Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, which has independent stores in South Florida,Westhampton Beach, N.Y., and the Cayman Islands, won the 2011 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Mr. Kaplan, who is also the gregarious co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International, has been hailed as one of the most innovative independent booksellers in the country.

In his remarks, Mr. Kaplan recalled when he opened his first bookstore in then-gritty Miami in 1983, during what he remembered as ‘a golden age of bookselling.’

‘We need to reassert the role of the booksellers,’ he said. ‘We need to recognize and honor the place of the bookseller in the publishing process.

Mr. Kaplan added: ‘I firmly believe that even with all the upheaval that we find in our industry today, there’s room for plenty of optimism. Writers are writing marvelous and interesting books. Publishers are publishing them.’ 

– The New York Times