Books & Books
Coral Gables, Florida
I've been meaning to publish a post about this wonderful bookstore, which is located minutes from my home in Miami, in the beautiful city of Coral Gables. Founded by owner Mitchell Kaplan in 1982, and originally across the street from its present location, the bookstore has since expanded to other locations, as well. The first of these opened in Miami Beach. The next one to open was the Bal Harbour Shops store, which is in North Miami Beach. Since then, Kaplan has expanded to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean, Westhampton Beach, which is in the state of New York, and has recently added yet two more locations -- at Miami International Airport, and inside the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Westhampton location is actually a co-ownership; Kaplan, Jack McKeown, and Denise Berthiaume are the partners. Both McKeown and Berthiaume are book industry veterans.
What I really like about Books & Books is that they have author events year round! Yes, that means 24/7, as well! Of course, I only attend when I'm really interested in the book being presented. Besides, my night job prevents me from going to the events held on week nights. (Just my luck!)
If you're unable to attend a given event, but would like to buy a signed copy of the book being presented, you can order it by phone, paying for it with your credit card. The staff will then put the book aside for you, and you can pick it up at your convenience. This is a nice bonus, especially if you're visiting the area!
Last year, I attended a young adult event, with three of the hottest YA authors -- Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, and Meg Cabot! I bought two signed books!! You can check out that post HERE. I found out about this event through the Books & Books newsletter, which I signed up for some time back. I receive an electronic copy directly to my email address! It's also possible to print it out; there's a button included on the Books & Books main page. I prefer to have it emailed, though, for storage reasons.
The Gables store boasts a great young adult/children's section, as well as extensive sections dedicated to art and poetry. I'm sure the other store locations have comparable offerings, too.
The Coral Gables store also has a restaurant with great food, and live music events in the courtyard, which is in the central area of the store. They've recently added writers' and artists' workshops, as well.
This is one of the main book rooms
at the Coral Gables store.
With the rise in ebook publishing, I've been getting more and more worried about the future of the printed book. I simply think there's absolutely no substitute for a real, printed book, and I flatly refuse to read a book on a machine! (They do have a button that enables you to buy ebooks, though, on their main page. Those of you who like ebooks will be happy about this. Me, I'll definitely pass.) So I'm ecstatic to see a bookstore growing to such an extent that it's opening locations outside my immediate area! To me, this is very welcome consolation for the closing of Borders, which I'm still grieving about...
If any of you are ever in South Florida, or any of the other places that are lucky enough to have a Books & Books store, be sure to drop by and check out their selections! Oh, and don't forget to like their Facebook page!!
Here's a list of links where you can get more information. Happy Reading, fellow book lovers!!!
(The Miami International Airport store page is under construction at this time.)
**NOTE: The photographs used in this post are from the Gables store site.**