Your home communicates more about you than you likely realize, and it’s not always good. Luckily, you don’t need to hire a decorator; a few small changes here and there can make all the difference. For example, your books tell your guests a lot about you. They express your interests and views and let your guests know you’re a reader (even if you’re not). The right ones can make you seem hip and smart. And there are tons of cool coffee table books for men that will do just that.
Consider this situation: You’re on a date, it’s going well, and she agrees to come back to your place. But the moment she steps inside, you can sense her interest in you immediately taking a dive. Chances are, she’s looked around your apartment and quickly concluded you’re not her type. Maybe it’s the clutter. Or the smell of unwashed laundry. Or the stack of Maxim magazines on your coffee table. Why would you leave those out? Whatever the cause, your home just killed the mood.
If you’re a dude, whether you live in an apartment or a house, your home décor probably needs work. Too many single guys treat their place like it’s their Fortress of Solitude. But if you actually want a girl to stick around, you’ve got to clean up your act. Literally. Throw out the beer cans, clean up your clothes, and organize your living room. Most likely, a woman will sit on your couch, and the first thing she’ll see is that table. What do you have on it right this second? Do you think it’d impress a date? Or do you think it’s more likely to make her run for the hills?
Don’t take that risk. It’s high time you invested in some masculine coffee table books. And yes, they really do exist.
Cool Coffee Table Books for Guys
When most guys come across the phrase “coffee table book,” they think of something girly. They think of pictures of puppies or those creepy Anne Geddes photos of the babies as flowers. It’s a shame that coffee table books have gotten such a bum rap, though. There are tons of great ones out there. From sports coffee table books to iconic film and photography collections, there are awesome options for every taste. Plus, if you’re struggling to read more, coffee table books are an easy way to build the habit.
Here’s a list of cool coffee table books for guys that a dude would actually want his guest to see. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a man, or you’re redecorating your place, use this list as your guide. Even if it’s the only book in the house, any guy would display one of these with pride.
1. Ansel Adams in the National Parks
This list starts with a classic. Show off your arty, nature-loving side with Ansel Adams in the National Parks. You don’t have to know a single thing about photography to appreciate one of Ansel Adams’ captivating images. His black-and-white photos of America’s national parks are almost as iconic as the parks themselves. These images are a reminder of just how amazing the natural world can be. Plus, they just look great on a coffee table.
2. Beautiful Machines
Gear heads, start your engines. Beautiful Machines is a stunning collection of the most exquisite automobiles ever assembled from all around the world. With high-definition photos and informative write-ups about these vehicles, car lovers will be obsessed with this book. When they see this on your coffee table, your buddies might even read something. If nothing else, they’ll love the pictures.
3. The World Atlas of Whisky
Whiskey. Scotch. Bourbon. Whichever your poison, whisk(e)y – in all its delicious variations – is the ultimate manly man’s drink. The World Atlas of Whisky has everything you could ever want to know about the finest liquor on Earth. Whether you’re a connoisseur or you’re just trying to get into drinking whiskey, this book is a great buy. It’ll also look great next to your home bar once you stock up on some single malts.
4. The Story of Football/Baseball
Considering its long publishing history, it’s not surprising that Sports Illustrated has quite a few coffee table books for men. Both The Story of Football and The Story of Baseball are must-haves for sports fans. With interesting details and photos, they’re like having a time machine to the best eras of both sports. Either book will deepen your appreciation for the sport and help you get through the off-season.
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5. Remarkable Football Grounds
Of course, there is that other popular sport called football—a.k.a. soccer to North Americans. Around the world, football is the ultimate pastime, and fans go wild for the sport. In Remarkable Football Grounds, you’ll marvel at some of the most impressive and impressively located stadiums in the world. Ever watched a match sitting next to an ice floe? This football coffee table book will make you want to renew your passport and book some flights.
6. The Bucket List
Speaking of which, The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small is an excellent option for thrill-seekers of all stripes. Whether you’re a regular traveler or just like the idea of seeing more, this book will whet your appetite. From the great mountains to cool animal habitats, this book reveals the wonders of our planet. Even if you never board a plane, The Bucket List will show you more of the world from your couch.
7. Pop Art
For those guys with a more artistic sensibility, Pop Art is a fun and infinitely cool coffee table book. Andy Warhol is probably the most famous artist of this 20th-century movement, but he was hardly alone. This book offers a brief summary of the artistic period with some of its coolest images. Pop Art will add a well-needed touch of sophistication to your living room. Or, at least, it’ll make you look cooler on your dates.
