Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lisa Gallagher (HarperCollins)

When I moved across the Atlantic to New York from London in 1998, one of the first bookstores I was told about was Books & Books in Miami, and its legendary founder Mitchell Kaplan.

I still remember my first visit. Walking through the door was intoxicating: a wonderful place, where one could spend hours and hours exploring the shelves and tables; the books beautifully displayed and arranged, all enticing me to buy. The only difficulty ever was trying to decide how many books I could possibly carry back to New York.

Whilst the different Books & Books locations are imbued with their own personalities, reflecting their locations and the customers they serve, they all share the same qualities I noticed on that first visit and a visit to Books & Books is always a treat, a tactile experience.

Mitchell himself turned out to be equally inspiring – what an aura! - and his team is a testament to his knowledge, passion and creativity…always open to new ideas, always innovating whilst retaining the core values that have made Books & Books an institution in the local community and the wider bookselling and publishing arena. Their events are spectacular, and their promotion and support of both local and national authors is welcomed by every publisher.

Books & Books was one of the first bookstores I ever visited outside of New York – “O my America, my new found land” - and is still the epitome of everything I love about this business. I’m proud to know them, hope to be celebrating and toasting their success for many years to come.

Lisa Gallagher

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