How to Manage Your Cookbook Collection

Jane Kelly is the co-founder of Eat Your Books, a company started to answer a need that she and many other home cooks were experiencing. 


Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #125

When Jane Kelly co-founded Eat Your Books, she wanted to solve a common problem that many home cooks experience.

"I'd go on recipe websites, I'd enter the ingredients I wanted to use, and I'd get a great list of recipes, but I wasn't using my cookbooks! And that annoyed me," Jane recalls. "I wanted a search engine so that I could find recipes in my own cookbooks. I had one of those lightbulb moments where I thought, 'I can't be the only person in the world who wants to search my cookbooks.' I came up with this idea, enrolled my sister Fiona into it, and off we went! That was nine years ago. We launched the site seven years ago." Eat Your Books has now indexed 1.4 million recipes from cookbooks and added food magazines and online recipes later on. 

Eat Your Books is unique in that it works with your cookbook collection, rather than replacing it. "We were very clear that we were never going to infringe on the copyright of the cookbook author and the publisher." Eat Your Books doesn't include full recipe text on the site, but sends you to the original source location of the recipe you want after you discover it through EYB's recipe search tool. "We want people to buy cookbooks and food magazines," Jane clarifies. 

Jane is excited about the ways that technology can further our relationship with food and food media: "With cookbooks, people really love the physicality of the book. They want to hold the book, they want to write notes in it, they want to be able to share it with friends and family, which you can't really do with digital." Rather than replacing cookbooks, Jane believes great technology should enhance and bolster the experience of using them.

To hear more of Jane's insights, listen to the full interview in the top right hand player, or on iTunesStitcher, and Spotify (simply search the mobile app!). Don't forget to sign up for the forthcoming Clever Cookstr newsletter, full of tips and tricks from the kitchens of the world's best chefs.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.