You can definitely judge these books by their cover.
They’re thoughtful, inspiring, and best of all: beautiful. Coffee table books are an easy way to bring visual (and literary) interest into the mix of your decor, giving an uninspired tabletop a new sense of purpose. Plus, what better way to entertain guests (and prove how cultured you really are) than with a thoughtfully curated collection that immediately catches their eye? And if you need to do some cutting down before you add to your own collection, there’s nothing more memorable and chic than gifting a book to a friend. From the obvious contenders, like design-inspired recipe books and beach-forward travel guides, to more quirky niches, like a book of sneakers or an exploration of the color pink, we’ve compiled a well-rounded list of the best coffee table books we could get our hands (and eyes) on.
So take a look below for our editors’ picks on the coolest—and most visually stimulating— coffee table books to gift (or keep) this year.