Stocking your vacation rental with books is always a nice touch. Not only does it give your guests something to browse while they’re lounging, but a good book (with a good cover) is also a pretty significant design element. So don’t fill your space up with boring-looking covers, pick something that will look great on a coffee table or on a shelf; you never know, adding this bit of detail may just be what takes your Airbnb from good to great.
The best Airbnb books include:
- Local Magazines and Newspapers: Best Overall Reading Material
- The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small: Best Travel Inspiration Book
- Assouline Book Collection: Best Coffee Table Set
- Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses: Best for Architectural Inspiration
- Animal Camouflage: A Search and Find Activity Book: Best Family-Friendly Book
- Boring Postcards USA: Best Humorous Book
How We Selected The Best Airbnb Books
Selecting books for your Airbnb can be tricky. Most hosts prefer not to put any books in their rental properties; even the most benign topics can accidentally offend a guest, causing more trouble than it's worth. Still, we’re firm believers that gorgeous books on neutral topics can be great additions to a vacation property.
Here is how we selected the perfect books to add to your Airbnb’s shelf:
- Host Recommendations: We reached out to rental hosts and asked them about the books they used in their properties.
- Online Reviews: We also searched the web for the best books as recommended by hosts online.
- Topic: Though the topic of the book depends on your personal taste, we highly recommend picking a neutral topic (like fashion, travel, or design). These topics are the most appealing to a wide range of guests.
- Design: Finally, we chose books with beautiful covers, so you can display them around your property.
1. Local Magazines and Newspapers: Best Overall Reading Material
This may be a copout, as it’s not technically a book, but by and large the best reading material to put in your vacation rental are local newspapers and magazines. These give your guests a taste of local flavor without going into sensitive topics.
Another bonus of adding local guides, magazines, and event schedules is that it gives your guests ideas of fun things to do during their vacation. It’s always nice when a host goes the extra mile to make sure their guests feel at home during their stay.
“We want a clean slate for each guest to enjoy without outside interpretations. What we do put in our Airbnbs are local magazines, insight notes, local newspapers, or a list of local events and marketing materials of our own listings and local recommendations.”
- Ramiro Cerda, Airbnb host
2. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small: Best Travel Inspiration Book
There’s no better way to inspire your guests on vacation than with a gorgeously curated travel coffee book and guide. Edited by Kath Stathers, we love The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small for its beautiful photographs—get it on Amazon for $20.99.
More than that, this book includes activities to do no matter where you are in the world, plus any extra information you may need. It’s a wonderful addition to your rental’s coffee table, and we’re sure your guests will love flipping through its over 300 photographs (and even take down notes for activities in the vicinity).
3. Assouline Book Collection: Best Coffee Table Set
Assouline makes the most beautiful books, ranging from fashion to art, and everything important in culture. However, our favorite would have to be their travel books that span 30 locations with hundreds of photographs each. Get the books for around $95 each on the Assouline website.
Though these books aren’t technically sold in a set, their complementing illustrations go together perfectly on a coffee table or shelf. Your guests will absolutely love the fun covers and colors of these books. For the best Instagram background, we highly recommend purchasing a couple to stack in your Airbnb (if your budget allows, of course).
4. Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses: Best for Architectural Inspiration
Aside from travel, another interesting yet neutral topic is architecture. This beautiful coffee-table book titled “Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses” by Dominic Bradbury would be a great addition to your Airbnb. Get it on Amazon for $187.50.
The book displays over 400 mid-20th century homes built by the world’s greatest architects from all around the world. This isn’t solely for architects or other design specialists: this book is an insightful and inspirational piece to flip through for all ages.
5. Animal Camouflage: A Search and Find Activity Book: Best Family-Friendly Book
Of course, children on vacation shouldn’t be left out too. For a family-friendly vacation rental, we recommend leaving out at least a few children’s books. We love Animal Camouflage: A Search and Find Activity Book by Sarah Dennis and Sam Hutchinson, which is available on Amazon for $27.65.
This book is filled with gorgeous cut-paper illustrations and can be left out as a coffee-table book that will please adults as well. However, the best part about this is that it’s interactive: this book is a “Search and Find” book where children have to search for creatures in the illustrations. It’s an educational way to keep kids entertained while lounging around.
6. Boring Postcards USA: Best Humorous Book
Humor can be a tricky topic to broach, especially because guests will have a wide variety of topics they find humorous (and some might even be borderline offensive). However, no one will find fault with “Boring Postcards USA” by Martin Parr; get this on Amazon for $49.95.
As the title denotes, this book is a compilation of old, boring postcards taken in the USA. Despite “boring” being in its name, it’s anything but: the book is incredibly amusing to flip through, and we guarantee your guests will find themselves laughing over one (or more) of the images featured in this selection.
Finding the right books to stock in your vacation rental can be difficult, especially because your guests will have varying tastes. You also don’t want to offend anyone, so choosing your reading material carefully is of extreme importance.
Two of our favorite topics are travel and design—both are relatively safe topics that appeal to a wide selection of guests—but if you’re in doubt, stock up on some local material. Not only will this apply to your property, but it will also give your guests more information on what to do and see around the area.