“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy books – and they’re kind of the same thing.” – Anonymous
For inveterate lovers of literature, there’s nothing quite so sublime as having a good book – and the time to dive right in.
Books inspire us.
They teach us.
They transport us.
And when we finish a good’s one last page, we temporarily feel as if we’ve lost a good friend.
That is, until we start reading our next good book. But where oh where to find that treasured tome or three?
Sure, you can purchase them online. But doing your book-shopping digitally takes all the fun out of the search. You’ll be depriving yourself of all the ambience – not to mention yet-to-be-discovered gems – that you’ll get to enjoy whilst browsing through the musty shelves of an independent bookstore.
So, if you’re like us and are always on the hunt for great new (and old!) books, join us for a quick tour of Miami’s best bookstores.
Founded in 1982 by self-described “recovering law student” Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books is among that rarest of endangered breeds: an independent bookstore that’s still thriving.
Now with three bustling locations (Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour) and on-site events galore, Books & Books hosts more than 60 author readings a month and draws patrons from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
From Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen to former presidents and Nobel Prize winners, Books & Books has welcomed more best-selling authors than any other local bookseller. For your first visit, we recommend the main store in Coral Gables.
Books and Books has three locations: 265 Aragon Avenue in Coral Gables; phone: 305-442-4408; 927 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach; phone: 305-532-3222; 9700 Collins Avenue in Bal Harbour; phone: 305-864-4241. Visit online at booksandbooks.com
In Miami’s multicultural melting pot, it’s no surprise that a Spanish language bookstore would thrive in the heart of Little Havana on the famed Calle Ocho (Eighth Street).
And this iconic librería – which is part of a larger, family-owned publishing and distribution business – has been the neighborhood’s favorite place for Latin writer and poets of every genre.
If you had a dollar for every South Floridian who bought his or her first García Márquez book here, you’d be richer than Stephen King.
Libreria Distribuidora Universal is located at 3090 S.W. 8th Street in Miami; call 305-662-9293.
For rare out-of-print books that run the gamut from Tolstoy and Stieg Larsson to science, history, biographies, religion, travel and so much more, Dunbar Old Books is the place to go.
Located deep in the heart of the Bird Road Art District among an array of mini storage unit lots, this hidden gem is staffed by some of the friendliest fellow lit lovers in all of Miami.
Cozy and inviting, you’re welcome to relax and read in the comfy chairs, whether you buy or simply spend all day browsing.
Dunbar Old Books is located at 7061 S.W. 46 Street in Miami; call 305-669-8719 or visit dunbarbooks.com.
Rare books … vintage magazines … historical maps – you name it, and you’ll probably be able to find it among this charming shop’s collection of more than 30,000 volumes of “rare print and ephemera from every genre and era.”
Looking to cash in on your own rare ephemera? Old Florida Books Shop is always looking to up its inventory, so by all means: Show ‘em what you’ve got! But be forewarned: Befitting the endearing quirkiness it takes to be a rare book dealer, Old Florida Book Shop’s proprietors say the store’s hours are “by chance or appointment [and] a call ahead is advisable.”
Old Florida Book Shop is located at 3426 Griffin Road in Fort Lauderdale; call 954-319-1441 or visit oldfloridabookshop.com.
Want to preview the best place to read a good book? How about a place with world-class architecture to boot?