The coffee table book is a staple for many a sophisticated household – and for good reason. Not only does it make for great entertainment and even greater conversation pieces, it also speaks volumes about one’s personality. A carefully curated collection of coffee table books, therefore, is one of the most fun and effortless ways to spruce up any man cave.

But what sets coffee table books apart from other tomes? What makes these books so different that they are often seen in places of prominence within the home? Well, simply put: coffee table books are created for aesthetics, above all. A coffee table book is not meant to be consumed from cover to cover, so anyone can just flip to any page and already enjoy it. Moreover, even those who are most disinclined to read can enjoy it fully. These, in turn, make it the perfect entertainment piece for guests. In fact, countless stimulating conversations have been started over various coffee table books. It is, therefore, always a good idea to choose ones that you are personally interested in and ones that you find intriguing. Plus, these books with their provocative hardcovers and brilliant typography simply look great.

So what types of coffee table books should you stock up on? We have broken it down for you:

Art and Photography

By far, these are the most popular – and dare we say – the safest options. Everybody loves a good visual, and these ones are chockfull of provocative and intriguing images. If you have a favorite artist or photographer, chances are there is a coffee table book or two published of his work. Some of our favorites include Andy Warhol “Giant” Size, Banksy’s Wall and Piece, and Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs.

Sports

Because what warm-blooded man doesn’t like sports, after all! Sport-centric coffee table books are definitely a few notches higher than your run-of-the-mill sports magazine because they often feature exclusive content, such as “unpublished” photographs of your favorite athletes. We like Knockout: The Art of Boxing by Ken Regan and Sports Illustrated Greatest Pictures: Memorable Images From Sports History.

Pop Culture

This is possibly just as fun (maybe even more, for some people) as sports-themed coffee table books. Pop culture books range from movies to television shows, music to musicales, and celebrities to cars. Our favorites include Star Wars: The Blueprints, Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip by Robert Landau, Ferrari: The Legend on the Road.

History

Nothing speaks of culture more than a few well-placed history books. Admittedly, history can be a rather heavy theme to tackle, but there are numerous historical coffee table books today that make the subject easier to digest and appreciate. We love Geoffrey C. Ward’s The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 and LIFE: The Greatest Adventures of All Time.

Travel and Nature

Coffee table books were invented to showcase beauty, so it is only fitting that some of the best ones feature the beauty of our planet. These books can definitely get the blood pumping and the heart racing in a very good way, so a couple of these are a must. The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World, Planet Earth, and Sebastiao Salgado’s Africa are some of our favorites.

 

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