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A sampling of coffee-table books

By Todd Leopold
CNN
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(CNN) -- What's not to love about a coffee-table book?

They're usually gorgeously designed. They use creamy, thick paper. If they feature photographs -- and don't they all? -- the images are elaborately, hugely presented.

But are they, well, read? Or do they just take up space?

Too often, it's the latter. But here's a selection of oversized books that you'll actually open from time to time. In fact, you may read them cover to cover.

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