5 Tips For Finding Coffee Table Books On The Cheap

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Coffee table books are one of my favorite items to decorate a home with! Seriously… I use them in almost every room!

Other than bathrooms… I can’t think of another room that I don’t use them in. They look great in living rooms, offices, bedrooms… and even kitchens and dining rooms.

But how do you find coffee table books? What do you look for? And most importantly, how can you find coffee table books for cheap?!

Luckily, over the past few years, I have found a ton of coffee table books that didn’t break the bank! So, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share five tips for finding coffee table books on the cheap.

Images via Lekker Home & Unknown

1. Get over the hyped-up coffee table books

I know this first tip is pretty bold, but honestly, you gotta get over the hyped-up coffee table books!

Do you know the ones I’m talking about? Just do a quick search for coffee table books and you’ll see designers, bloggers, and YouTubers using the same books over and over and over.

Tom Ford… Chanel… Vogue… and most recently, the Architectural Digest book.

And I’m here to tell you that you don’t need these books to get a designer look!

Instead, get something you’d actually enjoy! And hey, you might be into Tom Ford and Chanel, but these books are just way too overused… try to find something that is a little more unique!

2. Shop for coffee table books at second-hand stores

If you looked at any of those books I mentioned above, then you probably noticed the price tag associated with some of those books. $100 is the going average, if not wayyy more!

Instead, visit some of your local thrift stores and estate sales, and I bet you’ll find something even better- and for a fraction of the cost. Seriously, I found some of my favorite coffee table books at estate sales for just a few bucks! The secret is, you need to take off the book covers to see its beauty underneath! There are so many beautiful books waiting to be discovered.

Here are a few places to shop for coffee table books second-hand:

Now, keep in mind that these places are totally hit and miss, and 90% of the time you probably won’t find anything. But that’s what happens when you shop second-hand… you never know what you’re going to find.

That being said, it’s nice to have a couple of specific books on your wish list (see mine below), but if you’re looking to build your coffee table book collection sooner than later, you’re going to need to be a little flexible with what you’re looking for. And that doesn’t mean settling for a book that is butt ugly, it just means that you need to set up a few parameters.

3. Know what type of books you’re shopping for

If you’re shopping second-hand, then you’re going to need some serious blinders on! Before you go into a thrift store, make a list of your non-negotiables… is there a certain color you want… a certain topic? How big of a book are you looking for?
There’s nothing worse than getting home from a thrift store just to be like, “why did I buy this?!” …. Clearly that’s happened a time or two to me. haha!

Personally, I like the HUGE coffee table books! Small books are easy to find… so I’d stay away from those unless you strategically need some filler books for a bookcase. I also look for neutral colors, ones that are linen or fabric bound, ones with beautiful spines… oh, and probably the most important… I also look for topics that actually interest me!
This gets into my fourth tip for finding coffee table books…

4. Get books about topics that you actually enjoy

While coffee table books look beautiful just sitting there, they should also be something you would actually enjoy looking at or reading.

I have coffee table books about art, architecture, design, history…. war (my husband lol). But honestly, I have books about many topics that interest us as a couple. And as a designer, I often open them and look for inspiration.

5. Have fun with it

I know this probably sounds simple and maybe silly, but, honestly- just have fun with it! Finding coffee table books for cheap isn’t a thing you can rush. It has taken me YEARS to get the collection I currently have.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the thrift store empty-handed, but on a positive note – it’s trained my eye to hone in on what I do actually like.

Just trust the process…. all good things take time.

Images via Nouw & Coco Lapine Design

Coffee table books I’m stalking

I hope you enjoyed these five tips for how to find coffee table books on the cheap! I know a couple of these tips might be a no-brainer, but if anything else, take your time and try to train your eye as you’re shopping at thrift stores. There are so many good books waiting to be thrifted, you just need to know what you’re looking for!

Tag me on Instagram with your coffee table book finds! I love seeing what you find!

Until next time,


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