Between Amazon undermining brick-and-mortar book shops and major chains like Borders giving up the ghost, you might be tempted to think the era of bookstores is behind us. You'd be wrong. Bookstores aren't dead. They just need a little tweaking. A greater sense of community, perhaps, and a lower price point — starting at free maybe? And hey, a few boozy beverages on the side couldn't hurt. That's the model of Bookleggers, a monthly get-together that gathers book lovers to swap their tomes in fun locations around Miami. Founder Nathaniel Sandler (an occasional New Times contributor) calls it a "community mobile library," offering one free book to first-timers. But any good dealer will tell you the first taste is always free; once hooked, voracious readers will return again and again with books from their own libraries to trade for new-to-them novels — or, failing that, with cold hard cash. (You can buy a book for $2 at any Bookleggers get-together.) Bookleggers pop-up locations are all part of the fun. Its second anniversary was a cultural affair at Downtown Art Space; bars such as Gramps and the Broken Shaker have hosted other appearances; and for the O, Miami festival this year, it set up shop at Collins Park so readers could bring their dogs along for the ride. Try having that much fun clicking around Amazon.
Readers' choice: Books & Books