"Jag lade boken på bordet."
Translation:I put the book on the table.
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They mean different things. If you lade (or la, as we usually say it) the book on the table, the book will be lying down on the table afterwards. If you ställde the book on the table, the book will be standing up on the table after the action. So obviously, the first one is used more often in this context.
It isn't really the measurements that matter most, it's how we think of the object. So for instance if we have a box that has an "up" side, we ställer (past tense ställde) it – it doesn't have to be tall and thin, it can be wider than tall, it still stands if it has a top side.
For objects with no up/down, shape and placement decides. For a meaningless cube, lägger/ligger would make most sense but ställer/står could work in some cases.
I agree, that was my answer too. I know that in theory the different words are used to specify different orientations of the object, but in reality people don't really make that distinction, at least I don't. I mean, I would say "I laid the book on the table" if I were saying that the book was laying down, but normally I wouldn't care to make that distinction and would just say "put" or "set".