Even by daylight, the Montague Bookmill, an out-of-the-way bookstore hidden by a thick veil of flora and overlooking the Sawmill River, enjoys curiously enviable retail obscurity. A store whose unlikely sales pitch is "books you don't need in a place you can't find," the Bookmill seems to thrive on sunlight and quiet more than heavy foot traffic. Its stuffed armchairs and couches are populated by readers whose roles as customers are secondary to those of respectful bibliophiles. Once you've found this place, you'll find that you really do need these books, which is why the Mill is a necessary haven for regular visitors—not just another quick stop on an errand run.
The Bookmill extends itself, as a well-lit refuge, into the night, putting on readings and shows. Its hardwood paneling becomes both stage and seating for audience members and lovers of music. Food and drink is offered in its attached cafe. A quick escape to the riverside deck can provide instant solace for the sentimental, the over-stimulated or the world-weary; sometimes the gentle babbling of the river is the most satisfying music of all.
Recently, indie favorite Vetiver performed at the Mill with acoustic sci-fi wonder Kurt Weisman opening. Look forward to Walter Strauss and Tensleep on Aug. 29, and to a reading by David Lovelace, former Bookmill owner, from his new book, Scattershot: My Bipolar Family.
You can find the Bookmill at 440 Greenfield Road in Montague. For more information, call (413) 367-9206 or visit www.montaguebookmill.com.