Placing a tray underneath a stack of books totally changes the depth of design. You can use any sort of tray, of course the correct size to accommodate the books you are going to display. Make sure the tray is not overwhelmed with design. A simple modern tray would be perfect. I used a cane tray that I picked up at a thrift store. You can place this on a counter, on your mantle, or on any nook/table you prefer. Instead of bookends I have used a plant for the books to lean on. Bookends would be great too - place them inside or outside of the tray - whichever way you think it looks best!
This is my kitchen counter and therefore I have all our recipe books here. Its easy to pull one out while cooking. Instead of a countertop, you can always use any corner inside the kitchen surface for this. Place them next to your spatula holder or condiments tray.
I have also placed a small photo frame on the other edge. You can try with any other showpiece as well.