May 24, 2020
Miami native Mitchell Kaplan is the owner/founder of Books & Books, one of the premier independent bookstore groups in the United States, and a respected leader in the book business. Along with Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami-Dade College (MDC), he co-founded The Miami Book Fair (MBF), the largest event of its kind in the United States, in 1984. He hosts the Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan podcast and is a partner in the book-to-film optioning business The Mazur/Kaplan Company (greatest claim to fame? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society).
I met with Mitch in the open-air restaurant at his flagship Mediterranean-styled bookstore in Coral Gables to discuss his career and success in book-selling and sundry other related enterprises. Among other things we talk about Miami, Colorado, The Beats, Red Rocks, the Tulagi Bar in Boulder, 18th century London bookseller James Lackington, 'third places,' community, bookstore restaurants, remainders, the Books & Books Press, and movies.