sold some books online through moola4books at a very decent rate. I remember paying another $0-2 and I could get the e-version of the same book from Amazon. That was done sometime last year.

    There're quite a few companies that do books buyback. Get a quote from those as well.

    1. If you like vintage cookbooks (1925 and before) go to Archive.org and there are many you can download for free in kindle and pdf format.
      Here's a link:

      Old Cook Books (late 1800's & early 1900's), links to free online e-copies at Archive.org

      Anyone read dated cookbooks?, links to free online e-copies at Archive.org


      1. Neither...I like hardcopy!

        1. I'm yet to find a good free e-cookbook to download, but there is a decent magazine that is free and worth a browse. It's called Sweet Paul, you can read it online or download it to your device.


          1. I'm guessing you already checked which of your print favorites are available in ebook form?

            My favorites are Mediterranean clay pot cooking by Paula Wolfert.
            Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food is available on ebook.
            For Indian my favorites are 1000 Indian Recipe by Neelam Batra and The Dance of Spices by Laxmi Hiremath

            1. My mom just discovered the idea of taking cookbooks on the kindle to Europe, instead of lugging the books. Changed her life (although that's a pretty small screen to cook from). She recommends Marcella Hazan, which isn't quite in your oeuvre, but a good Italian meal might be just the ticket after a few months!

              1. I was thrilled to find one of my favorite Chinese cookbooks available for kindle. Barbara Tropp's "The China Moon Cafe" is an all time favorite, out of print, my copy is dying so putting it on my i-pad seemed like a great idea. I am also a fan of Mark Miller's book, "Tacos" it is available as an e-book.

                1. Did you see the story about a woman in Norway buying e-books for her Kindle through Amazon in the UK? Apparently because of DRM copyrights, Amazon wiped out the books from her Kindle, did not refund her money and told her to take her business elsewhere

                  Here's the story:

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Antilope

                    According to the internet grapevine, she pretends to be resident in a different country in order to get a different set of ebooks. Or something similar. Basically a non crime in the old physical book world. The reason amazon can take your books away is because you don't own the kindle books, but simply license them.

                    However despite this, I will still move to ebooks, jus like I've stopped using CDs. You can buy ebooks elsewhere too. iTunes Store, google play. Amazon is very monopolistic in the ebook market so you might want to support the lesser players.

                    As for the issue of holding the book long term. It will never beat print. Can you think how many formats we have changed just over the last 20 years?

                    1. re: lilham

                      I wonder how Amazon reacts to moving to a different country with your Kindle and U.S. purchased e-books (like the OP plans to do)? Maybe after you have all of your e-books, you should back them up and keep the Kindle Wi-fi turned off?

                  2. I have lots of ecookbooks like Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Lidia Bastianich's books on my Kindle and the Kindle app for iPad. But the book has to be well indexed - the best have each recipe as a link in the table of contents or index so you can jump quickly. I also bought one Kindle cookbook by Rose Levy Beranbaum that was so sloppily formatted that it was unusable (the line breaks were all wrong so the quantities were impossible to read), but that was a few years ago and the formatting in most books is great.
                    One big advantage to having cookbooks on the Kindle touch: you can search for an ingredient from the home page and it shows all the results in all your books!
                    I also like that I have all the Kindle books on my phone too which makes shopping for ingredients on the fly much simpler.
                    Finally, if you are not a master of english to metric conversions, look for cookbooks that give quantities in both - it makes shopping in Europe as an American expat much more efficient. Examples are Ruhlman's Twenty or Roots by Diane Morgan.
                    and I'm embarrassed to say I have too many to have a top 5 though Food52 and anything by Nigel Slater or Mark Bittmann are bound to be flexible and delicious.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: SwissKiki

                      Are you able to see pictures in color on your iPad? Or are these stripped out of the kindle versions? I know I can't see color on the kindle paperwhite, but if the iPad kindle app makes cookbooks look just like the physical book - without the storage hassles - then I might have to start buying the kindle versions.

                      1. re: afriye13

                        In the kindle app for the iPad, you can see books in color. Some of my favorites are Plenty, Jerusalem and Dirty Candy. I have vision problems and I love being able to enlarge the screen when necessary.

                    2. I have none. I like the feel of a book with a binding that has pages I can flip with out have to charge it every so often. Cookbooks, I have over 160 of them. I like the feel of paper.

                      1. I have several e-cookbooks due to space and less-so cost. I like them, but don't love them. I use them, but not as much as I would hard copy books. Pictures are not the same (usually smaller). I find Eat Your Books to be even more helpful with ebooks.