Best Coffee Table Books 2021: Review & Buyer’s Guide

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1. A Photographer’s Life 2. The War 3. Steve McCurry


What hits the mind instantly when one talks about aesthetically dressing a table without making use of major-league creativity? Well, coffee table books are probably one of the easiest methods to quickly add an oomph factor to the table. They are not only an inexpensive way to add a touch of vibe, but they can also help in instantly uplifting our mood.

These books can transform even the most prosaic tables into one of those exhibition items, towards which people are immediately attracted to.

However, getting this gear for your house or the office might seem like a tedious job. Most of us still underrate the ability of a book to create a drastic impact. So, this article is not only going to simplify your task of finding the best coffee table book of all time but will also make this job equally interesting.


What Are Coffee Table Books?

Best coffee table books are not just a treat to the eyes, but they also act as a mirror that reflects the interests, passion, choices, and intellect of a person.

We can decorate a coffee table in many ways, depending on our interests. Once you have decided which table to buy and where to put it, it is time to choose the book.

Whether you are a hopeless romantic or a snob for suspense and thrillers, these coffee table books instantly showcase the vibe you wish to channelize in your surroundings. These books also give time to find your inner peace and work on your mental well being. Hence, they not only help in intellectual buildup but also enhance mental health of an individual.

What Are The Traits Of A Perfect Coffee Table Book?

There is no single coffee table book that can work well for the entire universe. The choices are governed by the taste and preference of a particular person.

The best coffee table books a person finds at a store are a result of constant search and experimentation. You can take the help of a close friend in finding the perfect book for your space.

Given below are a few basics one should keep in mind before selecting a coffee table book.

1. Showcase Your Interest

Every person has a slight bend towards a particular activity. Such activities are the reasons for the productive use of our free time. Books based on a particular hobby not only enhance your interest in that field, but it also reminds you of how significant it is to you.

For instance, people who share a deep interest in fashion can look out for coffee table books encircling this niche. People with a profound love for dance can search for books on that subject.

These books will also reflect your interest to other people, who wish to know more about you.

2. Books That Correspond To Your Aesthetic Demeanor

If you are more concerned about the visual context, you should give special attention to the book cover. The book cover needs to be consistent with the overall style of the house. This includes the color of the walls and the type of furniture used in the room.

The best coffee table books 2021 focus on attracting everyone’s eye to their space. For example, if your house comprises of abstract patterns on the wall, then using a book with an abstract cover would be a nice addition to the decor.

Similarly, people who have developed a deep love for vintage furniture should go for books with a vintage appeal.

3. Books That Trigger You To Work

It is common for people to spend their free time doing nothing and ranting about it later. You might even hate the idea of reading something intellectual during such a gloomy time.

One can easily recover through such phases by purchasing coffee table books that can stir a person to activity. These books include cooking guides or fashion journals that never seem to go out of trend. These books will make sure that you use your time productively.

4. Books For Knowledge Purpose

There is a section of avid readers who are only concerned about enhancing their knowledge. You can simply place one or two of your textbooks on the table along with other books. These books shall help you maintain a work curriculum and strictly adhere to it. This will help you with routine learning as the book will always be visible to you.

It is also important to note that one should not accumulate all their textbooks on the coffee table. This will not only negate its purpose as a coffee table but will also make the table look messy.

Top 14 Best Coffee Table Books 2021

1. A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005

A Photographer's Life Best Coffee Table BooksThis book contains the most exquisite memories shared by a photographer from different angles. If you want to strike the photographer in you and lack the motivation or the confidence, then this coffee table book is a no brainer.

Written by Annie Leibovitz, this book also captures the various emotions of life, including the haunting ones like death and illness.

One can even learn more about the angles of photography. The book also contains family pictures and portraits of Annie Leibovitz, which are a treat for any photography lover. Every picture in the book consists of a caption, which helps the audience read the emotions behind them.

Most books, these days, are based on the people living their life in front of the camera. However, this particular one dwells into the life of the person who spends their life behind the camera.

Some people might be of the opinion that this book lacks technical sincerity, but thats really a personal choice. If you are looking for conceptual work, then this is not the best book for you.


2. The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945

The War An Intimate History, 1941-1945If you are a history buff and wish to delve deep into it, then this is the perfect choice for you. It is not one of those books that just give you a vague idea of history and leave out the small, more relevant details; rather it is the complete opposite.

