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Cookbook Acquisition

Poll Results: How Do You Obtain Your Cookbooks

Poll expired: Sep 19, 2011 This is a multiple choice poll
  • 10% (11)
    I have bought a cookbook in the past 12 months
  • 10% (11)
    I have bought a cookbook in the past 6 months
  • 19% (20)
    I have bought a cookbook in the past 3 months
  • 19% (20)
    I buy cookbooks on-line
  • 6% (7)
    I use Cheftalk's direct links to Amazon for cookbook purchases
  • 8% (9)
    I prefer buying cookbooks from brick-and-mortar sites
  • 9% (10)
    I get my cookbooks from the library
  • 14% (15)
    I get cookbooks from other sources
  • 0% (1)
    I don't read cookbooks
104 Total Votes  
post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

We're trying to get a better fix on how Cheftalk members obtain and use cookbooks. Please fill out the survey, and, where appropriate, expand on your responses in the forum.

 

For instance, if you do not use the Cheftalk direct links to Amazon, we'd like to know why. Similarly, if you use brick & mortar bookstores instead of buying on-line, we're interested in your reasons.

 

If you regularly purchase cookbooks, but haven't done so recently, is it just the economy? Or are there other reasons?

 

Etc.

 

Thanks.

 

BTW, everyone who participates in the survey automatically gets entered to win a cookbook. So answering the questions can be a simple way of adding to your cookbook collection.


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 8/6/11 at 3:54am
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 39

I usually buy by the decade.

currently buying 1900-1910 mostly from ebay and vintagecookbook.com

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is Too Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #3 of 39

If I buy on-line from Amazon, I use the ChefTalk link.

 

I rarely purchase cookbooks as I'm happy with my current library.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 39

I'm not sure if it counts the same way, but I buy and use numerous cooking magazines. I have been given gift subscriptions to three(3) different issues, and I purchase two(2) others on my own. I know it would be more economical for me to just subscribe to the two(2) I purchase. It's just easier, I guess, to pick them up at the grocery store when they come out. I buy them at the grocery store because I'm there anyway, and they have them. I do not have any plastic credit, so I do not buy online. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #5 of 39

I have "inherited" cookbooks, and I have been given a gift subscription to a cooking magazine.

post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if it counts the same way,

 

Not in this case, IceMan. We're not looking for data on how you get your cooking info and ideas. Rather, we're specifically studying cookbook buying habits.

 

Might be an interesting discussion about magazines in your response, though. Why don't you start a new thread---what cooking magazines do you use sort of thing.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 39

I still get my entry to win the cookbook thought, right? 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

The way it works, IceMan, is that anyone who participates in the poll/discussion automatically is entered. So, yeah, you're in line for a possible win.

 

Hmmmmmm? If your name is drawn, should we send a magazine instead. wink.gif

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 39

If I hear of a cookbook I want to buy, Amazon is the first place I look because so often their prices are best.  But recently I have had trouble finding some of the titles I want, mostly because I am looking for titles that are out of print or the very specific high-end professional ones that Amazon doesn't carry.  For example - 

Laduree: The Sweet Recipes

L'Art Des Petit Fours Sucres et Sales - There is an edition of this that has recipes in both English and French, but it is hard to find

Sweet Cuisine by Bau

 

You also asked how we use cookbooks - For me, I have two categories: Home and professional.  I don't buy many cookbooks for home cooking any more because I have so many already, but I do use them a lot to plan meals for my days off.  These are often simple, comfort food-type recipes.  

For work, I am  a pastry chef and will often flip through my professional cookbooks when planning menu changes.  I want my desserts to be my creations, but the cookbooks are great for giving me plating ideas, flavor combinations or sometimes I just need a technique for something I want to achieve.  For example - Pierre Herme has a recipe for lemon cream in his dessert cookbook that Dorie Greenspan also includes in one of her books and it is by far the best I have ever made.  I have since made it in lime and even sour cherry and the texture is phenomenal.  When you find one great base recipe like that, it is worth the price of the book because you can use it in so many applications.  Other books, like Frozen Desserts by Migoya is great for understanding all of the basic ratios for semifreddo, souffle glace and such.  I reference it a lot when I am troubleshooting problems with a new ice cream flavor or wanting to tweak the texture on something.

post #10 of 39

I wish I could say there was a rhyme and a reason for the way I buy cookbooks, but there's not (completely) I will buy cookbooks from people that I have met and admire like Jean Louis Palladin, or from classes I have taken such as Ewald Notter. Just recently I was reading about one of my all time favorite restaurants L'Auberge Chez Francoise and found out that Francoise son has put out 2 books from the restaurant so I bought one and will buy the other. Usually if it's on Amazon I use the Cheftalk link as I know it benefits Cheftalk. I will admit though I forgot on this last book and didn't use the link. I will on the next one.

