Over 500 help Books & Books celebrate its 30th Anniversary

Owner Mitchell Kaplan (center) talks with customer Christina Magalde in the bookstore’s patio.

Books & Books in Coral Gables marked its 30th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 3, with a large-scale party that attracted more than 500 people and closed the street on which the store is located.

Starting at 7 p.m. and continuing until after 9 p.m., the special event packed in longtime customers in a street party that had gourmet food, wine and music, as well as perfect weather. Additionally, all books in the store were on sale at a 30 percent discount in honor of the anniversary.

Some 500 attended the outdoor street party for Books & Books’ 30th Anniversary.

Books & Books was founded in Coral Gables by Mitchell Kaplan in 1982 as a small bookstore that steadily grew and acquired devoted fans as a gathering place for writers as well as readers. It now also has locations in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour Shops, Westhampton Beach, Grand Cayman, Miami International Airport and the Museum of Art.

Kaplan said he deeply appreciates the continuing success of the independent bookstore, which is becoming a rarity in a time dominated by large national chains that control much of the market. He said that makes the anniversary celebration and the turnout all the more meaningful.

“To see all of our customers and friends who support us here makes these 30 years all worthwhile,” Kaplan said. “It’s exactly why we do what we do. For such a community that’s in this one little space, it’s very profound. It’s a hard thing to flourish as an independent bookstore these days, and we are thrilled that we are able to continue to do it.”

Participating chefs from notable area gourmet restaurants included Allen Susser, Bernie Matz, Michelle Bernstein, Norman Van Aken, Douglas Rodriguez, Thomas Buckley, Abe Ng, Steve Haas and Cindy Hutson. Desserts were provided by Books & Books own café.

Books & Books is located at 265 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables. For information about upcoming author readings and book signings, visit online at www.booksandbooks.com or call 305-442-4408.

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