The War presents numerous examples of ordinary people who went through the destructive phase of the battle. The world war, which started in 1941 and proceeded till 1945 lead to a loss of almost 60 million people.

This book includes pictures and maps to provide the reader with a complete experience. The narrative does not make use of jargon, thus allowing anyone with a decent vocabulary to decode it. The book presents the sacrifices during World War II in a raw form.


3. Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs

Steve McCurry The Iconic PhotographsThis is the perfect book for aspiring photographers and photography enthusiasts. Its beautiful visuals will attract anyone to your coffee table.

It consists of some of the most flawless clicks of Steve McCurry collected from different parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and Europe.If the child in you wishes to know about the life of other people, this could be your ideal coffee partner.

This collection will help you become more aware of the cultural practices of other people. This is one of the best coffee table books for anyone who can spend hours looking at detailed pictures.

This might be a disappointment for someone focused on the technical aspect of photography. However, the moment in which these pictures were clicked is way too magnificent to focus on the technical aspect.


4. Thousand Chairs

Thousand ChairsNothing can be better than sitting around furniture and not discussing it. It is the small details in your house that can add a big difference. This particular book focuses on the most important aspect of proper rest.

Yes, we are talking about the chair. People tend to underrate the importance of a chair, but we surely cannot ignore it. This book covers the vast distances that have been covered to reach the designs of the chair that we use today.

It is the perfect book for people who are interested in art or passionate about designing. It contains the 100 years of a chair and the various designs that it went through to attain the form that we see and use today.

Also, if you love books with tonnes of pictures, you would surely be delighted by this one.


5. Life 70 Years Of Extraordinary Photography

Life 70 Years Of Extraordinary PhotographyOne more heavenly piece of photography for the photographer in you. This book does not believes in narrating a particular event but captures images from different years. It consisted of pictures that represents the last 70 years of the world.

From catastrophic wars to euphoric moments, the book captures all these events in their most natural form.

One can even get glimpses of the usual American life in these pages. It would be a sheer lack of work if one forgets to include this book in the list of best coffee table books of all time.

This is one of the best books you can give to your photographer friends or anyone who wishes to learn more about history.


6. Diana Arbus: Revelations

Diana Arbus RevelationsOne more treat for photography lovers. This book is a graphical representation of the entire life of the author, Diana Arbus. It is a detailed account of the artist and how she managed to get pictures that were worth a million words.

If you are someone who enjoys pictures that have a deep message that is based on human existence, this is a no brainer. Her pictures are considered to be immortal in the photographer’s world. You are bound to get drawn to the immaculate work done by the artist.

Even if you are not a photography lover, this book is going to attract a lot of attention just by lying on your coffee table.


7. Los Angeles Portrait Of A City (Multilingual Edition)

Los Angeles Portrait Of A City (Multilingual Edition)One can never doubt the fact that Los Angeles is one of the most culturally, politically and socially enthusiastic counties. This particular book makes the audience realize just that through its pages.

This book aims to enlighten the audience regarding the development of the city in the last few decades. It also opens up the various facets of development in multiple fields of art, sports and politics and how the place transformed from a deserted area into a high tech modern county.

The book precisely captures the numerous grand historical moments that took place in Los Angeles. From Hollywood stars to various other eminent personalities, the clicks are fascinating to look at.

The book showcases some of the most iconic moments of history in a raw manner.It also contains iconic pictures from the Olympics and the much talked assassination of Bobby Kennedy. The various crimes and the corresponding movements and struggles are also given a short space.

This book finds its place in the best coffee table books 2021 because of the cultural diversity that it showcases. If you are a history lover and shares a deep love for Los Angeles, there is no reason why you should not purchase it.

Even if are not a history fan, this book is going to lock in the attention because of the detailed pictures.


8. Best Of Norman Rockwell

Best Of Norman RockwellThis is a must-have for all art lovers. This book consists of illustrations that showcase the form of life that existed before World War II and its after effects. Every illustration is authentic and stays true to the raw moment in which they were clicked.

These collections have been made by Norman Rockwell, who is one of the most iconic personalities in the field of painting. He does not makes use of a single medium but rather all of them, including watercolors and oil colors to depict his illustrations.

