I think this is one of those things you have to hold in your hands and browse through. See if any local libraries or bookstores have it to look at. I know that when I got a chance to spend time with the original Modernist cuisine, a few weeks before it went on sale, I spent three hours with it and couldn’t be dragged away. And then put it in my cart on Amazon, and waited two months until it went on sale for 30+% discount. I would have paid full price if I had to.
It is one of those things that I pick up every few weeks and read for 20-30 minutes. Then take a week to think it over. I have read through it cover to cover four times now over the past 6 1/2 years. Plus pick it up for research a lot. The Home version I have only read through once, and have to again, soon.
The books are large format. The photography in Modernist Cuisine is so amazing that they ended up putting out a separate book just of the photos.
I am not a baker, but I will still have to get of copy of Modernist Bread, as soon as it goes on sale in a month or two.
For me, food and beverages are my life. I’m a chef, food/beverage production consultant, guess you could say I’m a food scientist. I do have a full food/beverage laboratory. So at least I can write off the expense as a business expense.