Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dan Halpern (Ecco)

Who said 25 years? It wasn’t yesterday, but neither was it 25 years ago, was it? Anyway, I first heard about Mitch Kaplan and Books and Books from every hip publisher in New York, who never failed to find a ticket in late November to the Miami Book Fair, to rub shoulders and share mojitos with the most memorable list of authors ever assembled in this country – poets and politicians (in that order), journalists and chefs, essayists and novelists – every major international writer still capable of boarding a plane eventually found their way to the Miami Book Fair and the welcoming embrace of Books & Books.

The bookstore, as it stands today in its relatively new digs, stands as a testament to the endeavor of sharing the human experience -- a bookstore Borges would have been proud to have invented. A bookstore that’s not so much “independent,” as we like to say, as “visionary,” which I like to say even more.

After all these years, Mitch and his wonderful staff have made Miami a literary destination. For readers, to be sure. And what writer doesn’t want to inhabit a few inches of shelf space in the magic that is Books & Books.

-- Daniel Halpern

Publisher
Ecco Press
HarperCollins

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