Books & Books is located at the Town Centre of Camana Bay, Grand Cayman's new shopping and entertainment destination that opened in December 2007. Camana Bay is fast becoming a hotspot for both residents and visitors. It's also home to a six-screen cinema run by Hollywood Theaters and a variety of local retailers and international brand names.
With stunning floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with every type of book imaginable, Books & Books is a paradise for readers of all ages. 'This bookstore would not be out of place anywhere in the world,' says Sally Machado, General Manager of Books & Books at Camana Bay. 'This is not only true of the design and physical product, but also of the books we stock. We offer the latest publications from authors all over the world and specialise in writers from North America, Britain and the Caribbean as these are where most our customers are from.'
The high calibre of the Caribbean section of the bookstore is instantly apparent to readers familiar with the region. The store has a large section dedicated to Caymanian authors, and also stocks the majority of non-fiction books published by Ian Randle and UWI press. Caribbean authors played a significant role in the store's opening weekend last December, when literary stars such as Marlon James from Jamaica, Lisa Allen-Agostini from Trinidad and Ana Menendez, the daughter of Cuban exiles, were invited to read from their latest books and sign copies for the public. The event was themed 'Southern Florida meets the Caribbean' in acknowledgement of Books & Books roots in Miami.
Founded in 1982 by Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books is one of the leading independent bookstores in the United States. Mitchell Kaplan is highly respected in the literary world for his championing of independent booksellers and as co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, now one of the largest in the world. With three locations in Southern Florida at Coral Gables, Lincoln Road and Bal Harbour Shops, Books & Books stores have not only withstood the challenge from the big chains and online retailers, but have become cultural centres for each neighbourhood's readers and writers and gathering places where people come to share their love of books. The well-read and insightful staff is happy to share their knowledge with customers and actively encourage shoppers to spend time browsing. They also hold frequent in-store events from author signings and readings to kids' events and book clubs, hosting both international celebrities and debut novelists.
Books & Books has already extended their literary circuit to include the Grand Cayman store. Eric Weiner, author of "The Geography of Bliss" opened the International Visiting Author Series, sponsored by The Cayman Island Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways and Sunshine Suite Hotels. Visits by Patrick McGrath, Lorna Goodison, Michael Ondaatje and Lisa See have followed. The store is now hosting one visiting author a month as well as hosting local authors and story time events for children and families.
A light and airy room dedicated to children has a particularly impressive selection of young adult fiction in addition to toys, educational games and books for kids of all ages. The new and notable fiction section includes New York Times bestsellers and staff recommendations, while the arts room has a comprehensive collection of architecture, design, photography and gardening books. History, biography, travel, mind body & spirit: the topics change around each corner and provide rich pickings for book clubs across the island.
While Books & Books is the perfect place to pick up a holiday novel or reading materials for your travels, it is the sense of community at both Books & Books and Camana Bay that will make you want to return time and time again.