As we continue our series on browsing our favorite indie bookstores here on the Sharktooth Press blog, we’ll be reaching out to lovers of books we know to share with us their picks (if you have a bookstore you’d like to dish about, please let us know), and Gerard and Saxon, Sharktooth’s co-founders, will be presenting their choices. Today, it’s Saxon’s turn to illustrate why she tapped Books & Books, particularly the Coral Gables location and the shop that used to be on Lincoln Road, as her favorites.
Saxon Henry on Browsing Books & Books
Whether it was a hot and humid South Florida summer day or a balmy winter one, life at the edge of the ocean on Miami Beach was filled with rituals. Though I imagine by now you are thinking I’m leading you to the shoreline where sunbathers are sprawled on the sand for an afternoon of reading, I’m actually directing you along Lincoln Road, known for its fanciful art deco embellishments. What awaited there was an artisanal pizza at an al fresco table and a jaunt during which I would spend at least an hour browsing Books & Books.
The wide array of subjects, which are broad enough to keep a book lover sated for days on end, housed within each of this bookseller’s locations included local authors, regional authors, and books that encompass national and international issues. I’ve made my living by doing some form of writing for over three decades so bookstores are important to me—for research and for developing strategy in developing new projects. I felt fortunate to live close enough to the Lincoln Road location of Books & Books that I could walk there, which I did at least one day a week after lunchtime.
When my journalism career took off while I was living in South Beach, I was fortunate to land a book deal with W. W. Norton & Company, the result of which was Four Florida Moderns, an architecture book that I published while living in Miami. My first book signing, with the four architects featured in the book gathered around the table with me, was held at Books & Books on Lincoln Road. It was a proud evening autographing the copies we sold during the first book signing we would have.
Though I would guess a large percentage of the people who walked into that bookstore would do so once or a handful of times—these would be the visitors to Miami Beach browsing for a newspaper, magazine, or book for their days in the sun. But those of us who lived on “the beach,” it was our local bookseller, one that I learned to appreciate for the care that was put into the stocking and the helpfulness of their staff.
To see other posts in this series, click on the best indie bookstores tag where you’ll find all of the great bookshops we enjoy browsing.