YOUR COFFEE TABLE IS EMPTY WITHOUT THESE BOOKS
May your coffee table always house good books.
May your coffee table always house good books.
Text: Khadija Muzaffar
Any self-proclaimed bookworm and/or interior design aficionado will be able to tell you that coffee table books and regular bookshelf books are two entirely different things. Bookshelf books require complete immersion, it's anything but a casual affair. Coffee table books on the other hand, are exactly that. A coffee table book is more akin to artwork, or a decoration piece. It's an added bonus if you end up being transported to another world after all, but their primary function caters more towards visuals. Also worth noting: these gorgeous books would make excellent presents for your loved ones! We've rounded up some of our favorite picks for what should go on your coffee table. Check them out:
For the foodies
Cook books are great because in addition to having stunning visuals always, they also contain family history, anecdotes, and a proper personality, peppered throughout the many new recipes you get to try.
If you look to cook, be sure to check out this one by Hawa Hassan. Titled 'In Bibi's Kitchen', the book features recipes from Hassan's own grandmother as well as recipes from other grandmothers from eastern Africa. Whether for personal perusal, or for an ambient addition to your living room, be sure to check out this book for only $21.99 on Amazon.
Another fun option for the foodies out there: this informative and illustrative book on American menu designs. The book looks at menus all across American from as far back as 1850 up till 1985. It's fascinating to read and of course, visually appealing to look at. Find it for $58.95 on amazon.com.
For the poet
Modern day new age poetry is A+ coffee table book material because in addition to being sufficiently engaging, they almost always carry thought-provoking illustrations within them.
Author and Youtuber Orion Carloto released her second book of poetry, titled 'Film for her' earlier this year. The book contains poetry, beautifully crafted prose, and a stunning collection of film photos taken by Carloto herself. For just $17.49 on Amazon, this beauty could be yours!
Queen mother and absolute otherworldly ethereal angel Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine deserves a spot on your coffee table. It would be sacrilegious not to have her there. 'Useless Magic' is a wonderful scrapbook of furiously scribbled lyrics and poems and photographs that give us a behind the scenes glimpse into the mind of Ms. Welch. All for $28.30 on amazon.com.
For the photographer
The beauty of photo books is in the fact that they require minimal intensive viewing, but they give off maximum pleasure. If there's no more room for art and photos on your wall, get a photobook for your coffee table.
Saul Leiter was the undisputed king of street photography. A painter by profession, his photographs are perfectly balanced in all compositional aspects, and they always present bright exuberant color palettes that makes it hard to look away. This book is amazing because it contains his signature street photos, as well as his more experimental fashion and nude photography work. Get it for $52.37 on Amazon.
An iconic book by an iconic fashion photographer. The book traces the history of Lindbergh's work, from his earliest influences to his biggest breakthroughs. If you're into fashion and photography, maybe consider giving this book a permanent home on your coffee table? Find it on amazon.com for $50.77.
For the fashion-forward
Fashion is basically art that you can wear, which makes it another great thing to have in book form. Sure, you can display a nice glossy magazine, but there's just something so luxurious and tasteful about a big beautiful book dedicated to fashion.
Have sneakers taken over our lives? Judging by the rapidly multiplying sneaker drops, the answer has to be yes. That's where this wonderful book comes in. Covering over 100 years of sneaker history, and providing you with visuals and facts, this book was practically made for coffee tables. More than that, it's a genuinely interesting read, if you're interested in the evolution of footwear designs. It retails for $45.00 on Amazon.com.
This book by Alexa Chung, the fashion industry's long reigning 'it-girl' is pretty much a classic at this point. Offering musings from her vantage point within the highly competitive fashion industry, as well as drawings, photographs and personal anecdotes, this book makes for a very enjoyable read. It's very easy on the eyes too, and for $32.00 on Amazon, it needs to be yours.
For the film enthusiasts
In addition to the fact that films are already very visual mediums, the art of talking about films can tend to be inherently visual as well. Which means that books that discuss films are usually very visually appealing as well. Who doesn't like discussing movies?
Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' took the world by storm in 2019, and if you know someone who really loved this film (or if that happens to be you yourself), then this is one book you need to get. The book, which is a collection of hundreds of drawings and illustrations, gives us a unique look into what went into making Parasite. Bong Joon Ho storyboarded and drew each and every scene of the movie, prior to filming, and coupled with dialogue and commentary, it becomes a graphic novel, which this book provides us. For a mere $21.49 on Amazon, this is one book you cannot miss.
You're not a true Disney superfan till you've laid your hands on this beauty. This vast collection of illustrations and essays, interwoven with history and facts, makes this book a must-have for any self-proclaimed Disney fan. It takes us deep into the mind of Walt Disney himself, and all for the great price of $22.50 on Amazon.
Bonus: For everyone
We would be remiss to not mention our own addition to the world of coffee table books. But in all honesty, the Gigi Journal is a wonderful publication covering art, literature and cultural commentary. With model extraordinaire Gigi Hadid serving as it's Creative Director (she also hand-painted the cover art, jbtw), the journal consists of 32 pieces of art and writing, handpicked by Ms. Hadid herself. What's more, a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the journal will be equally donated amongst four organizations: Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, the ACLU, and Campaign Zero, and the wonderful Gigi has pledged to match each donation with a personal donation from her end. The Gigi Journal retails for $55 and you can find it on the V Magazine website. Happy reading!