Cookbooks are great. They teach you new things and stop you from getting bored in the kitchen. What's less than ideal about them is this; I get them, think they're great, cook one recipe from them, then they end up forgotten in the back of a cupboard. That seems to me to be a waste. So why not keep them where you can always see them?
Arranging a small collection of cookbooks on a bench top or shelf will ensure that you are much more likely to use them, as well as giving you an opportunity to enhance the poor, neglected kitchen space. People like to hide everything away in the kitchen, and to an end that works for most- it makes cleaning easier and looks 'uncluttered'. But screw uncluttered, I love a bit of clutter! Why waste a perfectly good bench top by filling it with nothing?