Although I know a lot of people really love yarn bowls and they're a popular thing to buy from artisans at yarn shows and on Etsy, I never particularly thought I had a utilitarian need for one. To be honest, I still don't. I mean, I'm using one right now and it's handy, but it's not like five minutes in I came to the revelation that this is the tool that's been missing from my life or anything. For one thing, my ball winder winds centre-pull balls, so generally speaking my yarn is able to remain relatively stationary. For another thing, as the only time I really ever think I might need something to keep my yarn ball stationary is when I'm out somewhere that's not my house and the yarn ball is rolling all over the floor, I don't particularly enjoy that yarn balls aren't really portable. So I'd have to use it at home on my couch. Where I mostly don't care if my yarn happens to travel about the room as I'm knitting anyway.
That said (and as you likely inferred from above) I now own a yarn bowl. A rather nice one at that. We had our holiday gift exchange with my inlaws last night and my father-in-law is a knitter who takes great pride in his LYS. Back in May, during the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop, I made a point of meeting him there so he could show me around, and my mother-in-law tagged along as well. While we were there, MiL was looking at the yarn bowls, I recall, and she asked Jonas whether a yarn bowl was a thing I would use. I'm guessing he gave his usual non-committal answer, since I'm very convinced he didn't know the answer to that question as I've literally never mentioned a yarn bowl to him ever. Regardless...in my gifts yesterday was a wooden yarn bowl (it seems large to me, but I honestly don't know what sizes yarn bowls come in as I've never shopped for one). It's made for the shop by a (local?) artisan and it is rather pretty. I enjoy looking at it and I suppose it will look nice on an end table or the coffee table when it's not in use. And who knows, maybe after a few more weeks and a few poorly-wound balls of yarn I'll find out it's a tool that's been missing from my life all along. For now, I'm using it (I happened to have a ball I couldn't find the centre end of and am pulling from the outside, although it stays contained in its project bag, so it wasn't getting particularly adventurous or anything) and it's certainly nice to look at and a very nice thought.