A visit to The Montague Book Mill in the western Massachusetts town of the same name has been on my New England to-do list for a decade. Their slogan — books you don’t need in a place you can’t find — really sums it up. Books for fun in the middle of nowhere with beautiful New England scenery all around you? Plus food? Sold!
The lower entrance is instantly welcoming, with fliers, flowers, and t-shirts on display next to the shelves of books.
As you’d expect, the kids section is colorful and crammed with eye-level storybooks for little hands.
Mismatched chairs are everywhere, most with scenic river views, and visitors are encouraged to settle in and thumb through a book or two.
Naturally, I made my way directly to the cookbook section. Who could resist a 1970s paperback celebrating the eggy masterpieces that are Crepes & Omelets? (No thank you, Low-Fat High-Flavor.)
Or a terrifying cover for a book about psychic pets? Seems to me that cat should be more concerned with losing a few pounds.
A short walk up a steep flight of stairs, then a quick right, puts you in this cozy room. I loved it… The tall, crammed bookshelves. The warm, honey tone of the floorboards. The scattered wingback chairs. A secondhand reader’s paradise.
If you exit the Book Mill on the second floor and walk across the elevated covered walkway and down the stairs, you’ll find yourself standing in front of The Lady Killigrew Cafe — the perfect place for lunch with one of your new books.
You can choose from a grilled sandwich, noodle or rice salad, or my pick…a bread board with green apple, cheddar, and stoneground mustard. Seating is indoors, or outside under an umbrella or with river views.
In addition to The Lady Killegrew, you can also grab a more polished bite after hours at the lower-level Night Kitchen, where there is often live music while you eat.
This was the first of what I know will be many visits to the Montague Book Mill. Have you ever been?