Volumes 1-5 are the actual books themselves that contain all the detailed information about anything and everything cooking and their scientific break-down. The sixth book is the kitchen manual which I think you can read under water (don't try this at home lol!) but I know it's printed on some durable paper that seems laminated so you can take it with you into a kitchen for recipes and techniques.
This book set is insane. For sheer knowledge alone, it's worth it's weight in gold. (my package was 40 lbs!!!) but you would need to spend that money in order to buy the equipment neccissary to cook about 70% of the recipes in the book.
I think the concept is fascinating, but as a home cook (and not a millionaire home cook) I just am not sure it would make sense to pick up. That said, the glowing comments about the book's perfectly clear pressure cooker stocks along with some other recipes in there make me hope the university library will buy it!
The images alone are amazing. But I would totally agree. That's a lot of money to drop on a cookbook. However, I view it more as a text book or encyclopedia than just a cook book.