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Why Coffee Table Books are a Thing

Coffee table books have long been considered as decorative but there’s more to it

Coffee table books have long been considered as decorative. They grace your tabletop with beautiful photos. They are nice to have guests leaf through as conversation starters or to fill awkward silence, and they are tangible. You can hold them, run your hands over the smooth stock and admire the art they hold.

More than that, according to psychologists, the coffee table books you set out send a message about who you are. They show your interests, your dreams and your personality. They bring emotions to the table from nostalgia to pride to desires.

From fashion and music enthusiasts to auto lovers, world travelers, history buffs, photographers and hobbyists, there are coffee table books for every interest and personality.

Here are a few popular coffee table books you may enjoy.


“1,000 Places to See Before You Die”

This luxurious deluxe giftbook edition from Patricia Schultz is one of the bestselling coffee table books of all time — and it’s no surprise. Not only is it visually stunning, but the narration includes brief descriptions of each locale as well as must-do’s for those who choose to travel to the destinations featured. This book will take you to Lhasa, Tibet, China to see the fortress home of the dalai lamas; to the Palace of Winds in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India; and even to see the mountains, Saxon villages and folklore of Transylvania, Romania.


“Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style”

While the cover is minimalist, this celebration of the best from the pages of Architectural Digest Architectural Digest from author Amy Astley showcases the private abodes of well-known people like Truman Capote, Frank Lloyd Wright and even David Bowie. It’s both a look at the past from the archives to modern-day architecture featuring top designers and architects. Those who love design and architecture are sure to love browsing this coffee table book and putting it on display in their homes.


“The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion”

This gorgeous book of imagery and narration by Antwaun Sargent presents a look at radical transformation taking place in fashion, art and culture. It features the work of famous photographers like Tyler Mitchell, the first Black photographer to shoot a cover story for American Vogue. A reader review on Amazon called it a “love song to fashion specifically and to Black people generally.”



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