Great content is all around us, and too often I feel that we miss out on fun, interesting, and quality reads just because of a label or stereotype. I hope to debunk some of these misnomers and give credit where credit is due through a series of posts I’m calling “The Under-Appreciated.”
Today’s topic is “the coffee table book.” These books are known for their beauty; their photography; their unique size, shape or coloring. These are the works that directly oppose the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” These are the books that are strategically placed so guests notice them and supposedly learn something about the owner. These are the books that sit so elegantly and invitingly within reach, but somehow seem untouchable. These are under-appreciated works of art and literature.
I too have been guilty of ignoring these beautiful titles that make our homes feel fit for a magazine. My husband and I have both received these as gifts. We’ve given them as gifts. We’ve acquired them through means unknown. No matter how they end up in our lives though, their fate seems inevitable. They sit and collect dust.
No longer will I fall prey to this manner of thinking! I’ve begun to pick up those untouchables and, gasp, read them! They have provided laughter, joy and knowledge. Just as any other book, these coffee table masterpieces were written or collected to share something with the world. Many of them, at least in my collection, offer insights and generally positive vibes (something I personally can never get enough of!).
Another false assumption on my part was that the copy in these books would be far from the high quality writing I typically enjoy. How far from the truth I was! The coffee table books that I have picked up have been extremely well-crafted, witty and smart. I’ve found that many have significantly fewer words than a “normal” book which means their authors have had to choose their text even more wisely.
Coffee table books come in all genres, similar to their fiction and non-fiction counterparts. There are the motivational, the inspirational, the humorous and the educational. See my review of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack for an example of the humorous AND educational! (Fiction vs non-fiction is a personal decision.)
If our choice of coffee table books is a representation of us, shouldn’t we know what’s IN the books we display? Our individual beauty is not just skin deep, and the same is true of our bookish decor. Their content is just as enriching as any other book and should not be ignored. I bet you would be surprised at what you find if you were to open a few of your own coffee table pieces!
Join me on Instagram for a #CoffeeTableChallenge and post some photos of your under-appreciated finds! Bonus points for a mini review on the content!