The coffee table in our family living room is littered with reading material, both on top and underneath. Technically, only two of the vast pile meet the criteria of "coffee table book;" that is, books whose primary purpose is to give guests something to thumb through without paying a lot of attention to it. One is a collection of Doonesbury cartoons and the other is a homemade book collecting photos of my wife and 10YO's trip to London to see the 2012 Olympics.
There are plenty of "throwaways," meaning those materials that will only have a temporary home on our table before heading to the recycling bin. There's a USA Today newspaper as well as magazines ranging from The Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, Ranger Rick, KC Studio, and Q (a British music magazine). Mostly, however, the table serves as a cluttered catch-all for the family's collective readings.
My 10YO and I are chugging through J.R.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring together while Mom has tackled Lois Lowry's The Giver with him and our 7YO. My oldest son is also reading Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero and Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret. My younger son has been reading Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson Fights Crime aloud to me while I have read Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit to him.
My heavy interest in music is showcased by a couple of autobiographies. I've nearly finished Pete Townshend's Who I Am and Neil Young's Waging Heavy Peace is on deck. When I'm just killing a few minutes, I dive into one of the collections of Chuck Klosterman, a music journalist noted for work with Rolling Stone and Spin.