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The 7 things every first-timer should know before hitting the Miami Book Fair

Miami Book Fair
Photograph: Courtesy Miami Book Fair

The epic literary event known as the Miami Book Fair returns for its 36th years with nearly 600 authors in attendance (Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Rice and Ibram X. Kendi, among others). It’s seven days of readings, book signings and shopping, which is daunting if you’ve never braved the festival. Here’s what to know before you go.

1. Show up early. Free parking goes fast, as do the good seats if you’re headed to an author event, which is general admission.

2. Plan ahead. Readings and talks require tickets, and they do sell out. Visit for a list of dates and authors and the opportunity to buy in advance online.

3. Look for signed copies. Books & Books gets visiting authors to sign copies throughout the year and sells them at the street fair for the same price. 

4. Think free. First-time authors, student writers and other rising talents hand out free copies of their work at the street fair. Keep an eye out for what could be the next great American novel.  

5. Hit up The Porch. Featuring a beer bar by Biscayne Brewery and live music, The Porch (at NE Second Ave and NE 3rd St) is the perfect spot to take a reading break.

6. Go international. Explore the world with the festival’s programming in Spanish via the IberoAmerican Program and Caribbean-themed ReadCaribbean events in Creole and French.

7. Find Waldo. Yep, the one and only master of hide-and-seek is taking a turn in Miami. Stop by the Children’s Alley on 11/22 at 10 am to join the hunt. 

Bonus Tip: Peruse the presentations, for sure, but don’t miss out on the street fair November 22–24, where more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibit and sell books. Visit the antiquarians, who showcase signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles as well as comic book dealers, graphic novelists and more. 


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