SOHO'S BOOKSTORES PROVIDE A LITERARY ADVENTURE IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN
The artistic spirit of Soho is seen not just in its art galleries, restaurants and fashion styles; look into the neighborhood’s bookstores, and you’ll have an equally exhilarating cultural experience. These bookshops are some of New York City’s best for browsing books, attending literary events, scoping out hard-to-find titles, and enjoying gorgeous coffee table books (alongside a great coffee). Here are four bookstores that can’t be missed during your next stroll through Soho.
A bi-level bookstore made for browsing, Housing Works may just be the neighborhood’s most charming pick. In addition to its stocked shelves and abundance of New York-centric reads, this bookstore has also established itself for its quality café, serving coffee from Intelligentsia, local beer and wine, and sandwiches made on Balthazar bread. It’s also a destination for literary and artistic events in the evenings, such as The Moth StorySLAM, an acclaimed storytelling event that sells out every time.
126 Crosby Street
This independent bookstore has a literary bent with staff picks for lesser-known titles, a variety of literary magazines, and nightly literary events including author readings and book clubs. The curated collection has built a repeat clientele that depends on the store’s staff for recommendations on everything from cookbooks to poetry. The on-site café is a popular spot to grab a quick cold brew coffee or sit back for a light meal including soup, salads, quiches, and breakfast items like muffins and bagels.
52 Prince Street
The design store for the Museum of Modern Art is not only famed for its quirky gifts, toys and houseware items, but also its large selection of books from all over the world. The store’s focus is on large format art books, from full-color coffee table books to nostalgic books of black-and-white photographs. The collection has a strong presence of New York focused titles, including the popular Humans of New York book and books on the architecture of New York City. There’s no café on-site, but the store is across the street from Balthazar – the beautiful Parisian bakery & bistro known for its perfect croissants.
81 Spring Street
Still on the hunt for the perfect coffee table book? Visit TASCHEN, the New York home of the German publishing company. This sleek store designed by Phillipe Starck features oversized coffee table books covering a range of topics including fashion, architecture, travel, music, film, and art. Limited Editions, Collector’s Editions, and signed copies are also for sale, making this store a truly unique gem in New York City. They also have a section of children’s books with a devotion to design and beautiful packaging – a great solution for last minute gift-seekers.
107 Greene Street
Words by Jessica Colley Clarke