The Nonprofit Literary Foundation was recently launched by Books & Books, and it’s providing a unique experience for local enthusiasts. The foundation is going beyond the typical commercial restraints faced by many in the literary community, just as it’s been doing for over 40 years. 

This type of transcendence is notably different than that of your average chain bookstore. The founding of a local, indie bookstore chain is a welcome development in the area, all fostered by 68-year-old proprietor Mitchell Kaplan. In addition to creating one of the top book fairs in the country, he expanded his career with a side hustle in major motion picture production, making him incredibly well-qualified for the position at the helm of the new literary nonprofit. 

Specifically, Mitchell Kaplan is the proprietor of Books & Books in Coral Gables, as well as numerous other locations all along South Florida. Kaplan’s dedication to broadening the concept of a bookstore in itself has resulted in an outstanding effort with this new nonprofit, to the benefit of anticipatory locals looking forward to future developments. The goal is to enhance and enliven the literary culture in the area, nurturing new enthusiastic readers. 

Cultivating an integrated respect for books and reading as a regular activity encourages the learning process for both children and adults, making this effort a meaningful contribution that’s purposeful in action. A series of events and programming will be provided, helping to build the surrounding community while advocating for writers, books, and the freedom to read. 

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The Coral Gables Community Foundation will serve as the fiscal sponsor, aiding the efforts of the new nonprofit to connect with those who could benefit from the project. 

According to Kaplan, the local project is focusing on setting up prison libraries in partnership with the Exchange for Change organization which specializes in offering educational resources to incarcerated people. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Kaplan stated, “We want to bring authors into schools where kids don’t have easy access to books and have every kid walk out with a book that we can donate to them. I also want to set up a mentorship program to help people open bookstores in ‘bookstore deserts’ in our community and throughout Florida. We’ll also bring down authors to support communities whose access to books is being restricted.”

On an admirable, apolitical mission, Kaplan and the team at Books & Books are gearing up for the launch. They’re aiming above and beyond their initial efforts with a clear intention of incorporating additional projects into the foundation’s DNA. One possibility is the concept of empathy dinners, where the foundation would host individuals from all walks of life and seat them at a table with an intentionally diverse population. As the meal is served, guests would be encouraged to follow a discussion prompt and contemplate the topics together in an open format. Some topic examples might include, “Where did your family come from?” or, “Talk about the most important person in your life.”, and the answers could make their way around the round table. 

No matter which ideas come to fruition, the Nonprofit Literary Foundation is bound to make an extensive positive impact on the local community, and we’re all looking forward to seeing such inspirational progress. 

The Books & Books Literary Foundation Launch will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 25th at 265 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables. Admission is completely free, and everyone is invited to attend. The flagship store is set to sail on Small Business Saturday – a fitting event to say the least. From speeches by renowned local figures to toasts and swag handouts, everything’s on the agenda. We can’t wait to see how the day transpires and the positive effect the foundation has on the community we care about in the future.