Some people will use a cookbook stand for the cookbook they're working from, but that makes it almost impossible to use the book as a cutting board.
That is so great! So many people have a million cookbooks but never cook from them, i don't even know if they read them. they just like to have them on their shelf- and who can blame them - they are about as pretty as books come. But I love that you get your books nice and dirty, seems in the spirit of things- who wants to eat food cooked by an incredibly fastidious person- seems like they might skimp on the butter or something. Though i guess martha stewart makes pretty good baked things and she's nothing if not fastidious so maybe for baked things it's ok. you have nice hands too!