The idea of coffee table books may stir up images of stuffy houses and titles you know won’t intrigue your interest, or they may simply be those things that make great lap desks while you’re surfing the Web on your laptop. I mean, I get it…why flip through a book on the table when you can just turn on the TV?
Personally, I like them and think they’re highly underrated. I have them in my living room at my own home. They’re conversation starters, a way to pass time, and usually pretty to look at.
I’ve been shopping around for a few more to pick up for my living room, and I wanted to share them with you.
Do you spend hours at antique record stores because you get sucked in by album art? It’s OK, me too. Reflective of the music on the discs, the covers oftentimes serve as expression of the period and the moments in the artists’ lives, as well as become art. This one is essential for any vinyl lover.
1000 Record Cover by Michael Ochs, $20
Currently sitting on my coffee table, Bad Girls Throughout History is not only full of blurbs of your favorite and historic women, but amazing illustrations as well. It reminds you of the women who pushed the boundaries and changed the rules for all who followed. Give them a thanks, and give them a read.
Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen, $20
I’m a huge fan of mixing patterns using various textiles to create dimension and complexity in a room, and this books is a helpful tool. It’s full of beautiful photography as well as tips on how to incorporate pattern to bring your room full circle.
Living With Pattern by Rebecca Atwood, $33
This is what coffee table books are about to me. It will take you throughout Paris, organized by color–yellow flowers, a blue bicycle against a wall. Beautiful photos and bright pops of color will be a showstopper in your living space.
Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson, $20
Nothing is better than gorgeous photos of nature. Through photos, watercolor, illustrations, and prints, this book will take you through the botanical world and bring the subject to life before your eyes.
Plant: Exploring the Botanical World by Phaidon Editors, $60
Flip through the pages for beautiful photos or plan your next road trip through some of the most scenic drives in America. It’s separated by region and contains “Trip Tips” including mileage, the best season to travel, nearby attractions, and more. Itching for adventure? Make your first stop your local bookstore.
The Most Scenic Drives in America, Reader’s Digest, $35
Nothing’s better than a rousing religions discussion over dinner, right? No, but really, this book is really cool and would make a nice addition to a collection of diverse coffee table books. It provides a general survey of the world’s religions as well as insights to the various practices and philosophies.
The Religions Book by DK, $25
Now we’re delving into some of the more fun coffee table book options–the games. My friends and I constantly sit together and come up with wild scenarios for a fun this or that game, and this book is a comprised list of those kinds of absurd questions.
What If? by Randall Munroe, $24
Remember where’s Waldo? This is a more chic version for the fashion obsessed. Have fun finding Karl.
Where’s Karl? by Stacey Caldwell, $16
Similar to Bad Girls Throughout History, Women in Science reintroduces us to 50 profound women who pushed the boundaries of the engineering, math, science, and technology fields. It also really adorable illustrations and is a fun, quick read.
Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky, $17
Literally a collection of flea market finds, this book is chalk full of women in…well…trees. Talk about a conversation starter.
Women in Trees by Jochen Raiss, $25
This book is really fun. It takes you through the history of architecture but through the use of Legos.
The Lego Architect by Tom Alphin, $17.15