Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Silly rabbit, coffee tables are for books!

Just yesterday, I spent too much time looking at some of the new "coffee table" books that were hanging out waiting to be processed. There are two things that will almost always pick up to examine: books that are large and glossy, and cookbooks. If it is a large, glossy cookbook, you may have to pry it out of my hands. Yesterday's treasures were both about interior decorating.

Timeless Elegance is a gorgeous book. Ooohing and Aaahing started on page one, and didn't stop until, well, the end. Even though I paid little attention to the text, and can't tell you a thing about this book other than it has GREAT pictures, I think I got out of it all I was ever going to get. I'm not sure who a book like this is geared towards: Interior designers? Easton groupies? Someone thinking about re-doing their own home? All of the above? I could sit and stare at this book for long periods of time, and I could see using it to refer back if I was looking for a certain..... something to do to my own home. But, would I buy it? Just to show on my coffee table? (2 people are currently waiting for our 1 copy)

A Passion for Interiors is another book roughly in the same vein as the one above. An idea book. Looking through it made me happy, but what would I do with it if I owned it? Would a book like this, in this economy, ever sell for the list price of $60? Will it sell for the Amazon price of $37.80? More importantly, do people want to own a book like this? (1 person on hold; 2 copies)

I'm fascinated by the idea of coffee table books. They are, more often than not, absolutely beautiful. A lot of money, time and talent go into making them into showpieces, and it definitely shows. I call them picture books for adults. (Great display idea, btw!) Purely coincidence, then, that I came across this NYT link from last week about coffee table books. Going through the list of books in this article, I placed about three holds for books I can't wait to look at:

Richard Misrach: Destroy this Memory (about Hurricane Katrina)

Detroit Disassembled -- Andrew Moore

Obviously, I've been watching a little too much Detriot 187! But, I was there a few years back watching a Tigers game and, honestly, I became curious about the city. The stadium was gorgeous (of course, since it is practically new!) but the surrounding area left a lot to be desired. Once you cross the border into Windsor (?) it is like a new world.

The New York Times Complete Civil War 1861-1865 The Civil War is one of those things where I think I have an interest, until I discover that I don't. We'll see how this goes.

If the library wasn't available, or if the library had chosen not to buy these books, would I shell out my own money just to look at them? I don't think that I would. Where would I keep them? What would I do with them after I'd satisfied my curiosity? Does anyone out there buy, for keeps, coffee table books? I'd love to hear from you!