Other times it's based on styles/cuisines or historical. Several have been gifts and some great ones have come from garage sales. I also got some great ones from winning contests and doing reviews. Until I build the new bookshelves though the new additions are sitting on the floor :(

My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #11 of 39

Over the years I have purchased and subsequently given away many, many cookbooks... and not as gifts. Let's just say most were in 'new' condition. I have learned to be leery of cookbook descriptions that just say 'color photos' since that often means a dozen photos stuck in the center of the book. I want to see an enticing photo of each recipe, like food bloggers manage to do. I want recipes that are readable, and reliable, and accurate, but I don't want six photos for explaining a roux. These days, I tend to research a cookbook I might be interested in. For example, if I'm in the forums and I read about a cookbook, I will click the link and read the description and any reviews associated. I will check out the index, look at sample pages, etc. I might check out the same book on other sites for varying reviews. I also compare pricing. If there is any question remaining, I will find the cookbook at a brick-and-mortar store, to hold it in my hands and make the final call. I purchase only at the best price, wherever that may be...sometimes Amazon, sometimes not. All that said, recommendations from chefs whose recipes work carry a lot of weight, as do recommendations from authors and bloggers I have come to trust because their recipes work.

post #12 of 39

Over the past few years I have been buying at a local family owned brick and mortar store.  I also like to hit up yard sales and estate auctions for cook books as well as the Library book sales.  I havent bought a book on the internet in 4-5 years and in the 90's to maybe 2004 I always bought from smaller brick and mortars.  For me most of the time its only a matter of a couple of dollars and I'd rather give to a local business than to Amazon.

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #13 of 39

Cookbooks?  I need a 12-step program.  I like cookbooks as a regular source of reading entertainment.  I buy on line and from stores.  I prefer specific cuisine or technique oriented books.  Good narrative and backstory is a bonus - something more than just a recipe.  As I have eclectic tastes, I purchase all kinds of books.  If I can't page through a copy, I will check out reviews of books before I buy (I'm not completely indiscriminate about this).  Amazon is great for that.  In some cases, I will buy based on the author where I have liked past books.  As I have Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping -- woohoo!), I tend to use Amazon a lot for new purchases.  Love that almost immediate gratification.  However, I have also purchased a lot of books from my local Half Price Book Store which has a pretty good selection and lots of turnover.

post #14 of 39

The last thing I bought was Claudia Roden's new book abou Spanish cooking. I buy books at bookdepository.co.uk, shipping-free.

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 

Looking over the responses so far, I notice that fewer than half those who buy cookbooks on-line have used Cheftalk's direct links to Amazon.

 

So, the obvious question: How come?

 

If you're buying on-line anyhow, and if by using the direct links you help Cheftalk continue doing it's great job, why aren't you using them?

 

Is it that you're buying from sites other than Amazon? Or perhaps you find the process of accessing the links cumbersome? Or maybe you're a newish member, and didn't know there were direct links? Or is it something else.

 

Please let us know why you're not using the links, and what, if anything, would encourage you to do so.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 39

OK. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin. If you want to buy something online and you just put it in your search bar, probably in the first two(2) or three(3) responses will be Amazon. It's usually the biggest, and it sticks out. I would guess that many shoppers will go there just for general principles. Now on the other hand, and PLEASE don't get mad at me for this, the CT pages are much too busy. For ME, and this is just my situation, so much is going on and it's not always the same, that I miss or don't even see the CT direct links. As an example, and it actually escapes me this moment, there was a regular blog in the upper right corner that grabbed my attention all the time. It was really aggravating when I had only a minute or two to come here, that I would be distracted and spent an hour. I now don't notice all the stuff going on. I like less busy. I also like faster page changes. All the things CT has on the pages slows things down. I'm not sayin' that I wouldn't or don't want to use what's available, I'm just sayin' that I'm not crazy about information overload. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #17 of 39

OK, I confess, I only used the link once.  I will make a true effort to use it in the future, but this is how my shopping goes -

 

Someone mentions a cookbook that sounds really interesting to me, I put it in my cart on Amazon or on my Amazon wishlist so I remember it, but I almost never buy it right away.  There are too many cookbooks that grab my attention.  Maybe a few weeks or months later, if I still want it, then I will buy it.  But sometimes I can talk myself out of buying it.

Just yesterday I was on Amazon looking for can openers and they gave me a totally unwanted recommendation for The Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook.  I didn't even know there was going to be one, but I keep hearing a lot about Christina Tosi's desserts and will be very tempted to check it out for myself.  It's not going to be published until late October, so there is time to see if I still want it.  If I do, I promise I will try to remember the Cheftalk link.  

