Monday, April 27, 2009

When is a Mill not a Mill? When it's a Bookstore, of course.

When I walked up to the counter the second time, the clerk gave me a slightly puzzled look. However, I had prepared myself for her reaction. The stack of books that I thunked-down on the counter was the same height as the stack I had thunked-down 30 minutes ago. For a moment, she was wondering to herself, "Is he buying one more book - while still carrying around the dozen he already bought...or is this a whole new stack?"

Yes, it was a whole new stack. (She then made a small fist-pump for success - realizing she had another multi-copy sale.) When I go to the Montague Bookmill, one of my favorite rural New England bookstores, you can count on a stack or two each time. What was different this time was that my wife, Patti, came along for the visit. She plunked herself down on one of the comfy couches and began reading a huge volume about Feng Shui design. As an amateur interior designer and decorator she is always looking for inspiration. (She bought the book.)

And inspiration is what you find at the Montague Bookmill. Set inside the old gristmill along the Sawmill River not too far from Northampton MA, it's the perfect place to find books, music and a delightful grilled sandwich served on sourdough bread. Last week, I found some great biographies, among other books, and felt somewhat cheated that I had to put some of the books back on the shelf. They will have to wait for the next visit.

But, we also spent some time touring the area and taking pictures. In addition to interior design, Patti is an accomplished amateur photographer too. We took pictures at the Sawmill River and at places along the way home too. Altogether, it was a great day at a great destination rural bookstore in New England. The Montague Bookmill is only one of my favorite 25 rural New England bookstores, but it has the advantage of being only 45 minutes away from my home, so I can go as often as I like. I don't have to wait for a vacation or long-weekend get-away. Let me know if you've been there.

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