For someone who used to love nothing better than poring over a new cookery book, this has been quite a change in behaviour, but the article, titled 'Want to write a bestselling cookery book? Don't worry about making it any good', exactly summed up my apathy about most of the books currently available.
"Think of a title. Anything with “bible” in it is good, or any of the following: “ultimate”, “essential”, “fast”, “easy”, “delicious”. Don’t worry if the book doesn’t live up to these claims. The title is secondary to the cover photo. If you’re a woman, make sure you’re young and gorgeous. Be photographed in a flirty dress that hints at sexy and domestic in equal measure, while holding a tray of cupcakes in your perfectly manicured hands. It doesn’t matter if an anonymous home economist did the baking, your job is to pose. As you gaze at the camera, try to convey the sense that buying this book will give readers a glossy new allure."
Every time I browse through the cookery section of my local bookshop I'm left feeling uninspired and that I've seen it all before. Beneath the gloss and the healthy, yet slightly fey, glamour shots, there is not much substance and I want more from a cookery book than a "glossy new allure".
Plus, you know what, I have enough cookery books. I don't need anymore. I have two shelves of cookery books, that are mostly well thumbed and splattered with food. I've cooked many recipes from these books and yet I'm still finding gems I haven't noticed before; still being surprised and astounded by the writing; and still marveling at the craft, care and love of ingredients in these books.