even as

‘These two coffee-table books on Tibet have showy images of travel, but their content is so rewarding and original that they invite study even as they make it attractive.’
What does ‘even as’ mean here, and to what does ‘it’ refer, please?

it - the book

even as - just as (much as)

The showy images make the books look attractive, the rewarding original text content makes the book worthy of study. The two aspects (images and text content) complement each other.

Thank you for your help, Beeesneees.