Beach Read Central: Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos
Baja California Sur has a bevy of great beaches, but suffers a shortage of great beach reads. In Cabo San Lucas, the lack of bookstores has driven locals to create makeshift book exchanges in bars, hotels, and coffee shops. Paperback best sellers are passed down like heirlooms.
Luckily for the literary minded, there is at least one good bookstore in Baja Sur. Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos is the mecca for area bibliophiles. Tourists flock to the charming artists’ colony and pueblo magico of Todos Santos to visit sights like the legendary Hotel California. Pilgrimages by Los Cabos locals tend to end a couple of blocks past Hotel California at Libreria El Tecolote, where they can stock up on dwindling beach read supplies.
El Tecolote is the sort of bookstore that used to exist in the U.S. before chain stores and internet sales. The shelves are filled with new and used books in English and Spanish, and the store also stocks maps, music, movies, and postcards, including some nostalgic movie poster style cards from Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema. Rare books about Baja and books by local authors are particular specialties, and there are also several great Spanish language guides.
Need a mystery novel, a steamy romance, or a little magical realism? El Tecolote has you covered. But the store also functions as a social center. Coffee and espresso drinks are available, and they’re coffeehouse good: dark roasted treasures from premier Mexican sites in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Fresh juices and the occasional baked goods also liven up the scene, which often includes ongoing literary discussions with the proprietress, and people taking advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Libreria El Tecolote has a bulletin board for local happenings and events, and even stages the occasional reading. The store is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it’s open from 12 – 3 p.m. Locals and visitors should be happy it’s open at all. El Tecolote is an oasis in the literary desert of Baja Sur, and any visit to Todos Santos should include a stop to stock up on rarities, or books by popular authors like John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s your last chance for many, many miles.
Planning a trip to Todos Santos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.
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