Coffee Table books

Coffee table books are no longer a novelty today as they were in the past. These days coffee table books cover every topic you can imagine. However, that was not always the case. Throughout most of history they did not exist as books and were printed only to be entertainment, on interesting subjects and read. The history of the coffee table book is quite interesting and we will begin to explore it here.

History of the coffee table book

In 1580 Michel De Montaigne wrote about a book that was not to be read, but to be used as a decoration; it would typically contain religious subject matter and poems. Later in 1759 Laurence Sterne referred to a book that was to be placed below a living room window; this book consisted of text and some illustrations and was considered very novel for the time; it was to display and later became very popular. It reached its peak in America in the 1950’s and continues to be popular today.

In 1796 this type of book was given as a Christmas gift for the first time; it was an Almanac and in time became very popular as a gift. These first coffee table books were larger in size than other books. In fact, they were regarded as a fashionable accessory and an important status symbol. At first these books were only for the rich and later in time they became affordable for the public in general. This is an important fact because of these books the general public was able to be educated on topics that they knew nothing about.

During the 1800’s photography brought these books to a greater height, as now it was possible to incorporate pictures into the book; as a consequence these books became even larger in size. There are certain milestone books that have greatly influenced today’s coffee table books: “The Pencil of Nature ” in 1844; the works of Vincent Van Gogh in 1935: as well as many other picture books on artists’ work. A groundbreaking book “In Wilderness Is the Preservation of The World” in 1956 brought to the public the significance of wildlife and the natural world; this was the result of passing  a USA law to protect the wilderness.Yet another book to mention is “The Art Book” which in 1954 on a mass scale introduced the art world to the masses for less than $100.00 a copy.

The introduction of central heating in the home during the 1960’s allowed people not to gather together in front of the fireplace like they were used to in the past. This factor introduced a coffee table into the living room, and that became the perfect place to put these books.

History of the coffee table book

Why was a coffee table book created

This book has been created to bring greater interest into your living room. Since we have these books on every and any conceivable topic we can bring interest and conversation on just about any subject into our home. For example if you are interested in wildlife and the wilderness there are countless books with magnificent photographs on the subject of animals and nature. Should your interest be fine art there are so many books on artists with beautiful photographs of their work. Whatever your particular interest may be you can rest assured that there is a coffee table book that addresses it.

What is the purpose of a coffee table book

Today the coffee table book has a distinctive purpose in our lives. It exists to entertain and educate us using photography, illustrations  and limited written text. Over the centuries it has developed into becoming a classic necessity in most homes. It not only educates us about certain topics, but it can be an excellent stimulator for conversations. It also is an excellent gift and appreciated by all.

coffee table book

What does a coffee table book do for interior design

A coffee table book sets a specific tone for your living room. If the book is about wildlife it will show that you care about animals and their environment. If the book is about fine art it will show you to be an art lover and give a hint about your personal taste. Whatever the topic of your book it will better define you, your interests and your taste, and make the room itself more interesting.

Why is it better to choose a niche coffee table book

The advantage of a niche coffee table book is that it zeros in on your specific likes and taste. This can lead to more targeted and stimulating conversations. Because of this the room will become more animated and engrossed in you and what you are about. 

What does a coffee table book tell your guests

A coffee table book defines better for your guests who you are and what your true interests are. For example if someone just slightly knows you they probably do not know much about you. A coffee table book will assist them in understanding you better. This will help them to better have a conversation with you. Perhaps they may have the same interest or they may ask you what it is you like about your interest. It serves as a natural ice breaker.

coffee table book

Why is it important to have a coffee table book

It is important to have a coffee table book for the following reasons:

  • The book can be inspiring
  • The book is informative and beautiful
  • The book can replace artwork
  • The book defines who you are and your taste
  • The book entertains


The coffee table book has certainly come a long way since it first appeared several centuries ago. Today it has a respected place in most homes, as we have learned it brings to a higher level the importance of who we are, what we are about, and how we present ourselves to others. This is surely a special book with interesting messages for us all. It has earned its place in our culture and our lives today.

A Private Note From Ejaz Khan Earth

coffee table book

We now have a more complete understanding of the coffee table book. In fact there is something that we want to share with you regarding this. Our devoted followers have been requesting that we publish a coffee table book featuring our wildlife photography. We have received many requests for this over the years. We are pleased to tell you that we are working on our wildlife book now. Our goal is to make it available for Christmas 2022. Our aim has always been to serve our friends and followers; it is for this reason that we have now decided to offer to you our book. 

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