13 Books to Put in Your Guest Room


Give your house guests the gift of a good read during their stay! Here are 13 books that are perfect for your guest room. Many of these double as coffee table books, too!

Collage of book covers for a coffee table or bedroom nightstand.

Best Books for a Guest Room Nightstand

If you’re wondering what to put in a guest room, books should be near the top of your list. Books on a shelf or bedside table make your guest room feel cozy and homey–and provide quality entertainment for the occupants!

Have you ever had one of those lovely experiences where you stay in someone’s guest bedroom–and get lost in new reading material? I’ve stayed in many homes, and I always find myself browsing the bedside reading options pretty soon after setting down my suitcase! Of course, I always bring my own books, but I think it’s fascinating to see what unusual bookish treasures are lying about.

If you have the privilege of hosting overnight guests from time to time, why not make their stay more comfortable by providing some interesting books for them to enjoy? Providing irresistible reading material is also a sneaky way to get your non-bookish guests reading. Maybe they’ll be inspired to develop the habit of reading when they get home!

On my other blog, one of my most popular posts is 19 Things Your Guests Wish You Had in Your Guest Room. I mentioned reading material, but I didn’t go into much detail. There are many good picks for guest room books, however, and I wanted to share a few of my favourites today!

First, a few preliminary pointers for determining what makes a good guest room book.

How to choose books to put in your guest room:

  • Pick books that lend themselves to browsing and flipping, with lots of easy stopping points.
  • Collect books with a variety of topics and tones, to suit a wide range of interests.
  • Choose books that are eye-catching, with lots of pictures. Bonus points if they have beautiful covers that add to the decor.
  • Select books that are engrossing…but not so engrossing that your guests will spend all their time reading instead of visiting with you!

Lavender and cream colored bedroom with books on the nightstand and bed

13 Best Books for Your Guest Room

1. Populuxe

Full of retro illustrations and vintage advertisements, Populuxe is a fascinating, nostalgia-steeped look at American culture from 1954 to 1964. It’s an origins story of sorts for anyone living in the U.S. today, showing how our lifestyles, consumer products, and even eating habits were deeply shaped by this “rose-colored glasses” era.

2. The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision is a classic collection of Puritan prayers. Reading one of these short but penetrating prayers before bed is a bit like taking a spiritual multivitamin.

3. An Agatha Christie novel

When you’re choosing novels for your guest room, pick a few that are short so your visitor could conceivably finish them during their stay! A paperback Agatha Christie mystery is a perfect pick. If you’re not afraid of frightening your guest a bit, choose a mystery based on your location, like Evil Under the Sun if you live near the ocean, or The Mirror Crack’d if you live in a quaint village(:

4. Mad libs

So this isn’t the type of book you sit and read, but it can provide lots of entertainment for you and your guests as you fill in the blanks! There are dozens of different mad lib books out there, but this big volume looks fun and will last you a while!

5. A collection of fairy tales

For classic bedtime stories (that younger guests would also enjoy), choose a beautiful volume of fairy tales. This collection of Grimm is lovely, as is Andrew Lang’s color fairy books. For many more ideas in this vein, check out this post where I’ve collected 25+ classic fairy tale anthologies.

6. Simple Abundance

This book has short, inspirational passages for each day of the year, covering topics from style to gardening to spending habits. It’s a lovely book for people who want to cultivate a more intentional life.

7. Mysteries of the Unexplained

This is a zany book that I used to pour over at my Grandpa’s house! It covers anecdotal accounts and historical sightings of UFOs, monsters, mysteries disappearances, and other anomalies.

8. A book of poems

I would suggest Billy Collins for someone with a very accessible style, even for people who aren’t in to poetry. Other personal favourites include E. E. Cummings, John Donne, or the Romantic poets.

9. The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers is an excellent pick if you have a more feminine-styled guest room. The book features a variety of flowers, exploring what they symbolize and how they’ve been used in art and culture.

10. Calvin and Hobbes

This classic, witty comic book series has broad appeal. It’s perfect for light bedtime reading! (Also, the complete collection is currently almost 50% off on Amazon!)

11. Domino: The Book of Decorating

Not only is this book aesthetically beautiful, but it’s brimming with ideas your guests will want to take home with them.

12. A regional book

Pick something that is tailor-made for your city, state, or a nearby attraction. My appreciation for a place always deepens when I know more about it.

13. An art book

These are so much fun to browse! Choose something that conveys your personal taste (but I would also keep the content PG-13, because you don’t know who is going to stay in your guest room through the years!). Check out Andy Goldsworthy for something very unique and beautiful.

These are just a few suggestions for guest room books. I’m relying on you to supply more in the Comments!

P.S. For even more book ideas for your guest room, check out the gorgeous “pocket” editions I mentioned in #10 of my 10 Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers post. You’ll also find many excellent book recommendations in my curated and themed book lists!

13 Books to Put in Your Guest Room

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