My love affair with cookbooks

What does it say when your nighttime reading is a dense tome on Irish cooking?

Cooking
(Image credit: (Ikon Images/Corbis))

I don't know why our culture has put food in the position books used to occupy, as an expression of personal taste and cultivation. But it's happened. And I've become addicted to cookbooks in the meantime.

I ask for them as Christmas presents. I read them at night to relax. I tend toward the new, huge, gorgeously photographed, coffee table–size ones that fit nowhere but the tops of shelves, and that seem to forbid their owners from placing them on actual kitchen counters, where flour and sauce will destroy them. Big cookbooks may be my replacement for a dying glossy magazine culture in which lighthearted journeys into other cultures were made, well, digestible.

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