Now that the economy is making it tough on almost everyone, more people are cooking meals at home instead of eating out, myself included. When I get tired of preparing the same old meals, I like to sit down with a cookbook for a few minutes and plan my meals for the next three or four days before I go to the grocery.
From time to time, I like to go to one of the many free internet sites and look for recipes, but I’ve found that they aren’t always sound. In fact, I often wonder if some of the recipes posted were even tried before being posted. At least with my trusty, traditional printed cookbooks, I feel more confident that my dish will turn out to my satisfaction. There’s nothing more frustrating than preparing an entire dish only to find that there was something fundamentally wrong with the recipe. I’ll admit that it is convenient to be able to print the recipe from the internet to take to the grocery with me, but I can also scan the page of the cookbook and print it out as well. I’ve even been known to take the entire cookbook to the grocery with me if I’m in a hurry.
Sometimes, if I have a slow afternoon, I like to look through a cookbook or cooking magazine such as “Taste of Home” even if I’m not planning to cook for weeks. There’s something very relaxing about taking my time poring over dozens of recipes and thinking of ways that I would change them to suit my own taste.
There are also plenty of men and women in this world who don’t like the internet. I deal with these people on a regular basis in the retail store where I work. They find the internet cold, impersonal, and difficult to use. Granted, these are often older people who haven’t been around computers much, but there are young people I encounter with the same attitude.
All of the women in my family and all of my lady friends still own at least a dozen or more cookbooks and we all use and share them on a regular basis. I especially love the cookbooks that I inherited from my Grandmother. That lady could cook!
At my local used book store there are two very long aisles of nothing but cookbooks and these sections are always so busy that I sometimes have to wait just for a few people to move out so I can step in and select a few for myself. I’ve noticed there that the most popular cookbooks are the older versions and the cookbooks printed as fundraisers from schools and churches.
I also like to buy cookbooks from Ebay. I’ve bought probably thirty cookbooks from Ebay sellers in the last two months. I always look for bulk auctions with five or more cookbooks in a lot. They are always dirt cheap even with postage. Once I get them in the mail, I look through them and decide which I want to keep and which can go to the used book store in order to get credit to purchase more cookbooks.
I have no doubt that fewer cookbooks are being purchased these days. I know that part of the reason has to do with the availability of recipes on the internet, but it also has to do with the fact that not as many people are cooking at home these days. We’re all busy with our jobs and all the responsibilities that take up our time. It is much easier and often less expensive to just go down the street to one of the many restaurants and have someone else prepare our meals for us.
I don’t think that printed cookbooks will be as profitable as they were in the days when every lady had at least a half dozen cookbooks on her shelf, but I also don’t think they are gone forever. There are too many of us who still love to curl up with a good cookbook instead of sitting in front of a computer to plan out future meals.