The Huntington is home to a library, art collections, and botanical gardens in San Marino, California. So far, I have not been lucky enough to go to The Huntington, but I did receive a beautiful “coffee table book” as a gift. The pages are filled with beautiful pictures of art, documents, flowers and an assortment of many wonderful things that fill The Huntington. My gift lead me to thinking about the concept of coffee table books.
Coffee table books are usually meant for display in homes in a public place such as coffee table. The books are good for starting conversations, and they give a really good glimpse into a topic. For example, I feel I have a wonderful feeling for the gardens and galleries at The Huntington. Of course, I would rather be at The Huntington in person, but this book has allowed me many hours of pleasure.
When I went to Amazon, there is a whole lot of coffee table books available. I took just a few minutes to pick out some I might like to read: Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places, What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (I actually already have this one), Underwater Dogs, and The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life. The list of coffee table books was long and diverse. In addition, there were many “Best of Lists” for coffee table books. I believe coffee table books’ appeal is the beauty of the photographs as well as readily accessible amount of information on topics. Coffee table books are often the inspiration for conversations, so they serve as a social function as well as a decorative function.
When I went to Wikipedia to get a quick overview of Coffee Table Books, I was amazed to see a rather long description. However, what really caught my attention, was a Seinfeld segment on Coffee Table Books I had forgotten about watching many years ago. Kramer publishes a book on celebrities’ coffee tables (Kramer’s version of a coffee table book), and the book has foldable wooden legs that allow the book to turn into…..a coffee table. Kramer has another kooky and very funny idea. So my mind went from the very prestigious Huntington to coffee table books to Seinfeld to Kramer, so now you have just a small idea of how my brain whirls every day. Settle in and enjoy a great book!