Friday, February 29, 2008

Books and Books

Doing a reading at Books and Books tonight. This makes twenty times I've been at Mitch Kaplan's store in Coral Gables.

Mitch practically invented Miami's book culture. Between his instrumental work to begin the Miami Book Fair, one of the nation's largest book events, and his tireless work on his own expanding bookstore business, Mitch has supported south Florida writers like no one else. He's given us a stage, and given the community a spot on the national book circuit, so we can see and hear the best writers of America. Before Mitch started out in the early eighties, Miami was considered a cultural wasteland. No one in the publishing world of New York considered Miami a worthwhile stop on the book tour.

Now it's a must-see, must-go-to city, and Books and Books is the store where the great majority of writers of note show up.

In the book community of south Florida, we're incredibly lucky to have Mitch and his store. It's really the literary watering hole for the region.

More here.

Right up there with The Strand, Powells,Tattered Cover, Elliot Bay,City Lights, and the Bookstore in Blytheville, Books and Books is one of America's finest stores.

Thanks to Mitch.

Books & Books :

265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, Fla.,

Some bookstores are crammed with serpentine rows of dusty shelves aching with books — but that's not what you'll find at Books & Books, which has three locations in addition to its Coral Gables flagship. "Our Coral Gables store is built around a courtyard in a Mediterranean-style building and our South Beach store is in a gorgeous Art Deco building," said owner Mitchell Kaplan. The store also has branches in an upscale mall in Bal Harbour and on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean. Books & Books hosts 70 author events a month, and the stores' specialties include art, architecture and regional literature, including books about Cuba and Latin America. Both the Coral Gables and Miami Beach stores also have full-service restaurants.

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