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A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book intended for display on a table. It is often non-fiction and pictorial, with pages consisting of photographs and illustrations, captions, and small blocks of text. The concept of a book intended for display over perusal was mentioned by Michel de Montaigne in his 1581 essay  and Laurence Sterne in his 1759 novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. In the late 1940s, publisher Albert Skira and a few others began producing large folio and quarto format art books, illustrated with tipped-in color plates. David Brower is sometimes credited with inventing the modern coffee table book.
The "Exhibit Format" series of books combined nature photography and writings, with a page size big enough to carry a given image's dynamic. Madonna's 1992 book Sex remains the most searched for out-of-print coffee table book.
References[change | change source]
- "Essays by Michel de Montaigne". Oregonstate.edu. Archived from the original on 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- "The novels of Laurence Sterne (Volume 1)" (PDF). 1873. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- Chilvers, Ian and John Glaves-Smith (2015) A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191792229 https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100510260 (accessed 25 August 2019)
- Dufrêne, Bernadette (2002) L'édition d'art des années 1950-1970 : des promesses non tenues ?, Communication et langages. No. 134, 4 ème trimestre 22-38 pp. [Dufrêne, Bernadette (2002). The Art Edition of the 1950s and 1970s: Unfulfilled Promises? Communication and Languages, 134(4): 22-38.]
- Corisande Evesque. Albert Skira et ses livres d’art (1948-1973). Histoire. 2015. ffdumas-01256888. PDF: https://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-01256888/document (accessed 25 August 2019)
- Flood, Alison (30 August 2011). "Madonna's Sex most sought after out-of-print book". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2017.