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"Coffee Table Books" hmm..

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Ruzi, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Ruzi

    Ruzi New Member

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    My mom, my grandma, every lady I'm related to and almost all that I know outside the family, has a coffee table. It's a very common bit of furniture, not so special really, it's more like....what you put on it. Most people I know tend to buy small books, usually on cute jokes,facts, life lessons, and such or sometimes a nice new book you picked up for yourself but havn't finished yet, to put on their coffee table. You get the idea, something small and simple, that anyone in the room can pick up and begin anywhere for a moment of entertainment. My grandma used to keep a book out, "Stories behind everyday things", my mom had a book of quotes. After my mom left, the table was empty, so I picked up two silly little books, "How to live with a Neurotic dog" and "How to live with a Neurotic cat". Both are funny little books playing with ideas that most pet owners will see and get a laugh at... anyway...soo.. to the point I guess. What's on your coffee table?
     
  2. Kaz

    Kaz New Member

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    We haven't got a coffee table. I feel I can related with you. Tell you mine. I always buy a magazine every week to read it to pass on to my mum, nanna( sadly died few years ago), my aunt and her sister. That shows us we like to read. We still continue without nanna.
     
  3. lies

    lies New Member

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    There's magazines, some candles, some flowers, an ash tray and the remote controls on our coffee table usually, unless we're expecting ("fancy") company, in which case we shove the magazines in a drawer, put the remotes on the TV and rearrange what's left on the table.
     
  4. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    We have 2 coffee tables; one in the family room and one in the living room. Both consist of what I like to call "organized clutter".

    Family Room - remote controls for TV/VCR, remote for Dreamcast console, a catch-all basket with assorted pens, coasters, paper, memory cards for the Dreamcast.
    Books: Video Movie Guide 1999; and a pictorial essay book titled: "Earth From Above-365 days" that we got for Christmas one year. Very cool book! There is a different picture for each day of the year. People like to look up their birthdays and see what the picture is.

    Living Room - a candle, board game of Scrabble, pile of magazines, handful of snowboard decals (sons are into snowboarding), a pictorial book of Hawaii, and a book titled, "The World We Want".
     
  5. murphyz

    murphyz New Member

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    I don't have a coffee table but a very good friend of mine does, so I will say what's on hers.

    Well, first of all there's a naff tablecloth and a vase of (pointless) dried flowers. But there are always three piles of books which is what she is intending to read next.

    I'm not allowed to touch them - apparently.

    She also has a shelf in the bathroom with a load of oddly titled books such as 'how one should act in public - 1846', or 'how to be a good housekeeper and please your man'.

    I'm not sure why they are there, but it's only guys who get to see them on the shelf as we stand up to pee.

    Mxx
     
  6. blurbb

    blurbb New Member

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    Most documentaries nowadays can be described as 'coffee-table documentaries' ones that come with a book. I suppose that means all the posts here, not just these ones on this thread, are coffee-table posts.
     
  7. WoundedThorns

    WoundedThorns New Member

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    haha, polish people dont keep books on coffee tables. i never really came across coffee table books until i went to my mother's client's house. they had mostly books about the beatles or other pop culture icons. kind of typical.

    our coffee table actually has cookbooks, left by me. i like looking at food/food preperation while i eat
     
  8. Twilite

    Twilite Member

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    We don't have a coffee table, but the only person i can think of that does doesn't just have books on his; it's carved to look like a big stack of books!
     
  9. novella

    novella Active Member

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    Good question! An overlooked category.


    I actually keep 'coffee table' books on my coffee table. I think of these as very large books that are fun to browse through. Here are the ones there now (I change the photography books occassionally):

    The hardcover book of the first photographic exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in about 1991. This has the best of early photography in great reproduction with notes. It's huge and heavy. Susan Sontag stole the cover photo for her novel about the immigrant opera singer.

    A book of Winslow Homer's paintings.

    The collected cartoons from The New Yorker, issued in a huge hardcover this year. This is a great browse for houseguests just chilling out.

    A book of Hudson Valley School paintings.

    The Royal (UK) Book of Horticulture and Gardening (something like that), which was a gift this year.

    A book of photos by Alfred Stieglitz, an early 20th century American photographer.
     
  10. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    I don't have a coffee table in my house, but my Nana has one so I guess I'll tell you what is on hers...

