Some of us have not quite made the shift to digital books. (I am raising my hand) There is something about holding a book, flipping the pages and dog earing your place in the story that is still very ritualistic, endearing and necessary. Locally in Playa del Carmen, book exchanges still exist and there is a second-hand book store for your browsing and buying. If you are a paper book reader like us, search out these cool places that let you exchange books, take a book or buy a second-hand book.
1. Corner store at 5th Ave and 38th Street. On the north-west corner of these cross streets is a small book exchange that will leave you in awe. I like to call it the surprise book exchange as there are great surprises each week in this stack of books. Exchange a book or take a book. The owners have this stack of books as a courtesy, not a money-maker. There are multiple languages and really some great surprises.
2. Rana Cansada Hotel. Many years ago there was a book club that met at the Rana on 10th street and 10 Ave. Locals would trade books, leave books at the Rana library, talk about the latest book they read and made reading suggestions. The group is no longer meeting regularly, but lots of readers still go to the Rana for a beer. Ask Jorge if you can slip upstairs to the library and have a look, or ask Pia or Thed if you can have a glance for a book. If you want to meet local residents of Playa del Carmen, this is the place. Locals come for a beer after work, a drink before going out or just hang at the bar until it is time to cruise home. Pia and Thed are iconic figures and are known by many people so it is a good local place to hang. They for sure can give you the inside scoop on Playa del Carmen.
3. Mundo Librería-Bookstore – Located on 1 Ave south between 20th and 25th street on the south side, this is a bookstore with an extensive collection of new Spanish books and second-hand English books. Locals bring in their books and receive store credit that can be used towards their next purchase. Second hand books are reasonably priced and vary according to condition, popularity and demand. Check it out. The walk will take you to an area of Playa you may not have ventured to, making this book exchange a little bit more fun.
4. Don’t be shy and talk to your neighbour on the beach. We have exchanged books right on the beach! If the person beside us is done, and we are just finishing a great book, it is not unusual to swap books right there and then. Great way to meet a new friends and a great way to get new books.
Check out more services in Playa del Carmen that may be new to you. This city is jammed with services, restaurants and more for your vacation.