I do believe that printed cookbooks, for the most part, are a thing of the past. Recently, I purchased several cookbooks that seemed interesting to me and when I finally received them, I found myself disappointed in them. What was the point of spending $30 for books that I will only use 1 recipe from?
With the wide availability of recipes on the Internet, cookbooks aren’t needed. I can go onto google and search for what I want to make and come up with multiple sites with different recipes for the same thing. I often use Group Recipes to find something to cook, as they let you put in a list of what ingredients you have and give you recipes that use those items.
I bake a lot of the time, so I can just say, “Oh I want to make pumpkin muffins.” and dig through cookbook after cookbook looking for the recipe to make them or I can go to my computer, search pumpkin muffins and print out the recipe I want. There are multiple variations for everyone, including something that is diabetic friendly. Would I have ever known about it without looking on the Internet? I doubt it.
I will say that there is one type of print cookbook that will never be a part of the past. Those are the small printed books that come with new appliances. I have a drawer full of them and use them quite often for recipes. I bought a new bread maker recently, decided today I wanted to make bread to go with my dinner, so I pulled out that little book and threw together the easiest batch of bread ever. Could I have gotten a better recipe online? Probably, but it wouldn’t have been geared to that specific bread maker.
So, while commercial cookbooks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, not all cookbooks are. Perhaps the people who write the cookbooks need to come up with a better means of selling their product. Why not have websites where you can pay a small fee to access the recipes. It’s not an uncommon practice and would probably be a lot more profitable for the publishers.
Besides that, do the chefs need to write cookbook after cookbook with most of the same recipes in it? Don’t they have better things to do with their time? I know that if I was a world famous chef, I’d rather give you a recipe or two to post on the Internet, rather than sitting down and putting together 50-100 for a new book. We don’t need a bookshelf filled with cookbooks that we only use once or twice for a recipe. It’s easier to make a binder, print recipes you use regularly and put together your own cookbook. Keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it your own.