Coffee Table Book

How to pick a coffee table book that inspires

A coffee table book is so much more than decorative. It can be a gorgeous, ready to be pondered over window into your dreams, an escape, a conversation starter. Whats the magic formula to finding the perfect one for you?

Coffee Table Book

Mmm,Far from the madding crowd a fresh cup of hot coffee in warm porcelain heats up your hands. Your friends have come over and around the table, then you discuss your dreams. The “coffee nook” is a picture-perfect part of your lifestyle (Instagram, anybody?) but it’s so much more than that. It’s an inviting corner where your guests will linger. So why not add something that will keep the conversation going? Not any old coffee table book will do. You need something that captures your soul in order to keep it authentic. So what’s the secret to finding a gorgeous book that is more than simply beautiful?

Finding the perfect book to accent your table is like showing a guest photos of your passions and interests.

One of the most memorable books I’ve stumbled upon was a book of Cuban architecture. You can imagine it, stunning stuccoed ceilings and sunshine seemed to tumble out of the book’s pages. But that’s not why this lovely hardcover book has stuck with me. Yes- the images were beautiful, but the book’s owner explained to me over a cuppa’  exactly why he loved the eclectic color schemes of Cuban houses, and showed me some of the research he was able to do on the country’s history. He sipped his coffee while telling me how much he missed the girl he fell in love with there. That’s passion, & that’s remarkable.

Simply put, we were able to have a deep conversation about the subject matter. Books are meant to be perused, and as lovely as they are, cannot simply be decorative. Too often we fall into the habit of buying things because they are pretty- and as Coffee Books focus on images and are inherently aesthetically pleasing, we can fall into a rut of using them as props.Conversation quote

So how to pick the perfect conversation starter? There’s a magic formula for that.

 Personalization+Passion+Beauty = your table stunner.

Trust me, you’ll seem so much more engaging and real when you start talking about your interests.  Everything that comes from your heart is honestly and beautifully you. Personalize your surroundings! You probably have pictures up on your wall of your last vacation, so why should a table book filled with pictures be any different? And there are so many different types of books that touch on infinite subjects. One that speaks to you will naturally speak to those around you. And who said it has to be a picture book? Try stacking your favorite novels on top of each other and discuss them with your friends.


What are you passionate about? Your interests may be varied, but which ones light up your heart? For me it’s dance. I’ve always been so graceless and clumsy. Studying ballet helped me learn to control my energy and make something beautiful out of my movements.


I fell in love, and talking about my experiences in the studio has a contagious excitement for me. It’s been a hard road, but my ballet slippers are worn in and I adore them. I was even able to convince a girlfriend to join in my classes! That’s what books are all about: they are meant to inspire. This one also happens to be absolutely, heartbreakingly gorgeous, which leads me to the next step. Your book should have a look to it. 

It doesn’t have to drip beauty, but it should capture someone’s attention. Your worn in novel is the centerpiece? Explain the story of its stains from that adventure you had escaping a mad poet when it fell out of your pocket.

Ballet poses

Let your personality shine, and let your conversations become thoughtful, interactive, and interesting peeks into your passions. Your guests will thank you for it. 

Pleats and Keats





23 thoughts on “How to pick a coffee table book that inspires”

  1. Hey! Great post! Really love this. My bf is super ununderstanding of why we need coffee table books but thats just it they often show other people a bit a preview of what we are about and often start up a conversation that is interesting! I for one have a coupe of photography books of people homes and themselves. I love them because I have so much respect and just WOW to great photography and I am a people watcher so why not watch them in fotos. Lots of love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it…it IS a preview into our lives and what we are about! I didn’t even think of coffee books that were focused on photography and people’s stories. Humans of New York is like that, and it’s a really great one! xo.


  2. Well I always go to the Opher Goodwin page on Amazon and have a trawl through the list. I look at the covers and decide of five or six that complement each other and the décor of the room, confident that the content of the books will always be controversially interesting. Then I arrange the six books on the coffee table to create the most interesting impact. The effect is symbiotic with the room and a talking point for visitors.
    Then I return to the Opher Goodwin page on Amazon and select a different six so that I can rotate them round. I find they are brilliant to dip into and get lost in!
    I continue this until I had the full collection and a highly charged set of friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the phrase controversially interesting. 🙂 the impact books has on a room is one of my favorite parts of decorating. Glad you and your friends are able to enjoy your varied tastes and pick of books!


  3. I don’t have my own coffee table yet because I still live at home, but I’ll definitely keep this in mind once I do! My grandma has three books on her coffee table; One is a history of the Titanic, the second, a history of Bay City, Michigan (where she was born and raised) and the third a history of the Beatles (my grandpa’s favorite band). It wasn’t until I read this post that I realized that her choices weren’t just visually interesting, but also pointed to key parts of their personalities.So cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the post, but I am such a scattered reader that I cannot have such a planned coffee table.. normally it is cluttered with poetry books, novels, travel books and non fiction, all at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We only describe anything best which we love or we are passionate about. I love wild life, travelled many sanctuaries, so I have few wild life books on my coffee table. I can even talk for morning to evening just on wild life. Recently I bought national geographic book named The Photographs, I suggest you to try this once and I am sure you will not regret. Also if you are thinking to buy new single serve for your coffee table, read this once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We really do! Thank you for sharing your interests and book rec with me! I’ll check it out. Wildlife is really fascinating, and in my opinion the most noble cause in the world. Seeing such beautiful pictures of our earth always inspires me to live in an eco-friendly way, and to cherish nature. xo.


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