This book is put together by his son and manages to create an impact on every aspiring artist.
If you are looking for paintings that showcase all the technical details and delicate brush strokes, then this might be a disappointment for you.

However, if you like to look at a picture and try to decipher the emotions flowing through the painting, nothing could be a better decision. One might also agree that the illustrations are capable of delivering the context without having any actual caption beneath it.

This book will not only attract art enthusiasts but will also inspire you to work towards your motives and goals. The paintings are deep, meaningful and somewhat painful, hitting the right notes within an artist.

The book is capable of drawing anyone closer to it, irrespective of their interest in art. If you want an artist to dwell on your coffee table, missing this one can prove to be a cardinal sin.


9. Salad For President: A Cookbook Inspired By Artists

Salad For President A Cookbook Inspired By ArtistsThis one is for the cook in you who has a deep interest in salads and dressings. The creator of this ‘delicious’ book presents a list of 70 salads that you can try a hand at.

It also contains interviews with famous personalities that focus on the health benefits of eating salads. The creator goes on to share ways by which these healthy options can be incorporated in a variety of styles and events. These events range from regular dinner time to cocktails to brunch time with family.

Julia Sherman, the creator, talks about the various ways by which one can create a garden full of herbs and vegetables used in salads. Salad making involves experimentation and is not similar to any regular cooking, and indeed a healthy way of eating.

One might consider salads to be a light snack, but Julia Sherman introduces us to the concept of having a salad as a full meal. The book provides tonnes of methods that can encourage the audience to start eating salads.

If you are passionate about carrying forward a healthy lifestyle, this is the perfect partner for your coffee table. Not only will this encourage you to consume healthy salads but will also restrict you from binging on unhealthy food items. It will also give you something to do on days you don’t have anything planned.


10. Grace: Thirty Years Of Fashion At Vogue

Grace Thirty Years Of Fashion At VoguePeople with a great and unique sense of fashion are indeed unavoidable but so is this book. Created by the most popular fashion icon, Grace Coddington, it contains some of the most iconic fashion images and events of the era.

It also includes the much talked about shoot of Naomi Campbell in a bikini. The foreword is from Karl Lagerfeld, who is a fashion inspiration to millions. This book contains pictures from location shoots that look nothing less than a cinematic narrative.

This is probably one of the most loved coffee table books 2021 for all the fashion lovers. Not only does it present the minute details of the fashion industry, but it will also inspire you to focus on your fashion game. It is important to experiment and step out from your regular comfort zone. This book serves the purpose in the most fashionable manner.


11. National Geographic: The Photographs (National Geographic Collectors Series)

National Geographic The Photographs (National Geographic Collectors Series)We all lived our entire childhood wanting to be a part of the thrilling association of National Geographic. Almost every picture and every story stirs the traveler in us wanting to reach out to those people and experience the diversity in the world.

This collection features of some of the most iconic pictures of National Geographic and is bound to touch the audience’s soul. It cover of the popular Afghan girl with green eyes is a breathtaking photograph in itself.

The book contains pictures from some of the best geography photographers that have managed to capture some of the best moments from history. This collection contains pictures from different genres like wildlife and astronomy.

Every picture depicts the love for nature and wildlife, which is lacking in the present generation. It also presents numerous examples of life existing in the most dreary places with adequate resources.

A reported number of readers are also fascinated by the cover of the Afghan Girl. People who want bigger frames might be a little disappointed because the hardcover has a bit smaller dimension to it.

Also, it will be tough for old people to read it because of their eyesight issues since the letters are pretty small. This book is a great companion for your coffee table considering the good amount of photographs that decorate it.

This book is bound to awaken the photographer in you and make you want to pursue your passion.


12. Pink: The History Of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour

Pink The History Of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful ColourWhen pink as a color was first introduced, it has been worn by both men and women in France. But as the generations passed, this color transformed into a major debate and became a symbol of feminism or anything girly and chic.

At present, men get judged a lot if they choose to wear pink. This particular book aims to break the stereotypes that surround this color regarding gender sensitivity. It also unveils how the color has gone through a dynamic phase of change.

The color pink forms the basis of a lot of industries including technology, fashion, and art. Written by Valerie Steel, this book decodes the norms that have been created regarding the color. It contains amazing pictures, ads, and arts that have been making use of this color for years and how it affects the psyche of people.