8. Strange Sea Creatures
Going in a completely different direction, we have Strange Sea Creatures. The photos in this coffee table book feature some of the most unusual, unbelievable animals on Earth. They just happen to live deep below the sea, far from the Sun. This book will definitely be a great conversation starter. Guests will immediately pick this thing up and not want to put it down until they’ve seen every freaky creature.
9. American Cowboys
If you’re looking for the ultimate masculine coffee table books, American Cowboys should be on the list. These black-and-white photographs of modern-day cowboys (and cowgirls) are a unique window into America’s most iconic culture. For anyone who loves Yellowstone (or its countless related TV series), this book will be a sure-fire hit. It’s the kind of book that would make for a great Christmas gift for a dad or a grandad.
10. History of the World Map by Map
Some coffee table books are more educational than others. History of the World Map by Map is one of the most interesting and attractive ways to learn world history. Through its maps, this book reveals how we got to the world we now live in. This book will also show your guests that you’ve got something on the bean. That will definitely impress any dates you bring back to your place. After all, knowledge is sexy. Go ahead, and do a few mental push-ups.
11. Star Wars Year by Year
If your interest in wars is a little more fantasy-based, try Star Wars Year by Year. Admittedly, this might not be the coolest book on this list. But if you’re a big Star Wars fan, you’ll want this book in your collection no matter what. Stylish, fully illustrated, and packed with Star Wars trivia from all eras, this is a gift for a true fan. It might even make you appreciate Jar Jar Binks a little more.
12. The Art of Mixology
Some of the best coffee table books help you build up your practical knowledge. The Art of Mixology is like a bartender school in your living room. With hundreds of cocktail recipes, this book lets you learn and develop your mixology skills at home. If you’ve got a well-stocked home bar, this book will be a huge hit at your next party. And so will you. Of course, you might end up making drinks all night.
13. Icons by Oscar
Icons by Oscar is a collection of portraits of some of the biggest Hollywood stars ever by photographer Oscar Abolafia. It’s a classic coffee table book, with its focus entirely on the photos. With page after page of legendary stars, it’s the kind of book guests will pick up and flip through casually. Maybe while you’re making them a cocktail.
Banksy is perhaps the most well-known artist of the 21st century. This collection brings together many of his most iconic works into a single, high-quality book. In addition to photographs of the work, the book includes an analysis of Banksy’s art and style. Even if you don’t know much about art history, this book will help you appreciate modern art. It’ll also attract the eye of every guest.
15. Playboy's Greatest Covers
Since its inception in 1953, Playboy has been the quintessential “gentleman’s” magazine. It was inevitable then that they would get around to creating coffee table books for men. Playboy has quite a few such collections, some more risqué than others. The Playboy's Greatest Covers book is the best, working both as a historical document and a tantalizing bit of décor. It’s sexy but stylish.
16. M.C. Escher
The work of M.C. Escher is some of the most recognizable imagery of the 20th century. Who hasn’t gotten lost in one of his logic-defying illustrations? If you loved the Netflix show Squid Game, you probably remember the staircase that was a direct homage to Escher. There are nearly 100 more of those mind-bending images in this super cool collection. It’s the kind of art that was created for coffee table books.
17. HR Giger
Like M.C. Escher, HR Giger crafted some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. However, Giger’s work was a bit more, shall we say, out there. As in, out in space: he created the original creature artwork for the movie Alien. This book has even more of Giger’s bizarre, terrifying, and simply otherworldly artwork. You and your guests won’t want to put it down. Though, maybe don’t look at it right before going to bed.
18. The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide
The guide was literally created for a list of coffee table books for men. Its full title is The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide: How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster, and Master Other Simple Pleasures. This book shows you how to do all kinds of small tasks you’ve always wanted to do. From simple hobbies for men to essential survival skills, this book will teach you all you need to know. It’s basically a primer on manhood.
19. The Book of Rolex
For men, accessories often make the outfit. And no accessory is more revered or beloved than the classic Rolex watch. The Book of Rolex is both a history of the famous watchmaker and a celebration of its peerless designs. If you’ve never known much about watches, this book’s highly detailed photographs will make you fall in love. It’s one way to learn how to appreciate the finer things in life.
20. There and Back
There aren’t a lot of books that can make your heart actually beat faster. There also aren’t a lot of books like There and Back: Photographs from the Edge. Taken by world-renowned adventurer Jimmy Chin, you might have a hard time believing they’re real. But they are. These photos could possibly induce vertigo. They’ll also make you want to strap on hefty boots and pack a bag for the world’s most dangerous locales.