by Christina Parrella , 02/05/2013
Taschen. Photo: Eric Laignel
For a neighborhood so steeped in fashion, art and design, it's only fitting that SoHo's bookstores tend to be visually stimulating. Known for publishing GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali—at 75 pounds, one of the heaviest books in history—Taschen is an ideal spot to browse. Stacked with all manner of art books (and books, like GOAT, that are artworks in themselves), this airy and comfortable boutique was designed by Philippe Starck. Also not to be missed is the Visionaire gallery, home to fashion bibles V, V Man and the store's self-titled, limited-edition magazine. Visionaire is a concept publication; previous editions have come in the form of a collection of records, toys and an oversize (nearly seven feet tall) magazine, among others. The store sells these limited-edition back issues and mounts frequent exhibitions. At the independently owned McNally Jackson Books the stock consists of an extensive amount of fiction (organized by region), graphic design, poetry and fashion-related titles. The store doubles as a café, serving tea, coffee and sweets. In a similar fashion, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe offers warm beverages and snacks with a side of vintage reads from various genres. And with this comfy bookstore's bargain prices you'll never need your Kindle again.