Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Every city needs centers of energy, culture centers, places where artists and writers, readers and curious citizens from all walks of life can meet to share their works and thoughts, to try out their voices, to listen. This is perhaps the essential ingredient in the uniqueness of cities we think of as thriving and vivid. Without such places writers and readers are isolated from each other and their larger community. Their work suffers from this isolation, and their lives do too. Without such places, blandness and homogeneity rule. For twenty-five years, for all the writers of South Florida, Books & Books has been the undisputed energy center. Regardless of our accomplishments or the genre we work in, and regardless of how many of our books we sell, we are welcomed here--welcomed enthusiastically to read our work, to listen to others, to hang out and talk--sometimes even to buy books! This has been an immense gift to me personally, as I know it has been for all the writers in Miami. Books & Books has nurtured our hearts and souls, and provided us a safe place to try out our voices, and even (when we're lucky) to sing.