I Don't Even Know How Many Coffee Table Books I Own, But I Won't Stop Collecting Them

living room with built in bookcase

Katie Martinez Design

About a year ago, I remember hosting a get together at my apartment when a friend decided to count all of the coffee table books of mine that she could spot. She got to about 60, and while I found this number a bit embarrassing at first, I have to admit that my collection has only grown since then.

I always preface my coffee table book obsession with the fact that I’m an avid bookworm, and I definitely don’t limit my reading to texts about pretty interiors. But on the flipside, I’ll also note that I certainly haven’t yet flipped through all of the coffee table books I own and am easily swayed by a pretty cover or spine (honesty is the best policy). That said, I don’t see my collection slimming down anytime soon—and for a few good reasons. 

There’s nothing like cozying up with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and really taking the time to admire someone’s work to immerse yourself in a new-to-you space.

Even in today’s digital world, I love having a physical book—or dozens, really—full of inspiration right on hand when I’m at home. Sure, my favorite designers are frequently sharing both filtered and off-the-cuff glimpses of their homes on Instagram, but there’s nothing like cozying up with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and really taking the time to admire someone’s work to immerse yourself in a new-to-you space. While some of the books I own consist primarily of photographs, I also like those that offer design, styling, or entertaining tips (Eddie Ross’s Modern Mix is a personal favorite that touches on all three of these areas!). 

Lately, I’ve found myself gravitating toward coffee table books that center around travel or some of my favorite cities. Though traveling abroad may not be a possibility for me anytime soon, I can at least get a taste of the Parisian experience. 

Coffee table books say a lot about someone’s personality, and I love seeing which ones my friends have displayed in their homes when I visit. While most of my collection is design or art-related, there are plenty of options on the market for those who wish to share their love of history, fashion, the royal family, politicians—all of which make for thoughtful gifts, too. 

Related Stories