hear hear! i don’t know who jonathan beecher field is, but i have to agree with this article:

In the age of the Internet, the value of “Joy” — or books like it — lies not with what they include, but in what they exclude. For the cook who wants to make a familiar dish, or who is faced with a new ingredient, the current problem is not a lack of recipes, but a surfeit of them…

All of this suggests that ink-and-paper cookbooks will survive the recipe database and the food blog explosion. This is good news, but should not be surprising. A good cookbook is more than a collection of recipes. The ones I cherish — Judy Rodgers’ “Zuni Cafe Cookbook” and Fergus Henderson’s “The Whole Beast” come to mind — offer a comprehensive approach to thinking about food from a distinct perspective. Even in the realm of general cookbooks, there are personalities…

A particular copy of a particular cookbook provides a lasting physical link between a cook, or generations of cooks, and the meals they feed their families and friends. Many of my favorite cookbooks open naturally to my favorite recipes, because those are the pages that are splashed and stained from duty on the counter, propped open with a pot lid. Better still, a conscientious cook will produce the kind of annotations you won’t find online. When I’m home for the holidays, I like to thumb through the blue “New York Times Cookbook” that remains the cornerstone of my mother’s kitchen. Her annotations are as interesting as the recipes themselves, not just for what they say about the recipes, but also for what they say about her…

The success of the new “Joy” suggests that entering (your ingredient or dish here) + recipe into a search engine is for the brave man or woman with lots of free time. The materiality of cooking and the immateriality of the Internet make for an uneasy pair . . . If you heed the advice of some stranger to marinate flank steak in Sunny Delight, you are, quite literally, on your own. With “Joy,” you have the safe feeling of being under the watchful eye of a septuagenarian.

as part of this “food blog explosion”, i completely agree. i stopped using allrecipes.com because of this very issue. grouprecipes will probably end up that way as well, but i live in hope at the moment. and my newest cookbook already flips open to a couple of recipes (and has a few stains as well).

long live the cookbook! and all books, for that matter. i love books and hope they never ever go away.

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