December, with its festive feeling, seems like a perfect time to talk about coffee table books. For a long time I’ve been having books that could be characterized as “coffee table books”, but only recently I became aware of their purpose and I began to appreciate their beauty.
“A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose purpose is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one entertains guests and from which it can serve to inspire conversation or pass the time” (mighty Wikipedia)
Even though my coffee table books are usually placed in the bookcase, I enjoy looking into them from time to time. Very few times I read one of these books from cover to cover, so every time I browse them it’s like looking for small undiscovered gems.
Without further ado, here they are – my favourite coffee table books!
§ The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc
This book, authored by a Romanian photographer, is a project about our planet’s diversity shown through portraits of women. Mihaela travelled to more than 60 countries, taking photos of everyday women.
You can find portraits of women in their native environments, from the Amazon rainforest to markets in India to London city centre and parks in Harlem … It’s a true celebration of beauty and diversity. And I received it from my mom ❤
The book was published by the British Library in London to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone“.
It is a very beautiful hardback album, structured into chapters that correspond to subjects taught at Hogwarts (Potions, Charms, and others). Very inspirational for Harry Potter fans!
This book is a collection of stories of 75 shades and hues. It combines historical perspectives with funny stories and peculiar events, illustrating how important colours were along the way.
“The Secret Lives of Colour” is also a very beautiful book – the hardcover book is gorgeous, each sheet of paper having a colourful margin that illustrates the colour discussed. Bonus: the Romanian edition was printed on 100% recycled paper 🙂
§ The Rebellious (RO:Nesupusele)
The book is about 100 Romanian women who did not conform to the rules of society and dared to be different in their own way. It’s about artists and sports women, scientist and leaders of NGO – shortly, models to be followed by other women around the world.
The book presents for each Rebellious women her brief story, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. It’s a delight to go through the book!
§ The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking
Who would not want a little bit more happiness in his/her life? This is the book to read – a book about happiness (in Danish: lykke) written by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute from Copenhagen. It takes you on a journey around the world about how to bring happiness in your life, from spending precious time with loved ones to cooking and walking.
It is not only an inspirational book, but also a beautiful one! Its illustrations are so delicate and cute, it certainly adds up to the reading experience.
Here are my 5 books in a nutshell. Interestingly, 4 out of 5 are in Romanian.
What coffee table books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite that you go back to again and again?
‘Till next time … happy reading!