Best Coffee Table Books 2018: Reviews and Buyers Guide

Best Coffee Table Books 2018: Reviews and Buyers Guide

Coffee table books, from the name itself, give a rough idea on what kind of book they are and at the very least where they are kept in a modern house.

They have illustrated display books on various topics that have a full page, eye-catching graphics. Often sophisticated, they show off your amazing taste, are awesome art pieces and more often than not, act as conversation starters.

The following are some of the best coffee table books in the market as sighted by bloggers, home designers, and celebrities;

Plant: Exploring the Botanical World

This is easily one of the best coffee table books. It is a 352-page hardcover book, packed from cover to cover with stunning and extraordinarily beautiful photographs of diverse plants. There are also prints, watercolors and micrograph scans of botanically themed images.

These include iconic pieces by renowned photographers, artists, and experts in the botanical field. The pages and graphics are selected and arranged in a unique, structured sequence by a panel of internationally recognized experts in this field.

Not only are these good to look at, but they also provoke thoughts and inspire intellectual conversations and help you discover beauty in a plant.


  • The cover is hard, preserving the pages from physical damage and dog-ears
  • The cover is also artsy and looks great outwardly
  • Stunning publication
  • Good print quality


  • Small blocks of text instead of long prose accompanying the graphics might not be ideal for someone who needs more information.



Nasty Galaxy

This is a gorgeous, super colorful coffee table book written by a best-selling author, Sophia Amoruso.  Full of incredible portraits and excellent illustrations, this book is sure to keep your guests entertained.

It showcases interior shots of the author’s California home and takes us further into her world with her inspirations, life hacks, how-to and advice from other women of quality she admires.

For example, Gwyneth Paltrow and Courtney Love who are featured in the book. This inspires girl power and is something of an anthem of Sophia’s. An earlier autobiography, ‘Girlboss’ made her famous.


  • Visually appealing cover that will look pleasant on your coffee table
  • Interesting articles that will inspire conversations
  • Inspiring and lovely for decoration


  • Some people do not agree with the themes the author has written about
  • Might be too raunchy for some and put across a bad image of yourself.



Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home

This is a design book by Rebecca Atwood filled with clear ideas and brilliant photography on how to use patterns to interior decorate.

It clearly suggests that if you focus on pattern, the most powerful element in a room, then texture and color to textiles and furniture, everything else will fall right into place.

Amazing photos showcase the unique use of patterns in other homes for inspiration to help you enliven any space.


  • One of the best coffee table books on Amazon
  • Perfect gift for someone and a treat for yourself
  • Helps you identify your interests and style in interior decorating
  • Inspires ideas in you on how to make your house more lively using patterns


  • Ideas from the book might not work for you since what works for someone else might not work for you
  • It will get you investing a lot in interior decoration and spending more money.



The Selby is in Your Place

The idea of the book was born when photographer Todd Selby started taking photos and drawing paintings of creative people and creative spaces and posting them on his blog.

The book is rich in color and contains designers, authors, musicians, artists and other cultural creative in their home environments, showing how their personal style is reflected in their private spaces.

There are also interviews with several personalities that are written with detail and wit. Most if not all the best coffee table reviews on the internet have this book listed as one of the best coffee table books.


  • Inspiring and great to look at
  • The photography is undeniably stunning
  • Interesting to read


  • The pictures on his blog are selected for the book it’s not any new content
  • Because of the above reason, a reader of the blog who buys the book may feel shortchanged.



The LEGO Architect

This book will inspire your architectural explorations and give you the words to describe and appreciate buildings you see. The cover has a Lego model of a known colorful apartment building in France.

The Unite d’Habitation in Marseille, France. The book is designed to be a hands-on ‘manual’ for building your Lego creations of buildings using the LEGO Architecture Studio set. Maybe you might even pick a favorite architectural style.


  • Helps you appreciate the field of architecture
  • Gives you ideas on architectural styles
  • Can be a great way to pass the time and keep you busy while recreating models of buildings found in the book
  • Helps peak children’s interest in the field


  • It is not a field that interests many, so not many people will find it interesting.



Kate Spade New York

Kate Spade New York: Things We love: Twenty Years if Inspiration, Intriguing Bits, and other Curiosities. This book is great for any coffee table and will add color to your coffee table, even your life! It has 20 pages filled with practical advice, handwritten notes, and a sense of humor and is something of a visual diary full of all the things we love, as suggested by the title.

It has photos from Kate Spades collection, and numerous, great inspirational pictures.


  • Great for lovers of fashion
  • Inspires with designs that inspire creativity
  • It is a beautiful book inside and out, with gold trimmed pages and will make the coffee table look a little more sophisticated


  • There is very little written information.



