Healthy Cooking: Magazines and Cookbooks

In the age of the internet, it may seem strange to emphasize people who want to cook well should subscribe to magazines and/or get and read cookbooks. Everything’s online, we’re up to our armpits in recipes, and you can search for anything. However, much like other forms of knowledge, there’s a value in personal curation.

That’s why I still subscribe to cooking magazines and scout books for cooking. Oh it’s rare I’ll get a new book, and I am reluctant to get too many magazines (I only get one right now), but I still do it. No matter how much I get off the internet, I get a lot out of print publications.

If you want to cook healthy, I recommend checking out the right magazines and books because they’re curated as I said – someone took time to get everything right.

That’s really one thing that’s hard to get in cooking, is recipes filtered, assessed, grouped, analyzed, and organized for maximum use and usefulness. That’s one thing a good magazine or book provides. Some one or someones made this into a coherent product for you based on theme, focus, interest, etc.

Especially when it comes to recipes? That’s important. There are themes and styles, personal touches and general truths, cultural knowledge and ingredient smarts. Those are needed to make a good cookbook or cooking mag, so when you find one you get a lot more than just some checklists of ingredients – you something focused on the big picture of cooking.

Ever looked at a recipe and gone “what the hell?” Yeah, me too. A good book or magazine helps avoid that.

When you find the right one or ones? It’s invaluable because you’ve found something that fits your needs and interests without having to wade through assorted sources. Plus you can read it in the bathtub which is always a plus.

Now with that in mind I actually don’t keep these per se:

  • With magazines I tend to go through and find the best recipes then either recycle them, or cut out the recipes for a folder and recycle them.
  • Some “bookazines” (you know those book like magazines that sum up recipe themes that big publishers release) I’m mixed on since some are so lovely.
  • With books I either have true keepers (especially historical, cultural, or collectable ones) and then when I’ve gone through them enough I donate them or sell them to used bookstores.

Really there’s few cookbooks I plan to keep long term. But using one for a year or two then giving someone else a chance is a great idea.

Not sure what to get? Hit the magazine rack at a bookstore or go to a bookstore or used bookstore for cookbooks and see what shows up. In general, your gut will tell you if something is right for you.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at