There are not many stores that can pack so much cool into such a small area, but Magma has a lot going for it. First of all, the one I want to tell you about is in the very popular Seven Dials area, so that's the location sorted (there are more around London too, with product shops as well as bookshops - check the website). As well as that, it stocks some of the finest art books this side of Central London.
For those who might be put off by the thought of 'art' books - I'm not talking about the typical volumes you had to endure at school when it wasn't a 'painting a picture of a house' lesson, more like the type of art you are more likely to see in trendy Hoxton art galleries, or even daubed on the walls of buildings on your way to the shop.
The thing that is really interesting about the store is that it seems to evolve continuously, so no visit is ever the same, and as it tries to reflect what is happening now, it is a great 'ideas' shop - a place for those artistically minded to be inspired, and for those who aren't, a great place to shop for presents to really make an impression, or buy a gift that will be really appreciated.
There are not just coffee table books here though, there are books on the theory of design, typography, and those pleasing over-sized magazines that you tend to not be able to find in normal magazine shops - like glossy versions of broadsheet newspapers. You can also find delightful kids books, that secretly adults would probably want to keep for themselves, DVD's on art and fashion, and the odd t-shirt here and there for good measure. You can also shop on the website should you not fancy braving the winter weather.
So, to round up, it's a bookshop that sells so much more than books, and is small in size, but massive in information - expect to stay twice as long as you anticipate to.