Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Montague Bookmill

   Let me start by saying that I forgot my good camera for my trip to the Montague Bookmill and had to use my iPod, so I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I can’t believe I forgot to grab it in all of my excitement and rushing around! Anyway, hopefully you’ll still enjoy what you see.

   Nestled on the banks of the Sawmill River, the Montague Bookmill was originally a gristmill. It went through several changes and owners over the years and was eventually converted into a used bookstore in 1987. You can read a more in-depth history here. The Bookmill now also houses The Lady Killigrew Cafe, The Night Kitchen (a gourmet restaurant), one of the locations of the used music store Turn It Up, and Sawmill River Arts, a collaborative fine art and fine craft gallery. But I, being the book enthusiast that I am, was only really interested in the used books so that’s mostly what I took pictures of.

   The location was beautiful! The building was absolutely charming! There were tons of books everywhere, a real dream for an English major! It was very enjoyable to browse while listening to the roars of the waterfalls behind the building (as well as the folky music that was being played over the stereo). The windows let in these amazing rays of light that really lit the place up. It was the perfect image of a New England used book store.

One of my favorite sections of every book store!

The Children's section, another one of my favorites!

   After browsing, I stopped into The Lady Killigrew Cafe for some lunch. I ordered the No. 5, a honey ham, cheddar, whole grain mustard and marinated apple grilled sandwich. It was delicious! What REALLY impressed me though with the house salad that came with the sandwich. I don’t know what was in it, but it was unbelievably tasty! I’m already scheming about when I’m going to be able to go back and order an even bigger salad!

Beautiful lunch, beautiful view!
   The only negative points about the Bookmill that I feel as though I should mention are that it had no air conditioning (which can make it less pleasurable to browse when it’s 95 degrees out) and the books weren’t quite as cheap as I’m used too. Most of the books were half of the original listed price, which is still a good deal. But I know of other used book stores where I can pay less than $5 for just about any book that I want and they have just as big of a selection. I have a really hard time spending more than $5 on a used book when I know that I can get a better deal at other book stores, library book sales, goodwill stores, tag sales, and online (with shipping). Heck, our local transfer station has a whole tiny house dedicated to homeless books that you can take for free (but the selection is obviously very limited and the condition of some of the books is questionable)! But please don’t let these minor points discourage you from making the trip out to browse. It’s still completely worth it!

   On a side note, I wanted to mention that while I was walking through the parking lot to my car, I saw a car with a Michigan license plate. I’m always amazed to find out how many Michigan transplants are out here. I meet more people from Michigan than any other state (Just the other day I discovered that one of our local librarians grew up in Lapeer. We both shared a moment as we discussed how badly we miss the beautiful clear waters of the Great Lakes.).

   The drive home from the Bookmill was even more beautiful than the drive out there! There’s a gorgeous view of Mount Sugarloaf just as you’re going across the bridge into Deerfield. My crappy iPod picture I took from the car while I was driving just doesn’t do it justice. I decided to take a quick drive up the mountain to snap a couple additional shots of one of my favorite views in all of Western Massachusetts.

    To sum it up, other than the old man standing at the end of his driveway on High Street that flipped me off (Perhaps I was going too fast? I’m pretty sure I was only going 30. Perhaps he didn’t like my music selection? Some people feel very strongly about Sheryl Crow. I guess we’ll never know.) this trip was excellent! I hope you’ll check out the Montague Bookmill soon!  

To plan your trip to the Bookmill, go to http://www.montaguebookmill.com/index.html.  

1 comment:

  1. Met a guy at the Old Mill Inn who's writing a book about the Montague Fishing Rod Company. Said he had 500 rods In his collection. You can meet some eccentrics out there in the Berkshires of Western Mass.