Star Trek: Costumes: Five decades of fashion

This is an informative art book that is undeniably beautiful and a treat for Star Trek fans. Written by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann, they review costumes of Star Trek over the past five decades.

The fashion throughout the decades has been diverse, and sometimes good, sometimes bad, leaving fans asking questions that this book swoops in to answer.

It gives us the reasons why some of these fashion decisions were made and on some, even the designers of the costumes. It also has many behind the scenes photos and details.


  • It is fascinating and informative for a Star Trek fan
  • Lots of amazing pictures
  • A lot of pictures with a lot of information to match


  • Print is small and might be difficult to read
  • Not everyone is a fan of the Star Trek franchise.



Hamilton: The Revolution

This revolutionary coffee table book was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic, and a theater artist.

It is an award-winning piece that garnered Eleven Tony Awards, including the one for The Best Musical and the coveted Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2016.

It is from a previous musical, and the book tells a surprising story of a Caribbean boy that became a musical, names, photos and interviews of people involved in producing the musical.


  • Contains rich American history
  • Is interesting for it tells a story of a poor Caribbean boy who fought the British and defended the constitution, then helped found the United States.
  • Fuses many traditions and shows the power of diversity


  • Might be difficult to follow
  • For someone who has not seen the musical, the point of the book might not be understood
  • It is not a common area of interest.



Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen is an influential fashion designer that is very well known for his provocative and imaginative designs. This book goes deep into his career, celebrating his uniqueness, questioning the norm, amazing creativity and originality.

It has his most iconic designs, revealing techniques and artistic processes he uses to achieve his designs. It focuses on the sophistication underlying his runway presentations and collections, generally just highlighting his prowess in the world of fashion.

It also has an interview with Sarah Burton, the creative designer of the brand, and brilliant quotes from the designer himself.


  • Serves as a catalog for the designs of house Alexander McQueen
  • Is an insight into one of the most iconic names in the world of fashion.
  • Serves to inspire upcoming fashion designers with ideas and quotes, daring them to be different.


  • The life and times and achievements of a fashion designer are not everyone’s cup of tea.



Paris in Color

This colorful book takes you on a journey through Paris through the eyes of Nichole Robertson, a photographer capturing the city by color.

From colorful bicycles and cars to flowers outside a florist’s shop, a colorful sign with a vibrant splash of color, she makes everyone looking at the photographs wish to go to Paris just with the bits she shares. The photographer with no doubt has an eye for detail for art and design.


  • Presents a colorful, well-curated view of the city
  • All the photos in the book are pleasing to look at making it a great coffee table book.
  • Gives an insight on Parisian life to someone who has never been to Paris


  • Gives a rather ‘deceptive view of the city since only the best photographs are selected and edited
  • Photos get a bit repetitive
  • There is no text accompanying the photos



Things To Consider When Buying The Best Coffee Table Books

Selecting a coffee table book might not be a simple task as you think. Take note of the following things before you make a purchase.

Size Of The Coffee Table

Your coffee table should be big enough to hold coffee table books since they are often oversized. It should also hold everything else you might want for example drinks, snacks or even magazines.

If it is not spacious enough, it will look crowded, or the book will look like it has been misplaced. A coffee table with a shelf underneath is recommended if it is a small table so that the books can be stashed under there.

What The Book Is About

It is more advisable to pick a coffee table with a diverse topic that will interest many people because one purpose of having it is to entertain your guests and to start conversations.

Best Coffee Table Books

If the topic of the book you buy, for example, the Star Trek coffee table book, is not appealing to a wide demographic, only to the fans of the franchise. A book like that will have people picking it up only to toss it to the side without a second look.

Additional Benefit

Aside from just being pretty for display, your coffee table book should at least offer an additional benefit. For example, it should pass knowledge on a subject to build your intellectual capacity, or it should inspire you or whoever picks it up in one way or the other.

For instance, a book on interior design not only showcases other peoples’ houses and spaces but also inspires you to get creative with your space.

The Cover

The outward cover should be hard for durability since it is a book that will be picked up and perused through a lot.  A hardcover ensures the cover does not wear easily and get old fast. It also protects the pages inside. The cover should also be visually appealing to get someone to pick it up and open it.


Final Words

Books are great. For a couple of reasons, they can stimulate intellectually; they can educate, they can be used for decoration and also be used for a visual delight.

For the two latter reasons, they help pass time and are wonderful objects of décor that can also act as ice breakers or conversation starters when guests come over to your house.

The ones listed above are some of the best-rated ones in the market, but there are always more. So when you go out here in the market, pick one that aligns with your tastes and will serve you best as a coffee table book.

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