Years ago Paul Fussell published his “Living Room Scale,” a way to evaluate one’s living room, and by its contents determine one’s standing in the American class system. Here is a link to a slightly modernized version. I took the test, and our living room scores in the “middle class range.” We lose points for having family pictures not in sterling silver frames but gain points for a potted palm.
The test does imply that one has a living room, a kind of showcase room in which one does not actually conduct the business of living. Hence, the presence of a TV, stereo, or computer loses points.
I wish there was a way the test distinguished between having books on display and having books on display that one has actually read. I do admit that is a bit of English teacher snobbery though. As time moves on, I wonder how this test might be modified. For example, should point values be changed for magazines as publishing declines? Will having actual copies of magazines reflect a greater level of wealth when they grew rare?