Indie bookstores: The great good places to go, meet, and read.
Independent bookstores are about community. We all need great good places—and independent bookstores can serve as that third place, beyond home and work.
They become that place which can make for a very distinctive experience. And the demise of places like Borders may open up opportunities for more independent bookstores because that need for community never goes away.
- Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134-5009
Comments: Stores also in Miami Beach, Westhampton Beach, Bar Harbour, Miami International Airport, and Grand Cayman
Book Buyer: Hillary Compton
Owners: Emily D’Amour, Julius Ser & Mitchell Kaplan
Specialties: fine literature, art, poetry, Cuba, photography, architecture
You don’t need a crystal ball to see that independent bookstores are going to have to at least adjust their business model to remain relevant in the face of new technology.
The best model I’ve seen has been innovated by Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books in Miami. His stores are now built around cafes and outdoor courtyards, where friends meet for coffee in the morning or a drink after work. Local musicians play and nationally known authors read, as free concerts open to the public.
It is an expanded version of the old coffeehouse model—beer and wine is served along with good food—and buying a book becomes a backdrop, an essential organic part of the overall experience.
- John Avlon of Book Beast