Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gift Tip #2

According to Wikopedia, a coffee table book is a hardcover book that is intended to sit on a coffee table or similar surface in an area where guests sit and are entertained, thus inspiring conversation or alleviating boredom.

They tend to be oversized and of heavy construction, since there is no pressing need for portability. Subject matter is generally confined to non-fiction, and is usually visually-oriented. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick the book up for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject.
A coffee table book would make for a great gift but you need to pick topics that have range...most importantly the book must fit the personality of the friend/receiver. Off the top of my head I know I have friends that like fashion/shopping, wine, travel, cocktails or icons in a certain genre. These coffee table topics are "safe bets" and could fit many personalities.

I would encourage you to check out bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and Books-a-Million for coffee table books. Going online is another option too.

Whatever route you decide, it is best to get and store until the gift is needed. It's much easier to have such items on hand than to have to search for an item at the last minute....although we never wait to the last minute to buy that special gift, right? :)

Here are the coffee table books* that I currently have on my ottoman:

-I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America-- By Brian Lanker

-Southern Weddings: New Looks for the Old South-- By Tara Guerard

-Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See--Edited by Bill Shapiro

Earlier in the post, I mentioned "safe bets" and while these books are a bit specific you can tell that I enjoy being inspired, that I have a connection to the South and that I love love and unique books. This glimpse at my coffee table books should give you a better idea of what to look for when purchasing coffee table books for your friends, family and whomever you decide to make smile with a personal gift.

Happy Gift Giving!

*Images from
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