Courtesy of Books & Books
Hello. Welcome to Miami. We see you're reading. That's good. Fundamental in fact. You should know that Barnes & Noble has plenty of locations around town. Borders, too. There's also one bookstore dedicated to gay lifestyle and culture and another devoted to African-American-related publications. And there are plenty of Spanish-language tome purveyors. So you can see we're well read. What? You're not convinced? Then we'll draw our trump card, our proverbial ace in the hole. It's called Books & Books, and we've regularly declared it to be the city's best bookstore. For a reason. Hell, for many reasons. Founded by Mitchell Kaplan in 1982, Books & Books possesses what chains lack: a vision. Kaplan's vision spilled over into the Miami Book Fair International, a highly successful annual festival of words. It pours from the shelves of his two retail outlets, where you'll find books old and new, popular and obscure, big and small. Books for kids and collectors. Books for natives and visitors. Books and books and books (close to 100,000 titles). Magazines, too. Kaplan's vision includes readings and workshops. He invites top authors to meet their readers at his stores. This year's visitors included Tom Brokaw, Elmore Leonard, and Tony Bennett. In January he launched a Website (www.booksandbooks.com
). He understands that books are not just the product of an industry, but little worlds you can live in for a while. Books & Books is the travel agency to those worlds.