When there is a book or library sale I usually come back with a few cookbooks. I love reading cookbooks for inspiration, and to indulge in the pretty pictures. Hence, my cookbook library is fairly considerable - but now mostly unused. The NY Times cooking section and the stray magazine here or there are also sometime and one-time sources of inspiration for recipes. However, once read I rarely go back into a cookbook for inspiration or a recipe, or trying to locate that recipe I cut out from the paper last year. Hence, I also have a considerable pile of unsorted cut out recipes lying around my kitchen.
The very modern reason for stopping to use cookbooks for my everyday/everynight referral needs is that I can find what I need so much faster on my phone. No wonder we're all glued to our devices. They're just so all round useful. I can punch in any two or three main ingredients and add -recipe, such as pepper lentil celery recipe (just made that up), and pronto I find a selection of recipes with the ingredients I want to work with. So practical! You can't do such a reverse search in a paper cookbook, and forget about that pile of newspaper clippings. It's of course different if I want to look up dessert options for a festive meal, or various ways of making panna cotta. A cookbook can still be useful for such a search.
Are cookbooks going the way of the phone book? What works for you?