I believe it was Adam Gopnik who wrote of how he curls up with cookbooks for bedtime reading. I do the same thing. I also like to take them out to the patio and leisurely leaf while sipping an iced coffee.
I have a shelf of workhorse cookbooks, adjacent to the kitchen. The second string fills up a bookcase all the way in the living room. Did I just mix metaphors? I also like food magazines and TV, and I get a couple of weekly emails from culinary webspots. In addition to these sources, I have taken a play out of my dad's (cook)book: I keep a binder of successful recipes gleaned from the web, magazines, or friends. I also have a huge set of files - that I really must organize - full of To Try recipes. The to-try piles and files grow and grow until I purge and expunge in a fit of organizational rage. This is a far better "system" than the last: Keep all magazines just in case I want to go back to them. Because you never know when I might want to take that trip to Minneapolis! But when I do, I have that 2009 Cooking Light with the article about the tourist scene. Right. I would also love a techniques or basics binder - something like that.
In addition to my binders, these are the books I routinely thumb through.
America's Test Kitchen, The Best of, by the Editors at America's Test Kitchen.
Canal House Cooks Every Day, by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.
Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krisoff.
Chef, Interrupted, by Melissa Clark.
Chez Panisse Vegetables, by Alice Waters.
Cook This Now, by Melissa Clark.
The Cook's Encyclopedia of Baking, by Carole Clements.
Earth To Table, by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann.
Essential Pepin, by Jacques Pepin.
Fast Food My Way, by Jacques Pepin.
Food and Wine Magazine, Dana Corwin, ed.
Honga's Lotus Petal, by Honga IM Hopgood.
How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.
Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.
The New Best Recipe, by the editors at Cook's Illustrated.
Saving the Season, by Kevin West.
Tarts Sweet and Savory, by Maxine Clark.