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 

PLEASE don't get mad at me for this,

 

Interesting comment, IceMan. Why would anyone get mad at you for telling the truth as you see it? And the fact is, in this case I happen to agree with you---Huddler keeps throwing more and more unnecessary stuff on the pages, which does, indeed, just slow things down. And important functions are either designed poorly, don't work properly, or are so cumbersome to use that they get ignored.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #19 of 39

I use the library a lot. Some books then make the jump to my wish list for a physical copy.

 

As to online, I somtimes buy from amazon, but more often buy used from alibris. I've picked up a few e-cookbooks more recently as well and have been pretty happy with that format,. More than i thought I would be.  I'm not a Kindle user but use Nook software on my tablet so Amazon is out of luck on that front.

post #20 of 39

I've complained to Huddler about the clutter and lack of hierarchy. Adblock helps a lot in reducing the clutter in Firefox. Same for Chrome.

post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 

I've complained to Huddler about the clutter and lack of hierarchy.

 

Evidently you have them confused with people who care. I've yet to see any member complaint actually addressed. Meanwhile, they keep adding crap to the pages.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 39

Interesting note on the last book I bought.

I love this restaurant so I knew it would be good (recipe wise anyway) The first thing I noticed was that it was a gift for a couple. It seemed like a wedding or anniversary gift perhaps. This is not your average cookbook. While not the most expensive or glamerous book, L'Auberge Chez Francoise is a very highly regarded restaurant so there had to be some connection between the giver, the recipient and or the restaurant. The next page I turned to it was signed by Jacques Haeringer  the Chef and Francoise son. I personally was shocked that someone would sell or donate a gift like this. Maybe that's just me, but I will put the book to good use, if they can't or won't! Imagine a gift, signed by the author at that and I buy it used (yeah right!) at Amazon! Tsk tsk... :(

It was "Two for tonight" l'auberge chez francoise . I love this restaurant   . I.

My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #23 of 39

I haven't used the Cheftalk link to Amazon becuase Amazon.com doesn't ship to Canada... we have to use Amazon.ca instead and my experience with the Canadian branch of the site has been less than positive.  Instead I order from Indigo.ca.  What would encourage me to use Amazon.ca is if they got their customer service skills together and actually cared about every order that they process. 

 

I've browsed the cookbook section at the library as well and now and then something will catch my eye and I'll sign it out.   I find alot of recipes online and in magazines as well.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #24 of 39

My children give me gift cards when birthdays, Christmas, etc., come around. I use them exclusively for cookbooks. I prefer to buy from a store because I am very anal about the book's condition. I have returned one too many books I received as damaged from online sites.

post #25 of 39

I seem to be buying (and reading) cookbooks more often than is healthy for my bank account.

I use all sources, book shops, online, second hand etc. The choice here in the bookshops is quite reasonable.

I do buy online as well, but don't use the links as I buy via amazon UK : They ship for free to the netherlands, so if someone comes to visit me, they get forced to take some books with them and I do the same to my UK friends (in return I pick them up from the airport, sort out their holiday etc so I think it's a fair deal lol.gif)

I got a couple of cook books on my kindle as well, but that's only because they were free. I don't see myself buying any of them. I prefer the paper version.

I don't use the library. I don't even know if there is one here.

 

 

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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post #26 of 39

I use the library. It has helped weed out the cookbooks that didn't work for me.

post #27 of 39

I usually get gifted cookbooks or look for them cheap at booksales and yard sales and such.  lol, the newest cookbook I have is the one sent to me by Cheftalk. I have never bought anything from Amazon, but if I did I would use cheftalk just to help out the site.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #28 of 39

I just as often buy cookbooks from used bookstores as I do from new ones.  I have to be careful about buying books anyhow, as when I go into a new bookstore, I can easily spend my paycheck in there, if I don't watch myself.  Therefore, I tend to patronize used bookstores more often then new ones.

post #29 of 39

For myself as a home cook, I love to go into the local thrift shop and see what someone else is giving away for less than a quarter.  I also go to the library and sit for hours flipping pages for ideas.  If I’m at home and need inspiration, I use a search engine online for instant gratification.   People have been known to bequeath me their books that they no longer want.  I have never purchased a cook book on the internet.

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #30 of 39

Like others have mentioned, I've been buying at garage sales and used book shops (Half Price Books is a regular stop). I have used the Amazon link here, but my synagogue has an Amazon link too, so I use that one too. 

 

I aspire to have as many cookbooks as Suzanne Fass: something like 50 linear feet of them! I'm up to 15 so far, so I have a ways to go. 

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