Top 10 Cigar Books

Top 10 Cigar Books
Date: May 2022
Author: Cigar Inspector

This article, initially published in 2009, has been updated in May 2014.

If you’re new to the world of cigars, you may not only be overwhelmed by the number of stogies out there, but also by the number of cigar books. Like cigars themselves, some cigar books are good, some of them are less good and some of them are, let’s admit it, almost useless. I’ve been checking out some books lately and I also asked people around to recommend their favorites, so we came up with this list. Feel free to let us know if we missed some in the comments area. We’ll update the article accordingly!

The Ultimate Cigar Book

The Ultimate Cigar Book

This is the all-time bestseller and considered by many readers in the cigar world to be the definitive guide on the subject. It is indeed quite a nice read, not too simple and not too technical. The author concentrates mostly on non-Cuban cigars. The 2003 edition is quite expensive, but you can get the old one cheap (check the used prices in particular if you want to save money).

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Cigars: Revised & Updated

Cigars: Revised & Updated

Written by a renowned cigar expert, Vahé Gérard, Cigars: Revised & Updated deals with the history and traditions of cigars. There are some great photographs made by Matthieu Prier. Cigars: Revised & Updated concentrates mostly on Cuban cigars. Unfortunately, this one is pretty expensive, but it makes a great coffee table book for any aficionado who is looking for a great collector’s item.

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cigars

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cigars

This is, in our opinion, the best book for newbies. It is not an expensive title, unlike some of the other books we’ve listed here. If you have more than one year experience in cigar smoking, then you probably won’t learn much from this read, but if you’re just getting started, there’s a ton of valuable information. Extremely easy to read and understand, it will make a nice gift.

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The Illustrated History of Cigars

The Illustrated History of Cigars

This appears to be the best all-around coffee-table book about cigars. Thorough explanations, interesting history, great illustrations – we should also mention the quality translation. The authors seem to overestimate Cuban cigars, but we’ll pardon them. The price isn’t bad either.

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Playboy: The Book of Cigars

Playboy: The Book of Cigars

This coffee table book includes a lot of information about the history of cigars, how they are made, and tips for cutting and smoking. Sprinkled with photos of celebrities and Playboy ladies, this book offers a fun look at the cigar world and a nostalgic tone.

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The Complete Guide to Cigars

The Complete Guide to Cigars

This hardcover book offers a comprehensive look at the history of cigars and a detailed directory of well-established premium brands. A lot of the information is focused on New World settlement history, so if you are a history buff, this one’s for you. You will also learn how cigars are made step by step from start to finish, and there is some good general advice on choosing cigars for beginners.

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Nat Sherman's Passion for Cigars

Nat Sherman’s Passion for Cigars

This one was a recommendation from one of our readers. One of the most renowned cigar makers/shop owners in the world describes his passion for cigars in a simple, accessible, un-snobbish manner. A very enjoyable read that provides inside insights into the cigar industry and also includes some great graphics.

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Tobakkonacht - The Antismoking Endgame

Tobakkonacht – The Antismoking Endgame

Tobakkonacht is a must-read for any cigar aficionado concerned with all the hatred his or her hobby receives all over the world. The book explains how statistical data is misused to promote smoking bans, who benefits from this, and what the real dangers of tobacco are. You can read our full review of Tobakkonacht here.

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Blowing Smoke: Being a Compendium of Amusing Anecdotes, Witty Ripostes, and Lengthy Literary Passages on the Glories of the Cigar

Blowing Smoke: Being a Compendium of Amusing Anecdotes, Witty Ripostes, and Lengthy Literary Passages on the Glories of the Cigar

Blowing Smoke is a nice collection of anecdotes, quotes and stories about cigars. Suitable for smokers and non-smokers alike, this little book is a good addition to your library.

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Cigar Dossier

Cigar Dossier

This is not actually a “book” in the standard sense. It is probably the best pre-filled cigar journal. If you are too lazy to make one, this hardcover, stylish book will help you record your experiences with different cigars. It is extremely easy to use and has enough pages to store hundreds of reviews. This is an excellent choice if you want to easily keep track of the cigars you’ve smoked, brands, tobacco leaves, and notes you have enjoyed, and start discovering patterns in your tastes.

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Cigar Guide

Bonus: Cigar Guide

Again, this is not a book, but a Quick Reference Guide (if you were in school at all recently, you may remember purchasing some of these for calculus, chemistry, and other classes that required a lot of formulas or memorization). It’s a laminated sheet which includes a summary of information on the front and back which is perfect for a novice to check while visiting the tobacconist. As one laminated sheet, it is easy to carry, and can help a newbie make informed decisions about purchases.

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As you can see, we didn’t include any “cigar encyclopedias” in our list (though several books on this list contain similar sections). There are several reasons for this – first of all, there are so many released and discontinued cigars each year that it is really impossible to have a very reliable printed resource that doesn’t just go out of date again a year later. Secondly, this information (most of it) can be easily found online in an up-to-date form.

