Mitchell Kaplan, a native of Miami Beach, opened the first Books & Books store in 1982 in Coral Gables, Florida. Now with four South Florida locations––plus affiliated stores at Miami International Airport and in Key West, where he collaborates with author Judy Blume and her husband, George Cooper––the bookstore hosts more than 400 events per year. The original Coral Gables location is home to the well-established Café at Books & Books, and the store was named Publishers Weekly’s PW Bookstore of the Year in 2015.
As cofounder of the Miami Book Fair, Kaplan has served as chair of the board of directors and continues to guide the fair’s programming team. Each year, nearly 500 authors are presented during one week in November, along with a street festival, where bookstalls line the streets adjacent to the campus of Miami Dade College in the heart of downtown Miami. Programs take place in Creole, Spanish, and English, reflecting the diversity of the city.
Kaplan has served as president of the American Booksellers Association and was awarded the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community from the National Book Foundation. He now serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.
He and his partner, Paula Mazur, established the Mazur Kaplan Company to bring books to the screen, both film and television. His most recent release is Let Him Go starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. Kaplan also hosts the podcast The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan, which is broadcast from Miami, where he lives with his wife, Rachelle. They have three children, Anya, Daniel, and Jonah.