Tuesday, September 25, 2007
My uncle Dionisio was the one who first introduced us to Books and Books. Whenever we’d drive down to Miami to visit family, tio would ask us to pick up some books that “Mitch had set aside.” Later, when I started working, I met a man who loved books as much as I did and every Saturday afternoon, we would drive to Coral Gables and spend hours and hours browsing. Today, there isn’t a day that I’m in the bookstore that I don’t run into someone I know. Diana Abu-Jaber and I have spent many hours writing and eating there, but mostly talking. You could call it Books and Books and Friends. Because that’s what the bookstore always was. Not just a place to buy books, but a place to meet other people who loved books, who wanted to talk about books and who would make you feel comfortably part of a community. And there was always the chance you’d meet the movie star who ran the place. I’ll never forget the day I walked in with my uncle and Mitchell greeted him by name. That was just the coolest.