When it comes to readability, though, the Internet on the whole is not so good. Food blogs and recipe-sharing sites are rife with maddeningly poorly written recipes that use "tablespoon" for one ingredient but abbreviate it to "tbsp." (or, the worst, "T") for another; that fail to give either temporal or visual cues for knowing when something is done; that misspell ingredient names and cooking techniques. Many can overlook such linguistic inconsistencies, but they practically ruin the pleasure of cooking for me.
The hardest thing for cookbook-lovers to let go of — as indicated by Roberts' description of them as "indelible objects, beacons of inspiration" — is their aesthetic value. And yet smart writing and beautiful photography are in no way specific to the print medium. As both technology and design continue to improve, looking at gorgeous food photography on Internet browsers, e-readers and tablets will soon be as satisfying and comforting as seeing the same images on the page.