November 3, 2013

Florida: Books & Books

Books & Books in Miami, Florida was my last stop on this amazing Independent Bookstores of America journey. It is the 49th bookstore I've visited in a three month period. Clearly I have seen a lot of bookstores, but luckily I was smart enough to save one of the best for last. Books & Books is a south Florida treasure. Think that's cheesy talk? Well, you're right but you're also wrong because it is the TRUTH. This store, which has a few locations, is dead on awesome. 

The store featured in the pictures below is the original Coral Gables location, and this is the location that will be featured in the book. It's a gorgeous store with a beautiful courtyard and a way above average, absolutely excellent cafe. Mitchell Kaplan, who founded Books & Books in 1982, was nice enough to spend some time talking to me about the store and its history. As a Miami native, he definitely understand and knows his community which is reflected in the bookstores.

The best part of Books & Books is that it really feels like a loved community spot. The events this store puts on are numerous and fantastic. Cristina Nosti, Director of Events & Marketing for Books & Books, appears to have planning great author events and fun community events down to an art. She was an absolutely wonderful guide to learning about this store, and I can't say enough good things about her or Mitch.

The day I was there I saw a book club holding a lunch in one of the store's spaces, some parents enjoying the beautiful kids' section with their children, and a packed cafe with people from all over using this store as a place to meet up and hang out. While Books & Books may be historic and have a well-earned reputation for its greatness, it hasn't lost the local community feeling that one hopes to get with a good independent bookstore.

Books & Books is about an hour away (if I'm being generous with traffic) from where I live now, and I have to brag: I am one lucky bibliophile to have such an awesome independent bookstore not too far away.

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