Best Kept New England Travel Secrets: the Montague Bookmill in
Montague Bookmill in Montague, Mass.
by Eric Hurwitz. Updated 12/02/16.
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You might get lost trying to find the Montague Bookmill, or,
if found, get lost in the joys of browsing one of New England's most
unique independent book stores.
Located on the banks of the Swift River in a remote area of the Pioneer
Valley, the Montague Bookmill's 1842 rustic gristmill complex setting
provides an unlikely setting for a book store. I almost expected to
meet some millers and come across a water wheel, but instead saw mostly
college kids and professor types casually perusing academic books. No
surprise, given the college towns of Amherst and Northampton, Mass.,
are within close proximity, as well as eclectic Greenfield
minutes down the road.
Scholary publications comprise the main book inventory at the Bookmill,
but you'll also find thousands of other books on virtually any topic in
a disorganized/organized environment. With creaky floors, an appealing
old book smell, a welcoming spirit to all walks of life, and some truly
unique characters -- like the customer wearing a goofy hat like John
Phillips did in the Mamas and Papas -- two things are certain: any Fox
News fan clubs most likely won't likely be booking meeting time here,
and you'll never find another bookstore like this anywhere.
Going beyond books, the attached Lady Killegrew Cafe and Pub -- open
from early morning to at least 9 p.m. -- has an earthy feel and
wonderful views of the Swift River. The menu includes scrambled eggs,
bagels, salads and grilled sandwiches, as well as beer and wine.
Downstairs from the Montague Bookmill is the
Alvah Stone, specializing
in modern American food and a good drinks menu in a casual setting. At
either dining spot, you have the benefit in the warmer weather option
of dining outside to some marvelous scenery in a truly soothing,
Also in the complex is Sawmill River Arts and Turn it Up! Music and
Movies. Additionally, the Bookmill features a weekly movie night in the
winter, and concerts and performances the rest of the year.
The Montague Bookmill's slogan, “Books you don’t need in a place you
can’t find,” is entirely accurate, but a sentiment to completely
ignore. Employ your GPS, and get ready to enjoy this truly best kept
New England travel secret!
Bookmill is located in the Montague Milll at 44 Greenfield
Rd., Montague MA. Tel. (413) 367--9206
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