A couple of years ago I told family and friends I wasn't going to get many more recipe books as I had several hundred and only use them for reference. After the total shock wore off,
my sister gave me a book for my birthday from The America's Test Kitchen. It has tips, stories, and much more. Yes there are recipes, but it is the background that I love.
Since then I have received, to name just a few:
-three Julia Child books
-Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
-The "Ace of Cakes" book detailing the bakery and the show
-Several cake "picture books"
and my favourite:
-Culinaria: Spain - a huge table book with info on each region and it's culinary treasures (with a few recipes thrown in!)
People say they really enjoy this because they really look to see something that interests me and they get something out of it too!