South Florida's Favorite Reading Corner: Books & Books



(Image courtesy of Books & Books)



Visitors have a distorted view of Miami, Fl. Miami has a reputation for being a party capital with an emerging art scene. However, Miami is far more nuanced than being the home for nightclubs. One of the best stores I have ever been to is in Miami. Books&Books is the lighthouse for any visitor or resident who loves literature. I had the chance to speak with Sophie Feinberg, Events & Marketing Assistant, to learn more about this literature treasure chest.



1. Why should someone visit Books & Books?


Where do I start?! As someone who started shopping at Books & Books with my grandpa before I could read on my own and who is now a part of the marketing and events team, I might be a bit biased. However, I’d argue a visit to the bookstore should be a staple for anyone living in or stopping by Miami. Throughout its almost 40-year history, Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books have cultivated a reality where Books & Books exists as a literary and community hub: a place to feed your mind, stomach and soul with conversation, a bite at The Café or a story. With its specially curated stock, signed offers, extensive selection of art books, outreach and partnership in the community, and hundreds of events a year, Books & Books has made itself a paradise for book lovers across the world.



(Image courtesy of Books & Books)

2. How has the store adapted in the face of COVID-19?


COVID-19 has certainly made for an interesting year and a half. I started as an intern in the middle of the pandemic in June 2021 and officially joined the team in August. Change is the word that comes to mind. It is constant. Initially, bookstores across the country, and world, were forced to close their doors as they navigated creating a safe shopping experience in March 2020. In-person events phased out. Eventually, stores opened back up to shopping, but, in the spirit of innovation, Books & Books and Miami Book Fair worked together to launch virtual events in April 2020. Now, at the tail end of 2021, more friends are making the journey back into stores and some events are being held in person. However, issues with the supply chain are a new consideration, especially during the holiday season. Our mantra: Shop early. Shop local. Shop now. We are grateful for our customers who believe in the magic of independent bookstores as much as we do.



(Image courtesy of Books & Books)


3. What top sites should anyone see in Miami, and how does the store add to that experience?


Miami is a city where I feel like it’s impossible to run out of things to do. Of course, we think Books & Books is the perfect spot to add to a Miami itinerary. Escape the heat and get a personalized recommendation that is the perfect travel memento or beach read. Visit Miami Beach, near Books & Books’ old stomping grounds, for a seaside walk. Spend a couple hours exploring the lush landscape of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Step back into the air conditioning with a visit to one of Miami’s many museums, like the Coral Gables Museum, HistoryMiami Museum, the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora or the Peréz Art Museum Miami. In the evening, stop by the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, GableStage or Gables Cinema for a show. Though Miami can get a reputation for being a Spring Break city, longtime Miami residents like Mitchell see and foster Miami’s reality as a premier cultural landscape where an enriching opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of art, culture, history and literature lies at every turn, if you know where to look.

(Image courtesy of Books & Books)



4. What is the future of the store?


Books & Books will celebrate 40 years in 2022. In its four decades, it has demonstrated the staying power of community and the beauty of stories and indie bookstores. Who knows what’s in store (no pun intended)? As the cliche goes, the sky’s the limit. What we do know is that we will continue to bring together the literary community of Miami and spread a love of art and literature throughout South Florida. And of course, there’s got to be a big party!


You can stay up to date on all things Books & Books by subscribing to our newsletter or checking our events page. Or you can even rep the store with a tote or shirt.



(Image courtesy of Books & Books)





Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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