I hadn’t been aware of Salon’s Trazzler slide shows, which feature “places that our writers have contributed that make us think, laugh and dream about our next adventure,” but I enjoyed their The world’s most inspiring bookstores, and I thought you might too. I have some quibbles (did they really need to include Shakespeare and Co. and City Lights, two of the world’s most-hyped bookstores, in a selection of only fourteen? and far from being unusual, isn’t having books “arranged … not by genre or author, but instead by country” normal for travel bookstores?), but hey, they showcase one of my local favorites, so I’m not complaining:
With its slogan “books you don’t need in a place you can’t find,” the Montague Bookmill has secured its standing among the most delightful places in which to get lost. Grab one of the cafe’s sandwiches (like the brie with apricot jam and marinated apple), take a seat by a sunny window, and get carried away by the rushing Sawmill River. Traverse the creaky wooden floors and browse a selection of titles that marries classic and idiosyncratic (Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf meets Marxist mistrals and old paddling guides). Even before you check out the bathroom, with its quirkily papered walls (news of Norman Mailer’s stabbing his wife in 1960, a poster of Frank Zappa for President, a Hungarian transportation map), you’ve fallen in love with this repurposed New England gristmill clinging to the riverbank. While there’s no better place to read, the bookmill also hosts folk and bluegrass shows, film screenings and other events.