CULINARIA...a cookbook series

I love books. I never want to not be surrounded by books (and if you could see my house, you'd know I never will be without them, they are everywhere). Non-fiction books that I particularly like have to do with food and travel. I've found that one surefire way to get to know a country I plan to visit is to read some cookbooks. I have hundreds of them, I read them just because, not because I need a recipe. If I can get two or three good recipes out of a cookbook, I consider myself fortunate. You may go to Epicurious or other foodie websites, but give me a paper-paged, chock-full-of photos source any day.
Given the above parameters, you may imagine my ecstasy when I stumbled across a series of large, country-specific, hard-cover cookbooks published by Konemann (and translated from the German) under the umbrella name of Culinaria. A friend had the France one. I fell in love. I went out and bought the Italy one. I am mad about Italy and its food, and this gigantic book -  496 stupendous pages, just imagine what it weighs - is a dream come true for a dedicated foodie. These are GREAT.
Need a gift for someone special? This could be it. For me, this kind of book is a 5+.