I hope you enjoyed this selection. Don’t forget to let us know about your favorite cigar books!

38 thoughts on “Top 10 Cigar Books

  1. Missing a good cigar book which has been reviewed by users and cigar lounge owners and cigar programs and humidor manufacturers and book reviewers: Spanish Cedar, preserving the art of the cigar experience

  2. I’ve been smoking for a few years now and never thought about reading about it besides CI,thanks for the info. I am definitely looking into purchasing one or a few of your recommendations.

  3. Very nice list of cigar books. I have 2 of them listed which are great. I am intrigued with one on your list called Tobakkonacht – The Antismoking Endgame and look forward to getting that one next. Thanks!

  4. MRN’s book is good but he is too full of himself. His new book is far too expensive and not worth it. I don’t need a full size picture of a box of cigars…not sure anyone needs that 🙂
    The other books is the collection are a lot cheaper bought from other publishers.

  5. What about Min Ron Nee’s book?

  6. Why are some of these books soooo expensive?!

  7. I agree that the Illustrated History is a great coffee table book!

  8. I love The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cigars to me that taught me a ton about cigars in general and it’s a great starting off point.

  9. Wrappers not Rappers.

  10. Great reading material for all who enjoy a cigar.

  11. Recently seems that Mr.Min Ron Nee has finish to write the second edition of The Encyclopaedia of post-revolutionary Havana Cigars a munumental work of review of all happened in the last ten years first in the complex world of limited edition and especially series. I wait this book to my personal knowledge of habanos for the moment the first edition is my bible about cuban cigars.

  12. In my opinion the best book about cuban cigars is “An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars. Autors: Min Ron NEE and Honorary Consultant: Adriano Martinez RIUS edited in 2003”. This book represent a complete referenced guide to all brands and their cigars produced since the cuban revolution. In my dedicated library to Cuban Cigars (more than 70 books) this is one of the most important tool to know and recognize all the of cuban brands and vitolas.
    Someone could object that the ediction is old of ten years, but I think that in the last ten years the world of cuban cigars it be adacting to the evolution of the global economy and the habanos become less artigianal, many vitolas were cut off and others new shape become dominant in cigars marketing more of them represented by short cigars with large gauge for decrease the time of smoking. Also the brands (about 40) survived to the Revolution have suffered drastic changes especially in their production and successive distribuction in several countries. Today not more than ten brands are predominant and other historical labels are almost very difficult to find. So I think that a catalogue like the encyclopaedia of Min Ron Nee is a stronghold about cuban cigars knowledge and that is enough implemente it for the new products with the catalogue of the most important traders and distributors, obviously with several exceptions.

  13. Nice list. I have one or two of those in my library!

  14. The Cigar From Soil To Soul by Didier Houvenaghel the man behind the Nicarao brand is a good read.

  15. Here’s another by this guy Tabakmann. A very cool travel guide of Havana for Cigar Smokers.

  16. I would also add one of the newest books out there titled Inside Cuban Cigars by Tabakmann It’s at both Amazon and B&N. Probably the most indepth discussion of Cuban tobacco strains, rolling techniques and the Cuban cigar business I’ve read.

  17. I third jag-z and vavinco, where is Min Ron Nee?

    Also, Lew Rothman’s classic is still very much relevant.

  18. My favorite cigar book is “An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Havana Cigars”.

  19. Thanks for the list. Nat Sherman’s book is very good.

  20. I look forward to looking at these, thanks

  21. Thanks for the various references, they’re very useful when you begin to explore the cigar world

  22. Update to the above: Sorry, didn’t catch in time the commentary that illustrated encyclopedias included and why. Again, Sorry!

  23. *Uhm…where’s Min Ron Nee’s book “Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post Havana Cigars”c.2005??

  24. I recently received “The Illustrated History of Cigars” as a gift. I love just flipping through the pages and reading random information while enjoying a great cigar!

  25. I love books.

  26. Any information is the knowledge that led me to really enjoy, & interact on yoour site. Books, always will be a treasure trove of useful facts.

  27. I’m going to see if these are available on Kindle, there are a couple that look like good reading.

  28. Good read!

  29. just ask the nice people at your library and i bet they will do their best to add the books to the shelves

  30. Try to find these books at a library and they look at you like your a leper

  31. great cigar book suggestions

  32. Always looking for some new reads on cigars.

  33. Cigars: Revised and Updated is a very good book. Tells you about the history of cigars, the making of it from harvesting to aging in a hangar. It even tells you which one to smoke with which drink.

    I didn’t even read the review in this site when I bought this book three days ago… What a Coincidence.

    Buy this book if you can get your hands on Cuban cigars only since 90% of the book is about Cuban cigars!

  34. The cigars reviewed and updated is an amazing book! The small reviews on the Cuban cigars is amazing!

  35. Nice article. I’d love to grab a few of these as Christmas presents.

  36. Nuthin’ at my local libererry…

  37. Another good book is Nat Sherman’s a Passion for Cigars.

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