NOTA BENE BOOKS BLOG

Musings on Place, Travel, Books, Literature, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Collecting, Media, Life and the Arts

What’s the Literary Tourist to do?

What does a literary tourist do when he’s in a city where there’s nothing literary to do? Why

he

goes

ahead

and

collects things, doesn’t he.

In this case we’re in Cozumel, Mexico, and while the Cozumel Island Museum, right in downtown San Miguel,

is worth a visit, there isn’t much bibliophillic to be had here – one large replica of an 18th century German woodcut that references the island – but there are some interesting artifacts: a Blunderbuss,

Spanish helmets of the above

and

below water varieties, Mayan idols

a replica of a typical Mayan hut, plus some old photos of the town, a display featuring the barrier reef (admonishing us all to treat it with respect), plus some history – a sprinkling of Cortez, and some Wrigley’s chewing gum. There used to be books on the premises but I was told that they had just been carted six blocks away to the local library. When I arrived there of course no-one knew what the hell I was talking about, so I turned to photographing Volkswagen beetles. I have it on good (taxi driver) advice that these older models – which were manufactured and/or assembled in Mexico until the early 2000s (hence the abundance) – are highly sought after not only because they run forever, but because they’re easy to fix, there are plenty of spare parts to go around, and there are no finicky computerized bits that go on the fritz.

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