I'm sure she's right. Almost all of my favourite cookery books are actually little paperbacks with no pictures at all – top of the list being Elizabeth David's Italian Food and – when we were younger – Jennie Reekie's Traditional French Cooking. (That says something about how our eating tastes have changed over forty years as well, I suppose.) If we want something basic and British, we have an old Good Housekeeping book which we bought, again, before we were married. I've always found that my final dish is a bit of a disappointment compared to the photos anyway. Both Rick Stein and Nigel Slater have written great books with very few pics in the past.
If you haven't got the imagination to think what something should look like, then perhaps ordering a pizza isn't such a bad idea after all.
I've nothing against coffee-table books with lots of pictures, but my preference is for the ones which tell you a lot about the culture as well as how to cook – Georgio Locatelli has a wonderful book called Made In Italy and Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem is full of stuff about the city. "Books of cookery series" are a waste of time as far as I'm concerned, though.
One last thing: there's always an exception. If you can ever manage to lay your hands on a copy of the long-out-of-print A Taste Of Scotland by Theodora Fitzgibbon then grab it with both hands. On one page is an old black-and-white historical photo – anything from photos of villagers at St Kilda to pictures of Arbroath Smokies being made; on the opposite page, a simple classic Scots cookery recipe and a few explanatory notes. Absolutely the best Scots cookery book ever ever.
P.S. What's YOUR favourite cookery book, then? Why not let us know?