As handy as it might be to have the latest supermarket catalogues strewn across your coffee table, it’s not particularly attractive—especially when you have guests over.
Here’s where the coffee table book comes in. The main difference between a coffee table book and an ordinary book is that coffee table books are oversized and usually feature more colour and imagery. It’s not uncommon to find a coffee table book in all sorts of places in the home—for example, on side tables, entry tables, desks, and even dining tables.
Like homewares, coffee table books are perfect things for you to splurge on, as they beautifully showcase different aspects of your life and personality. But being organised thematically, coffee table books have a greater capacity than many homewares to keep people engaged. This makes them especially handy when you need to keep your guests occupied, e.g. while you’re cooking.
There are so many coffee table books being published today that there really is one for everyone. This includes people who don't like reading books. So, if you’re looking for some ideas for a new coffee table book, here are five to get you started:
1. AN ARTY BOOK
If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you’ve probably come across those huge hardcover books artists publish of their latest exhibitions (or of art history, or something similarly arty). While they do cost a pretty penny, arty books are perfect for the coffee table—though, it’s worth waiting until you see an exhibition you absolutely love before you buy one. (And who knows: if you buy a limited-edition book, it may increase in value down the track!)
But you don’t have to go an art gallery to buy an arty book. If you follow a popular artist on Instagram or YouTube, these days it’s likely that they’ll have a webstore for you to purchase a compendium of their works (this is especially so for photographers). Otherwise, ordinary brick-and-mortar bookstores and their online warehouses sell gorgeous hardbacks on all sorts of artistic topics, like music, film, fashion, and so on.
2. A HOBBY BOOK
If you’ve got a hobby, there’s a coffee table book for it. While plenty of us have our niches and we can find books catering to those niches, keeping your hobby at a general level means you can buy any number of coffee table books looking at the hobby from different perspectives.
3. A TRAVEL BOOK
Whether your love is for Australia or for Austria, you can find a coffee table book to feed your wanderlust.
4. A KNOWLEDGE BOOK
If your guests are the sort who will turn small talk about the weather into a conversation about the scientific uncertainties of meteorology, chances are they’ll appreciate a knowledge-oriented coffee table book. Think histories (especially local histories published by your library), atlases, science compendiums, and so on. If you’ve got school-aged kids, knowledge-oriented coffee table books may also help them learn.
5. A LITERARY BOOK
People still read physical, fictional books, right?
Even if you don't, there's no reason why you can't get a literary book for your coffee table. There are plenty of books these days published in a format which look lovely on a coffee table while still being convenient to read. Perfect for fancy editions of your favourite classics!
6. BONUS: YOUR PERSONAL PHOTO ALBUM
It’s your coffee table, after all!
So now you’ve got some ideas for your coffee table book, all you need is the right coffee table!