If you’re like me and enjoy an occasional escape to an all-inclusive beach resort to devour everything on the all-inclusive menu and a good book by the pool or ocean you can relate to the mild panic of coming to the end of your novel before the end of the holiday as recently happened to me in Cancun, Mexico.

I packed the paperback edition of An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris who masterfully tells the true tale of the Dreyfus affair which divided France for a decade at the end of the 19th century but I raced through its 624-pages the first two days and found myself suddenly without engaging reading material.

Some resorts have a lending library which is mainly made up of paperbacks left behind and while a limited choice of topics they can be a good back-up but my resort was so high-end it didn’t bother with such notions and as the local convenience store had almost everything but readable English books I invested USD$1 to hop the bus to a nearby upscale shopping center but came away empty-handed.

Booting up the laptop I found a local  second-hand English bookstore called Needful Things in downtown Cancun that  isn’t too far from the tourist bus route on a main avenue.

The interior reminded me of a local Edmonton used bookstore called Wee Book Inn except more humid even at 10 in the morning.

Browsing the shelves I found a Scott Turow novel, Ordinary Heroes , that caught my eye so reluctantly traded my virtually new Thomas Harris paperback for a well-worn novel a dozen years-old and while I felt the worse in the trade consoled myself with the upside that I had a good book to read. Ironically, the book I selected was one I’d already purchased and so now have duplicate copies of the paperback.

I finished Turow’s Ordinary Heroes after returning home and would recommend it also to anyone wanting a good read family historical drama.

I’m glad I sought out this little literary corner of Cancun as it saved me from days of boredom so should you find yourself resort-rich but book-poor there’s always a go-to resource a short bus ride away in Cancun to replenish your reading materials.