I actually read coffee table books, at least ones like this. I can't believe I'm the first to shelve this on GR, but that appears to be the case. The blurb calls it the most comprehensive historical and aesthetic study of lithography. If not actually THE, it surely ranks among the top three. It follows the art and craft in several directions: through invention and technical development, historical events and cultural trends, and through the minds of the artists who embraced the technique. There are many good bits to choose from if you don't care to read it all, and the plates make for fine gazing.