My family spent the holidays in New Zealand. I recommend the experience for any of you who like travel, camping and/or sheep. You can read one of several articles inspired by that trip here. But that’s not the point of this post.
I’ve had a tradition for decades about buying a book whenever I travel. What kind of book varies widely. In Alaska last year, I bought something on Alaskan folklore. In Korea last decade, I bought a J.R.R. Tolkien translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight because it was the only book I could find in English.
In New Zealand, I bought a cookbook. I’d enjoyed several dishes I’d not had in the U.S. and figured that would be a good choice. The recipes I’ve tried all succeeded. It’s a great cookbook.
The damn thing is in metric. The recipes call for 200 g of beef, and preheating the oven for 180 degrees. I have a converter on my iPhone now, and write the equivalents in the margins. It’s a very minor pain in my butt, but it’s definitely a pain.
Certainly not the fault of the writer or publisher — the book was written for New Zealanders, by New Zealanders. But it illustrates how easily small details can affect your reader’s experience.
Something to think about.
Thanks for listening.