    She usually has a vase of roses on the top, which she picks from her large rose garden. She keeps a gardening book, an illustrated encyclopedia and a crossword dictionary on the top, and on the little shelf underneath is a whole heap of children's books, including quite a few Beatrix Potter books as well as some Dr Suess.
     
  11. Scottishduffy

    Scottishduffy New Member

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    We have several different coffee books that we rotate. I started out with Cry the Beloved Country because the cover matched the decor, but my hubby spilled coffee on it.

    Now we have rather big boks that are just fun to flip through. He has one book that is called The Complete James Bond Collection. It goes over the movies, all the equipment used by bond, all the minute details of Bond. Most people seem to like flipping through it.

    I have a similar one called Geisha: A unique world of elegance and art. It has lots of pictures and describes life for a geisha, what their outfits mean, and basic ceremonies. Both of these books are mainly just good because of the large amount of colorful photos that people can just flip through and look at real quick.

    My coffee table has a glass top with a wooden shelf under, so I keep everything on the shelf and the top of the table free. People can just reach down and grab whatever they see if they like it.
     
  12. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Member

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    Ooh I have that one.

    It's good to have a few of those oversized books with lots of pictures that people can flip though casually. I've rotated though a few - movie posters, top albums of all time, countries of the world. Even though I'm not a birdwatcher, the photography in this one's pretty good (DK have got some decent art editors in their dept):

    aecx.images_amazon.com_images_I_51o7dnynLBL._SS400_.jpg
     
  13. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    I thought that a coffee table book is a book so large and so heavy that, if you put four legs under it, you have a coffee table.
     
  14. tartan_skirt

    tartan_skirt New Member

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    Currently the "coffee table" in my flat is actually a low trunk with some of my stuff in it which doesn't provide the necessary space for always having books on it (especially since we frequently sit on the floor and eat meals around it). Plus my flatmate is the tidying type, so anything I put on it usually disappears onto one of the shelves after a while.

    That said, I did buy my copy of SuicideGirls with the intention of it being a coffee table book. I prefer to have photography collections lying around for people to look at, and I just have to decide from a lot of options before I get the next one. :) Other than that the books lying on the table are just whatever I'm carrying about with me at the time, which frequently includes novels, reference materials from the library, driving books, cookbooks, and whatever else I'm ferrying about.
     
  15. Revised

    Revised New Member

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    Oh, I like this post!

    On our coffee table we have a small house plant as a decoration. We a little side table on either end of the couch and on those tables we have two full color garden books full of gorgeous flowers and we also have a historical book with color pictures about our state.

    I would like to add a book of quotes if I can find one I like.
     
  16. Wells83

    Wells83 New Member

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    Titanic: A Journey Through Time, John P Eaton and Charles A Haas

    The Authentic South of Gone With the Wind: The Illustrated Guide to the Grandeur of a Lost Era, Bruce Wexler

    Our Literary Heritage: A Pictorial History of the Write in America, Van Wyck Brooks and Otto L Bettmann

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    !, Revilo

    Paris Style, Ed. Angelika Taschen

    Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, Henry W Longfellow

    A bible given to my mother in 1964

    We also have candles and coasters too, all of which sit with the books on a big tray.
     
  17. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    I don't really have a coffee table but I do own several coffee table books. Latest purchase was one on Mount St. Helens.
     
  18. steffee

    steffee Active Member

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    I have a coffee table but on it I just have a plant. I have a larger table against a wall, too, which is like a bigger version of a coffee table - I guess it's like a small dining table, and on that I have just a plant as well. I can't stand clutter.

    My parents' coffee table is full of piles of books and magazines and other bits and bobs. In their conservatory they have a table with one or two strategically placed books, which they (or my mum, actually) call 'coffee table books'. One of these is an illustrated edition of Life Of Pi, however.
     
  19. Hedwig

    Hedwig Member

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    Ohh ... I'm certainly NOT jealous ...

    On our coffee table there's usually a jumble of magazines, coasters, the TV magazine, and for decoration we've got one of those big glasses with a thick candle in it (what do you call these things in English?)

    We also have some coffee-table books (a beautiful book on lighthouses with photos by Jean Guichard, a very large-format glossy about Marc Chagall's stained-glass church windows ...), but they seldom lie around on the table.
     
  20. tyule

    tyule New Member

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    I have loads of magazines...and lots of home docorating books. I also have art books laying around my house. Sometimes, I just like paging through beautiful images.
     

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