It is fun to realize your grandchildren can teach you! My grandson, who is now 12, spends summers with me.
A friend called to ask if she could drop by my house, so I told him we needed to clean things up a bit before she arrived. 12 year old boys do tend to mess things up just a little. I straightened my coffee table to look like this: my coffee-table book at an inviting angle with the main decoration on the table off to the upper side.
It was a bit too blocky for my taste, plus one is not invited to pick up the coffee-table book if something is on top of it. My response to him was, “You shouldn’t put something on top of a book!” He insisted his arrangement was much more pleasing to the eye than mine. So I suggested we look up coffee tables on the Houzz app. I was sure he would see that books on a coffee table are to be accessible to potential readers.
We did a search for “coffee tables.” The first picture to come up had a plant on a stack of books! Really?! A plant which could leak water onto the book it is on?! Coming from a librarian, that is NO WAY to treat a book!!!
Moving on. . . there were three small stacks of books neatly squared in line with the edges of the coffee table. The next few photos showed a decoration on the table with a book or small stack of books jauntily placed. My style! Thus inviting a guest to pick up the book and not feel inhibited by something sitting on top of the books.
In the end, there were as many photos with an object (often a plant or a vase of flowers with water — HORRORS!) on top of a book or books. I had not won my argument, and the stemmed dish of glass balls remained on top of the one coffee-table book.
However, in the end, he did demonstrate how to have a “jauntily” placed book beside the table decoration: You have a few books angled just so, to create a pleasure to the discerning eye.