This book is for anyone who is interested to learn about the history of this color or someone who loves the colour. This book has made it into this list because of the exciting pictures that can turn anyone’s mood around.

This is one of the best coffee table books 2021 because of how it tries to do away with the stereotypical mindset of modern society.


13. Tonne Goodman: Point Of View

Tonne Goodman Point Of ViewThis book by Tonne Goodman is a treat for every fashion lover. She is considered as one of the finest in the business. Her stunning designs, that adorn most celebrities, are aesthetically pleasing and eye catching.

Being a fashion director at Vogue, she manages to make outfits that are not only elegant but also stylish at the same time. However, very few people are acquainted with her personal life and career.

This book unveils her life process in chronological order and also shares her initial modeling days with the audience. We get to know about the struggles that she faced in fashion and how she managed to come through all of them.

One can get to know about the fashion reportage and her advertising and how she managed to make her way to Vogue.

Fashion is one of the most creative parts of Living a Lifestyle. Most people tend to give up on their creative ability to style and pull off an entire outfit. This book will help such people to experiment and breathe fashion in their way.

This book is outrageously written and can be a perfect piece for your coffee table. If you are a fashionista, this could be your favorite read. One might also be excited to experiment a bit with fashion which seems a bit different from the usual style.

This will also give a very modern feel to your coffee table, provided your guests are themselves, huge fashion lovers.


14. William Wegman: Being Human

William Wegman Being HumanThis book is for all the pet lovers as well as people who enjoy looking at photographs of animals.

The pet photographs by William Wegman are loved and praised all around the globe. This book contains around 300 pictures of dogs that can immediately attract any person’s heart. It also contains pictures with dogs dressed in costumes and other variants to make this photography collection even richer.

This book is not like those big coffee table books that seem to take up all the space. It is a small, thick book which can instantly attract anyone’s attention. One might even be interested to get a pet for themselves, after enjoying the tonnes of cute pet photographs.

For all the photography lovers, this book contains beautiful pictures that showcase great photography skills. You can definitely learn a lot from these pictures by William Wegman.

This book has managed to become a part of the best coffee table books 2021 because of how versatile it is. One can spend any amount of time going through these pictures. Also, it is quite possible to learn new techniques of photography each time you flip a page.

You might also be tempted to learn photography after going through this book. This book is surely going to inspire the pet lover in you to own one for yourself.


These were all the books that have made to our list of best coffee table books. These books have been curated after deep research and will surely help you in ways you cannot imagine.

Styling Tips To Decorate The Coffee Table Books

There are a variety of ways you can use to quickly make your space look more organized and stylish. The decor also depends on your personal preference but you can add the following ideas to make it look organized. This will help you in attracting everyone’s attention while keeping it clean and hassle free. While some people prefer to throw them on the table, there are much cleaner ways of decorating your coffee table with the above-mentioned best coffee table books.

1. Load One Book On Another

You want to add aesthetic demeanor without crowding your coffee table. This might be the perfect way. All you need to do is pile one book over another, making use of a small section of the table.

This will ensure a neat look without compromising on the aesthetics. You can also go with a specific color theme to create a pattern.

2. Match With The Decor

It might not be a good idea if you purchase books that correspond to the decor of your house. Instead, opt for a decor that matches your intellectual preference. These items include carpets or rugs that match the theme of the book.

3. Try To Follow A Certain Theme

If you are more concerned about the aesthetics of your house, it is important to select coffee table books that follow a certain theme. For example, if you consider yourself to be a fashion enthusiast, you should go for multiple books that create that particular vibe for you.

However, if you have multiple interests and do not wish to stick with a certain theme, try and make sure the covers stand strong together. Best coffee table books 2021 can only be flaunted once you arrange them properly.

Best Coffee Table Books – The Conclusion

Once you have decided on the books and the pattern of position, all you need to do is place them and enjoy them with every sip of your favorite hot beverage. Remember, it is entirely your space and the final decision lies with you.

Books are a man’s best friend. They channelize energy and help us become better individuals by looking at examples of bravery, courage and passion.
A good coffee table book can freshen up the entire day, turning you into an energy ball ready to explode. It is important to utilize this power of books to have such a strong influence on humans.

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