A very sophisticated (read: French in origin) name for a writing table or desk which has a top portion for books. Also known as a secretary or secrétaire, escritoires exist in various forms and styles. The grande versions may have a bookcase/drawer combination revealed in part or in whole by a drop-down hinged writing surface on the front. The more petite versions may actually be portable, having fewer cubbyholes for writing accoutrements. Soooo civilized.