Home decor


What are coffee table books?

by Hannah B

February 12, 2024

Modern living room with coffee table books

A coffee table book, also known as a cocktail table book, is a typically oversized, hardcover book with the purpose of being displayed in your home.

They can serve to inspire conversation or be a purely decorative item.

Coffee table books are typically nonfiction and illustrative. Their content focuses mainly on photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to being purely informational.

So then, what's the point of coffee table books? Below are the reasons coffee table books are a great addition to your home decor.

Coffee table books reflect your personality

Choosing coffee table books is a lot like choosing a tattoo, poster, or bumper sticker – your choice reflects who you are and reveals details about your personality, interests, and values.

Sometimes they’re just for yourself, it’s not always about whether guests will enjoy the book or not. Coffee table books serve as a reminder of the things you love. Displaying a carefully selected book on the coffee table is a quiet announcement of your true self.

Coffee table books inspire conversation

The living room is the main entertaining space for guests and having an interesting book on the coffee table between you and them can contribute ideas about what to talk about.

You probably know how it feels to run out of things to discuss. Flipping through the pages of an interesting book is a fun way to spark some new ideas. Having something to fall back on can alleviate awkward silences, especially for times we're feeling a little more introverted.

Coffee table books are fun to explore

A big reason coffee table books continue to appeal to us is their awe-inspiring contents. They’re full of stunning imagery and just plain cool photos. It’s no mystery why exploring them is so enjoyable.

Coffee table books can also serve as nostalgic memorabilia, for example, a book about movies from the 2000's or books about musicians you loved when you were younger.

Who doesn’t love flipping through photos that remind them of their younger days?

Choosing a coffee table book

Choosing a coffee table book can be hard given the huge number of options. Ask yourself the following questions to narrow them down.

Do you love the cover?

The cover of a coffee table book is its most important feature. It’s what your guests see when they visit and what you see on a daily basis, so make sure you love it!

Here are some details to consider:

  • Does the cover’s color match your decor? Or maybe you want a bright pop of red to spice things up.
  • Is the title inspiring? Serious? Funny? Pick a book that matches your personality.
  • Size matters. The cover might be beautiful, but if it doesn’t fit the space, something will look off.
  • Does it have great content? Your coffee table book should be filled with eye-catching illustrations and cover a topic you find interesting.

Does the book represent you?

Coffee table books that are tied to your hobbies and interests make for better conversation.

  • Love interior design? Huge Dolly Parton fan? Pick coffee table books about your favorite activities and artists.
  • Even if you’re not an art critic, we all can appreciate the beauty of the arts and incredible photography.
  • Stay away from politics (unless you want to turn your living room into a debate). Books that are blatantly opinionated and political might not be a great idea.

How will you display it?

Consider how you’d like to display your new books before you buy. You can display coffee table books open or closed on a table, stacked with others, or side by side on a bookshelf. Knowing this in advance will help you pick the right ones.

For example, if you want to stand your books upright, you’re probably want to pick smaller-sized coffee table books. If you want to stack them on top of each other, consider how all the books’ colors will look together.

Where to get coffee table books?

Blank Canvas Bookstore stocks coffee table books in every color and subject to accessorize your home. The objects around your house should inspire creativity, spark conversation, and help you create a fuller life. If you have any questions, contact us here.

If you want an exciting change in your home, shop for your new favorite coffee table books now.

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