Kindle for cookbooks?
December 27, 2009 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Anyone using an Amazon Kindle e-book reader primarily for cookbooks?

Anyone using an Amazon Kindle e-book reader primarily for cookbooks? What are your experiences like? Would you recommend it? DX or regular? What annoyances have you encountered, if any? Users of other e-book readers are also invited to comment.
posted by kindall to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just got one for Christmas and my first impression is that it would not be good to use in a kitchen. One good drip or splash and it could be out of commission.
posted by TorontoSandy at 6:50 PM on December 27, 2009

Couldn't you just put it in a ziploc bag?
posted by ManInSuit at 7:31 PM on December 27, 2009

Response by poster: Eh, I'm not so worried about that -- we could just throw it in a gallon zip-lock bag or whatever. What I'm really interested in is how well it works with how people use cookbooks. I would imagine that the search could be useful, but an e-book doesn't seem very browseable. How often do people just flip through their cookbooks for serendipity, for example? What do I not know about how serious cooks use cookbooks and how it does or does not mesh with how an e-book reader works?

(This would be a gift for someone who loves to cook, but I don't know enough about the practice to know how well the Kindle really fits.)
posted by kindall at 7:34 PM on December 27, 2009

Best answer: Sorry to say that the Kindle won't make for a very good cookbook replacement. It is, however, the perfect gift for anyone who likes to read books.

It's impossible to flip through an e-book in the same way you would a traditional book. In my experience, you'd want to quickly flip through and browse the pictures/ingredients lists in a cookbook.

I've used my Sony Reader to read several books on programming (similar to reading recipes in a cookbook) and found it EXTREMELY frustrating to flip back 20 or so pages and re-read something or flip ahead to see what the end result would be.

Bad for cookbooks and programming, great for everything else, though. You'll have to pry my e-book reader from my cold, dead hands.
posted by plasticbugs at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2009

Best answer: First of all, a lot of cookbooks are not available on the Kindle. Secondly, I've tried some samples of cookbooks on my Kindle and never had a good experience. The index and pictures were rendered useless, and I could not imagine cooking from the Kindle unless I was using the search function to call up a recipe I had previously read in hard copy form.

If you want to give someone a $250 cooking present, buy a bunch of nice cookbooks, not a Kindle.
posted by acidic at 8:27 PM on December 27, 2009

I keep an ever-growing ebook with all my favorite recipes on my Kindle for reference (created with mobigen), but I definitely would not be wanting to be flipping through a cookbook on it.
posted by wongcorgi at 8:54 PM on December 27, 2009

Best answer: I'm a foodie and this is one of the primary ways in which I use my Kindle.

Right before I got it (a birthday present), I had been flipping through some cookbooks and wishing I could take them with me to the supermarket for inspiration as I shopped. I do actually flip through cookbooks for fun or when bored or looking for inspiration.

After getting the Kindle, I started putting cookbooks on it (both from the Kindle store and other formats I loaded on myself). I think it's great for this purpose, and love it.

Cookbooks you get via the Kindle store are usually formatted with links in the table of contents so you can go to what section or recipe you want. If that doesn't exist, the search is really useful. Sometimes I want a specific ingredient, like potatoes, and by using that keyword, I can bring up every recipe that includes potatoes. Printed cookbooks might have potato as its own category, but won't list every single recipe with potatoes in it.

I can take cookbooks with me to the store, can flip through them right before I want to go make something, or on my commute, or anywhere.

The only downsides are .pdfs you upload might look a little small, and the pictures are in black and white where there are pictures. But they're not terrible tradeoffs for the benefits.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:44 PM on December 27, 2009

Response by poster: Hmmm. Well, the weight of opinion seems to be toward the printed cookbooks, so that's what I got, but I'll keep an eye on e-readers as they continue to evolve. Overall it sounds like they're not quite baked yet (I already had that impression from playing with a Kindle).
posted by kindall at 7:14 PM on December 28, 2009

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