One Of The Best Things About Miami

When we first arrived in Miami about 25 years ago, new friends told us book stores couldn’t survive in this area of the country. Miamians said people who live in the land of sun and sand, just don’t read.

That may have been true then, but Miami native Mitchell Kaplan changed all that. For over 20 years, Kaplan has turned Miami into a reading town by establishing his book chain, Books & Books, as a cultural and entertainment center.

Eliot and I have built a social life around the main Books & Books in Coral Gables. We attend many of their hundreds of guest lectures a year, and often drop by for lunch or dinner in the cafe. It’s also a great place to spot all kinds of people from the creative world who rely on

Books & Books as a reliable destination to conduct research.

Watch the above video featuring Mitchell Kaplan as he gives a personal tour through his main branch. Kaplan is also the founder of the Miami Book Fair, the largest one in the country.

Read This And Weep

The print editorial business has gotten so bad lately that Time magazine has decided to once again put sponsored content on its cover.

Since the beginning of the publishing business this has been a complete “no-no.” The editorial world calls it a strict separation of church (editorial) and state (advertising). Time is now breaking the rule again by running a sponsored cover on its July 29 issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

The sponsor is announced in small type, brought to you by Jimmy Dean.” The company is also celebrating 50 years of quality sausage.”

Time sources said Verizon and Pfizer Canada were sponsors a number of years ago.

Let’s see what happens in the future. We all have to monitor what editorial is being published because it is news worthy and which copy is being supported by an advertiser.

We spent a wonderful evening last night at Books & Books with best selling author Daniel Silva and his wife, Jamie Sue Gangel, special correspondent at CNN. SRO celebrating “The New Girl.” Miami loves to read. More about the discussion later this week.

For Your Listening Pleasure

Saturdays have a new meaning for me. I look forward to listening to “The Literary Life” podcast, hosted by Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, a chain of bookstores in and around the Miami area.

The greatest plus for me is that each podcast provides information about every aspect of the book industry. From running a bookstore, to getting your book published, The Literary Life takes you behind the scenes of how it all gets done.

I love listening to Mitchell, a well-known figure in the literary field, because his interviews with authors and publishers, reveal so much. I’ve listed his recent interviews below. The most recent one, with publisher Johnny Temple, talks about the book fairs in Miami and Brooklyn. You hear about how they got started, and why they are so successful.

In case you haven’t heard, bookstores are in vogue again. Real estate developers have recently admitted that book stores attract lots of foot traffic to their shopping areas, and readers are anxious to browse the aisles again.

Many of us have always fantasized about being a famous author, or a book store owner. The Literary Life gets you closer to your dream.

Produced by Revolver Podcasts, you can listen each week with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and iHeartMedia.