Miami may not be the literary hub of the world, but we certainly hold our own when it comes to all things bookish. We boast a number of great bookstores, most of which are locally-owned and full of charm (we do have some remaining Barnes & Nobles in the Gables, West Kendall, FIU, and South Miami respectively – for now). We also host numerous literary events throughout the year, including one of the most revered book fairs in the nation. Many notable writers have also called Miami their home, including crime writer Patricia Cornwell, humorist Dave Barry, historian and novelist Les Standiford. If you’re new to town, or trying to get a head start on next year’s “Read More” resolution, check out our guide to Miami’s literary scene.
Throughout the years, Books & Books has become the most influential bookstore in town. This full-service neighborhood shop features books of all genres, from art history and humor to an entire room devoted to children’s lit. Add to that their commitment to literary events (they host author talks and book signings almost daily), their delicious adjoining cafe (with plenty for meat-lovers and vegans alike), and multiple locations and there’s nothing left to be said.
If you’re searching for Cheryl Strayed or Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, you probably won’t find it here. But if what you seek is something older, out-of-print, and exceptionally rare, there’s a good chance you might find it at Dunbar’s. The cozy shop specializes in science, religion (mainly Judaism), and local history books – a great place to find a unique read or gift.
Seventy percent of Miami’s population is Latino, and it’s safe to say that at least half the population (Latino or not) speaks Spanish. That said, we couldn’t write this list without including the best and most extensive Spanish-language bookstore in the city. This Bird Road shop features new and classic books, magazines, newspapers, plus CDs and DVDs from Latin America, all in Spanish.
For more information, call 305-264-4516.
This vibrant and unique bookstore in the heart of Little Haiti has been serving the Haitian community since the mid-1980s. Libreri Mapou easily carries over 3,000 titles in Creole, French, and English, and a stop inside proves they have something for everyone. Gorgeous Haitian artwork adorns the walls of this specialty shop that has everything from folklore to poetry to religious texts.
For more information, call 305-757-9922.
Taschen is known the world over for their art books. However, the popular publishing company also has a brick and mortar store right on Lin coln Road. Discover beautiful art books, design texts, anthropology must-reads, and more, then enjoy the scenery of their shop, covered in wall to wall art work.
1111 Lincoln Road, South Beach; 305-538-6185
While A&M Comics has been heralded as one of Miami’s best comic shops, they are also a great place to find used books. Walk in and you’ll find there are comics and books of all kinds lining the walls from floor to ceiling. They also carry old newspapers, magazines, records and other memorabilia, making it something of a one-stop shop for collectors.
When it comes to searching for books on spirituality and religion, there’s no better place than the Unity On The Bay Bookstore. Located in Edgewater, it’s the place to go for everything from devotional and self-help books to meditation beads and inspirational cards. They also sell CDs, jewelry, yoga mats, and everything else that you might expect from a metaphysical books and gift shop.
Although this isn’t a bookstore, the Miami Book Fair is clearly the best place to discover and purchase books…for a limited time. While the festival is a week long, the buying and selling of books doesn’t happen until the street fair on the final weekend, and this is when you want to come prepared with lots of cash. You’ll find a number of sections with dozens of book vendors shelling out everything from comic books to history books to spiritual texts. Among this year’s vendors are locals like EXILE Books and the Bookleggers Library, to companies whose homes are a bit further away like Burrow Press (Orlando), Grove Atlantic (New York), and City Lights (San Francisco).
Not exactly what you’d call traditional, EXILE Books is a pop-up artist’s bookstore that migrates to a new part of Miami every few months. They carry a small selection of carefully curated books that you probably won’t find anywhere else. EXILE also hosts a number of events including coloring parties, zine making workshops, and more bringing the literary community together in a wholly unique way.