Looking to learn something new about cigars? Interested in going deeper into their history, their making, and the best way to store and enjoy them?
There's more to cigars and cigar smoking than just golf outings and man caves. There is certainly something to be said for the simplicity in enjoying your favorite cigar, wherever you happen to be, but once you start going a little deeper, you'll quickly discover that there's a great deal to discover. There's a richer experience to be had.
Have you ever wondered why you enjoy certain cigars over others? Are you curious about etiquette and best practices?
There are many great sources of information you can study. Of course, there are few resources as valuable, in-depth and comprehensive as books, of which there are many.
Here are some of the best books about cigars and cigar smoking for you to explore.
The Illustrated History Of Cigars
Looking for a nice coffee table book that covers the topic of cigars? You've found one in The Illustrated History of Cigars by Bernard Roy and Maurice Szafran.
This book covers the history of cigars, and its pages are well-illustrated and colorful. It speaks very highly (perhaps too highly) of Cuban cigars, but that shouldn't prove to be too much of a turnoff, given that most authors have some kind of bias.
If you'd like to have a book to look over while you're having a coffee, or keep something around to show your buddies, you'll probably enjoy keeping a copy of this book around.
The Complete Guide To Cigars
If you've ever wanted to take a comprehensive look into the history of cigars, then The Complete Guide to Cigars by Steve Luck just might be the book you've been looking for all along.
This book is definitely more for history buffs than anything else. It discusses the settlement of the New World, and how cigars ended up causing decades of conflict between nations.
The Complete Guide to Cigars also gets into how cigars are made, how cigars are packed for export, how to choose the right cigar for you, how to store cigar, how you will get the most enjoyment out of them, and a detailed directory of well-established premium cigar brands.
The Ultimate Cigar Book
Many readers consider The Ultimate Cigar Book by Richard Carleton Hacker to be the definitive guide to cigars, and it is also the best selling cigar book in existence.
Anyone that considers themselves a connoisseur or expert of cigars should probably have this book in their library, as it is essentially the most comprehensive work on the subject.
The Ultimate Cigar Book: 4th Edition covers the history of cigars, how they are made, how to store them, and some basic things every cigar lover should know. However, its focus is mostly on non-Cuban cigars.
Although the book isn't too technical, it may not be the best starting place for most beginners. Similarly, particularly experienced cigar smokers may not benefit a great deal from this book either. In all, the beginner with some experience to the intermediate cigar lover will probably find the most value in this book.
The Cigar Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide
If you've ever wanted to know what there is to know about virtually every cigar brand on the market, then The Cigar Companion: The Connoisseur's Guide by Anwer Bati and Simon Chase should be added to your book collection.
The first third of the book covers the origin of cigars and manufacture, while the remainder of the book focuses on evaluating cigars by country of origin, flavor, and quality of construction. The book also features a guide to buying cigars and a directory of retailers.
As with some books already mentioned, the author seems to lean towards certain cigars over others (in this case Havana cigars), though everyone tends to have their own bias, and this is somewhat forgivable in the grand scheme of things.
Bati certainly doesn't seem to know everything there is to know about cigars (and even says some things that fly in the face of expert wisdom), but the effort and time that has gone into his tasting pages is remarkable to say the least.
The Complete Idiot's Guide To Cigars
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cigars, 2nd Edition (Idiot's Guides) is ideal for people that are still relatively new to cigars. If you've been smoking for a year or longer, you may want to look into some of the other titles on this list, but otherwise this is a very informative read.
This book covers:
- Where to buy cigars and how cigars are made.
- The devices you should have to maximize your enjoyment of cigars, as well as etiquette best practices.
- Why Cuban cigars are considered so special.
- A brief history of cigar smoking and some fun facts.
- How to take care of the cigars you purchase.
- Alternatives to cigars when you simply don't have the time, or if you're craving something different.
- Cigar antiques and how to rate cigars.
- And much more.
In the introduction, the author recounts the story of how he was initially a "cigar idiot", discusses the mistakes he made along the way, and how he came to appreciate the amazing flavors that cigars offer.
Books about cigars and smoking cigars reminds us that there is a rich history connected to this valuable commodity, and that there are more ways to appreciate and enjoy them than may be immediately apparent. Smoking is one way, but learning has a way of deepening our understanding and connection to whatever subject we happen to be studying at the time (in this case, cigars).
There are plenty of enthusiasts, aficionados, and experts out there. They've done a lot of the hard work of digging up the history and finding out about storage methods, etiquette, brands, and much more. We have the privilege of learning from them in many of the works already mentioned above.
As with anything, there is surface-level enjoyment as well as an enjoyment that comes from a deeper understanding of cigars. That deeper connection is worth cultivating if you want to turn your hobby into a lifestyle, your joy into a passion.