A couple of posts back I announced that Table for Two - The Cookbook for Couples would soon be produced in e-book format.
That sounded like good news to me.
Until I saw a few cookbooks in e-book format.
Now I'm not so sure.
You see, I'm somewhat proud of the book's cover and interior design. Not that I can take any credit for it. You've already seen my extraordinary graphic arts talent in a previous post.
No, the book looks good due to the efforts of Ms. Rebecca Russo (cover) and the good folks at Principle Creative (interior). However, I am still proud of the results and am thrilled that these folks pulled down some awards for their work. I may not know a Quark from an Adobe, but I do have a sense for good design. And that's why I'm having second thoughts about this e-book version.
E-books work great for novels and other books that contain basic running text. This is because e-books are made to display standard block paragraphs with minimal formatting. Oh, and they don't have pages and page numbers because e-book readers come in various sizes: from an iPhone to a Kindle to your desktop computer screen. You won't see the same screen view on a Blackberry as you would on a Nook or a laptop computer.
If it's a novel or non-fiction narrative it really doesn't matter; you just keep scrolling through as you read. Cookbooks, on the other hand, are laid out differently. One recipe per page (at least in mine), lots of indents, bullet points, lists, and columns...you get my drift. E-books do not play well with these. In fact, if the publishing world was a sandlot baseball game, the e-book would be "steady catcher". It can't pitch, slide, field, bat or even scratch its own privates. It's pretty much good at one thing: reading novels and articles on the go.
Oh, and then there's the index. A good index in a cookbook is a necessity as far as I'm concerned. But since e-books cannot have page numbers, an index is pretty much useless. I've even seen e-books that contain the index from the print version but had to include this caveat:
Note: Entries in this index, carried over verbatim from the print edition of this title, are unlikely to correspond to the pagination of any given ebook reader.
Of course my response to reading that in an e-book I just purchased would be Where's The Fries?!
Bottom line: in the few e-book cookbooks I've seen, I was most unimpressed with the layout (recipes running from page to page with nary a break between them, no columns, lists hard to read) and I certainly missed a usable index. Oh, and then there's the fact that they are not margarita proof.
So here are my questions:
What do you think?
Have you seen or used a cookbook on an e-reader?
What was your impression or experience?
If you have one, would you buy another?
Thanks for your input!
Oh, and since I see you still have that wallet out, could you spot me a couple of bucks for a drink? I left my wallet in the car...