Chapter 16: Mitchell Kaplan on cultivating connection, Colorado quests, and creating community

I flew to sunny Coral Gables, Florida to meet Mitchell

I flew to sunny Coral Gables, Florida to meet Mitchell

Did you know the average person lives for 1,000 months?

Or that the average person is awake for 1,000 minutes per day?

That’s why I like the number 1,000 so much, and partly why I started my blog 1,000 Awesome Things about ten years ago. It’s why I’m on this quest with you to uncover the 1,000 most formative books in the world.

The pano shot I took outside Books & Books!

The pano shot I took outside Books & Books!

And that quest is what brought me to the independent bookstore Books & Books with Mitchell Kaplan.

Why did I decide to sit down with Mitchell?

Because he started the entire Books & Books chain. Back in the early 1980s, Mitchell opened a 500-square-foot bookstore because he was passionate about community and wanted to create a “third place.”

Me and Mitchell inside his bookstore

Me and Mitchell inside his bookstore

But it’s not just a bookstore chain. Mitchell has grown it to the point where there are rooms dedicated to publishers, outdoor magazine stands, and about 600 author events per year.

And although he runs what he jokes is a “no-profit” bookstore, he is wealthier than many of us ever will be because he’s living such a rich life. Rich in purpose, relationships, connection, and meaning.

Welcome to Chapter 16.

I hope you enjoy this soulful and passionate chat as much as I did.

Listen to Chapter 16:

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What You'll Learn:

  • What is a “third place”?

  • Why don’t we spend as much time and money on mental health as we do physical health?

  • How do you create an authentic community without it feeling manufactured?

  • How do teachers play a powerful role during our most formative years?

  • What is the “producer high”?

  • What should a bookstore try and be?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

“What there is to life is the sense of meaning you get from people, from places, from relationships. Nothing else really means much.” @mitchellakaplan #3bookspodcast

“I think we’re at a very special time in history, a very interesting time when things are being defined, and as they’re being defined, people are choosing sides and understanding what core values really are and should be.” @mitchellakaplan #3bookspodcast

“A community centre is what a book store’s gotta be.” @mitchellakaplan #3bookspodcast

CONNECT With Mitch:

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