A simple item that makes a big difference. This cookbook holder is one of our favorite cooking tools. Affordable ($9.95), easy to store (it folds) and not bad looking (shiny!), we can see no reason to live without this.
We know there are lots of you who can cook well without consulting recipes but we really like to follow along. In our tiny kitchen, keeping the book or magazine up off the precious counter space (and open to the recipe being attempted!) is remarkably helpful. We've had it for a year and use it all the time. BTW, the cookbook in the picture is Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, another favorite. We've tried a bunch of recipes haven't been disappointed yet. Chrome cookbook holder available from Crate and Barrel.