They’re prettier than paperbacks, and you can’t style a coffee table without them. Plus — they’re chock full of gorgeous photos and well-thought-out design. Yep, we <3 coffee table books. From fashion and decor to doodles and doggies, our 26 favorite picks will keep you and your guests flipping pages.
1. A Map of the World According to Illustrators and Storytellers ($40): Calling all wannabe globetrotters. Here’s the remedy to your wanderlust. You can travel the world without getting off the couch!
2. Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon ($25): A beautifully illustrated look at artist and entrepreneur Vera Neumann, who was known for her brightly colored scarves studded with florals and her signature ladybug.
4. How to Live Like a Lady: Lessons in Life, Manners, and Style ($17): Because let’s face it: We all could use a refresher course now and then.
6. Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People ($24): Funny woman Amy Sedaris will crack you up while she teaches you how to make crepe-paper moccasins.
8. Domino: The Book of Decorating ($18): Take home decor cues from the beloved shelter mag for a stylishly on-point abode.
9. Emerald: 21Centuries of Jeweled Opulence and Power ($79): Ogle sparkling green gems worn by Angelina Jolie and Princess Diana. It’s a lot cheaper than buying one for yourself.
10. The Wes Anderson Collection ($22): This book gives an in-depth look at the beloved filmmaker’s life and his instantly recognizable aesthetic.
11. Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life ($21): You’ll delight in the cute and quirky illustrations of wildlife from American modernist Harper.
12. Los Angeles: Portrait of a City ($43): Lose yourself in this photographic history of the “rise and sprawl” of the City of Angels.
13. Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover ($142): Once Steinweiss started illustrating those previously blank, brown covers, sales of albums at Columbia Records rose by more than 800 percent. See the colorful covers in this perfect addition to any art or music lover’s coffee table.
15. The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods ($22): Okay, so this is technically a cookbook, but its gorgeously illustrated recipes mean it’s pretty enough for the coffee table.
16. Kate Spade New York: Things We Love ($27): Pages upon pages of brightly colored cute things — yes, please!
17. The New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA and Canada ($41): You can count on the venerable Gray Lady for trusted suggestions on the perfect weekend escape.
18. Paris Versus New York ($16): Croissants or cronuts? The debate rages on in this “tally of two cities.”
21. Portraits ($15): A beautiful collection of disarming photos, including the famous 1985 portrait of the Afgan girl who graces the cover, by the prolific McCurry.
23. Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home ($24): Inspiring advice for a beautiful home curated by the blogger behind Decor8.
24. Vogue Covers ($80): From its premiere issue in 1895, Vogue has been the first name in fashion. This leather-bound collection is the perfect ode to the iconic mag.
25. Humans of New York ($17): Based on photographer Brandon Stanton’s blog of the same name, this “photographic census” of the Big Apple’s inhabitants is totally inspiring.
Which books do you have stacked up on your coffee table? Let us know in the comments below!