Friday, Oct 14, 2011
Mastering the Art: How Cookbooks Are Pushing the Publishing Industry Forward
by Hugh Merwin
..."I do think the cookbook can hang in longer than other printed material," Don Lindgren of Rabelais books in Portland, Maine, told me, "because it's used differently." Lindgren and his wife Samantha are the proprietors of Rabelais, and, like Omnivore Books and Kitchen Arts and Letters, the shop is one the few specialty cookbook stores out there that will sell a rare German liquor-making manual from 1800 ($2,500) alongside the newest New York 'Times' Cookbook ($40). (It's probably also worth noting that, unlike, say, Borders, Rabelais is still in business.) "The best cookbooks tend to be beautiful objects that people keep in their families," Lindgren says. "There's an explicit social tradition of handing these kinds of books down; you get grandma's cookbook collection. You don't normally see this happening with novels."