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Coffee table books

The coffee table book is an odd realm between art and function. No-one reads a coffee table book, they "peruse" it. Most of the time it's too big to hold, too heavy to sit comfortably with. Beautiful, bold, bulky things. Books to wear down, wear out as you fumble through the pages roughly. Books to inspire, uplift and - consiously or not - say something about who you are.

Since I have moved house, I have been thinking about the kind of coffee table book I would like in my living room. I would want it to inspire me on every page - in case I only perused to view one of them. It would probably be a photography book. I would want it to have words too, though. Little snippets. I wouldn't want it to be a cliche... I'd maybe like to learn something on the off-chance too!

I have a few books already that I would consider to be of the "coffee table" genre, but not ones I would put out. Kurt Cobain's Journals, Cosmos, Dita Von Teese's The Art of Burlesque, "The Art Of" Batman, 300 and Sweeny Todd. All of them great pick-a-page time fillers but all of them speaking to a part of me that I probably don't advertise - or expect guests to deal with, at any rate!

   

So I have been browsing Amazon for some new things and have drawn up a number of potential table residents.

Here is the shortlist:

   
 

But I wonder if there are any suggestions out there? What coffee table books do you own and display? What do you look for in a coffee table book?

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