Thrifted and Styled: Coffee Table Books

I was recently at a big box home décor store and spotted a beautiful coffee / table top book with a price tag of $50. The thrifter in my gasped! Don’t these people know about the treasures at thrift stores?

There’s still something uniquely comforting about holding a physical book. Coffee table books, with their glossy pages and rich visuals, are particularly special. They serve as conversation starters, decorative pieces, and a window into various cultures and interests. But they can also be quite expensive when bought new. Thrifting offers an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to curating your collection.

I’m going to fill you in on one of the best home décor thrifting tricks that I’ve been doing for years: how to thrift coffee table books.

What to Look for in a Thrifted Coffee Table Book

Aesthetic Appeal: This is my absolute favorite thing to do when I’m thrifting. Remove the jackets of the books to reveal the beautiful covers and typography. I always look for bright colors and gold fonts to accent my decor style. Consider how the book will fit with your home decor. The cover should be visually striking and complement the style of your space.

Condition: While some wear and tear is expected, look for books that are in good condition. Avoid those with significant damage like missing pages, excessive writing, or broken bindings.

Content: Ensure the book has high-quality content. Coffee table books are meant to be visually appealing, so look for those with beautiful photography, illustrations, or compelling subject matter.

Personal Interest: Choose books that reflect your interests and passions. Whether it’s art, travel, fashion, or history, a coffee table book should be a conversation starter that you genuinely enjoy.

Styling with Thrifted Coffee Table Books

Once you’ve built your collection, styling your coffee table books is half the fun. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stack and Layer: Stack books of different sizes and colors to create visual interest. Layer them with other decorative items like candles, vases, or small sculptures.
  2. Color Coordination: Arrange books by color to create a cohesive look that matches your decor.
  3. Theme Displays: Group books by theme—such as travel, fashion, or photography—to create a curated and intentional display.
  4. Seasonal Rotation: Change up your coffee table books seasonally to keep your decor fresh and relevant.

Where to Thrift Coffee Table Books

Thrift Stores: Goodwill and other local thrift stores are gold mines for finding coffee table books. These stores often receive donations from people clearing out their homes, leading to a constantly changing inventory.

Garage Sales and Estate Sales: These sales are perfect for finding books, especially estate sales where you might stumble upon entire collections. Arrive early for the best selection.

Library Sales: Many libraries hold annual sales to clear out old inventory. These sales are a great opportunity to find high-quality books at very low prices.

Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and even Craigslist can be great resources for finding second-hand coffee table books. You can often search for specific titles or browse through the listings.

Tips for Thrifting Success

Regular Visits: Thrift store inventories change frequently, so make regular visits to increase your chances of finding great books.

Patience: Thrifting requires patience. You might not find a perfect book on your first trip, but persistence pays off.

Open Mind: Keep an open mind and be willing to explore different genres and styles. Sometimes the best finds are the ones you weren’t specifically looking for.

Feel free to share your own thrifting experiences and favorite coffee table book finds in the comments below. Happy reading!

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