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The Bookmill
FounderDavid Lovelace
WebsiteOfficial website
Alvah Stone Mill
Bookmill is located in Massachusetts
Bookmill is located in the US
LocationMontague, Massachusetts
Architectural styleGreek Revival
Part ofMontague Center Historic District (#01001236)
NRHP reference #97000562[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 30, 1997
Designated CPNovember 16, 2001

The Bookmill (sometimes "The Book Mill") is an independent bookstore in Montague, Massachusetts. The 1834 grist mill it occupies is listed as the Alvah Stone Mill on the National Register of Historic Places.

The store's motto is "Books you don't need in a place you can't find,"[2] and it claims to have "40,000 books and one waterfall." Housed in a 19th-century former gristmill, The Boston Globe called it "a magnet for bibliophiles from the nearby Amherst-Northampton Five College area".[3] In 2005, the Globe devoted an entire article to the bookstore, quoting the owner as saying, "We're not particularly convenient, we're not particularly efficient, but we're beautiful."[4]

"Of the many quirks in the Montague Bookmill, a bookstore and cafe just outside Amherst and Northampton, perhaps the most serendipitous are on its bathroom walls."—The Boston Globe, 2005

The New York Times has described The Bookmill as "the valley's most pristine ambiance for just plain readers" and praised "the Book Mill's cafe, where the baked offerings are superior, as is the view of the rushing waters and the evergreens on the opposite bank, sharply edged against the snow."[5]

Comedian John Hodgman is known to frequent the Bookmill. In a 2013 interview Hodgman claimed "...most dear to my heart The Book Mill and Lady Killigrew in Montague. That’s a used bookstore and great cafe where I would spend every hour of every day even if they didn’t have Wi-Fi, and they do."[6]

Building history[edit]

The Bookmill is located at one of the oldest sites in Montague with an industrial history, and is first identified as a mill site in a 1764 map. The central portion of the current building dates to 1834, when the then-standing mill, a grist mill, was rebuilt to also perform the carding and fulling of wool. The foundation of this portion, which houses traces of the old water power works, is of 18th century origin. In 1934, the mill was converted into a machine shop by the Martin Machine Company, which operated here into the 1980s. It was opened as the Bookmill in 1988.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ James Sullivan (2006), "Ring Around the Reservoir," The Boston Globe, January 15, 2006, p. M13
  3. ^ Davis, William A. (1996), "Treasures of Turners Falls," The Boston Globe, June 15, 1996, "Living" section, p. 21
  4. ^ Albernaz, Ami (2005), "Books, Board Games, Bliss—Pioneer Valley Bookstore Prides Itself on Quirks and Homespun Character." The Boston Globe, January 30, 2005, "Travel" section, p. M11. [1] The article opens: "Of the many quirks in the Montague Bookmill, a bookstore and cafe just outside Amherst and Northampton, perhaps the most serendipitous are on its bathroom walls. Hundreds of clippings and pinups vie for attention: 'Author Mailer's Wife Fighting For Her Life,' blares the headline of the yellowed New York Post article from 1960, above the subhead stating that Norman Mailer denies stabbing her in the back and abdomen with a pen knife. 'President Frank Zappa in 1992! The Only Sane Choice,' proclaims the poster directly above the toilet. Then there is the Star exclusive photo of Daryl Hannah's fake finger, Abbie Hoffman urging political activism in young people, and a Hungarian transportation map."
  5. ^ Peter Hellman (1998-03-13). "WEEKEND EXCURSION; Every Town Is One for the Books". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-09-28.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "NRHP nomination for Alvah Stone Mill". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2016-02-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°32′16″N 72°32′14″W / 42.537833°N 72.537274°W / 42.537833; -72.537274