Mitchell Kaplan and the Miami Book Fair
Now in its 27th year, the Miami Book Fair International is a signature Miami event that has helped to shape Miami’s renaissance. This year’s fair runs from November 14 – 21 and will celebrate the literature and culture of Mexico. The official Book Fair poster was created by Mexican-born artist, Alejandro Cabrera De La Mora (AKA Maximus Blanc).
Mitchell Kaplan is co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, along with Eduardo Padron and a few other prominent business people. Kaplan remembers the beginnings of the festival that now facilitates more than 200 exhibitors.
“From the beginning it broke the cliché that nothing serious happens in Miami,” Kaplan said. “Whenever you attract writers to a community, they go back to their hometowns and write about it. In fact, in the early days, people were amazed by what was happening down here. This was one of the first bona-fide events in the new Miami: the book fair, the ballet, the symphony, the Miami Film Festival. There were a number of things that led to the renaissance. This city has remade itself, and where Miami goes from here will determine how the next 25 years are defined.”
Yet, Kaplan acknowledges that technology may take the Book Fair to something completely unrecognizable by today’s standards in the next 25 years.
“It’s science fiction to imagine how somebody will be reading 25 years from now. Although in the foreseeable future, people will still have books. What I worry about is what we call the ‘considered life.’ I worry about solitude. I worry about sitting and being quiet with a book. I worry about people being able to contemplate and being able to seriously think about ideas. I worry more about that than the form that reading will take.”
Photo by Manny Hernandez.