Goodbye to Summer Road Trip: A Book Scouting Weekend in Massachusetts

I love Massachusetts for book scouting.  Old books are bountiful there, and history and beautiful scenery surrounds you at every turn.  Here is a beautiful 1738 colonial house we stumbled upon when driving along Old Sunderland Road in Montague, MA on our way to a tag sale:

Lovely old 1738 colonial home in Montague, MA (and it’s for sale!)

Look at the beautiful entryway…

While in Montague, we also visited the Bookmill, a used and rare book store housed in an 1842 gristmill, in a gorgeous setting on the banks of the Sawmill River.

Sawmill River, behind the Bookmill in Montague, Massachusetts

Walkway entrance to the second floor of the Bookmill

This was our first visit to the Bookmill, ( 440 Greenfield Rd. Montague, MA) which turned out to be quite an enchanting place…

Lots of scholarly titles, big philosophy section, children’s books, art, architecture, poetry and more…all books seemed reasonably priced.  We didn’t find many of the type of books we were looking for (first edition vintage novels), but I did find a nice first edition of the decorated American trade binding, Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning.

There is also a  music store called “Turn it Up”  in this complex of buildings, as well as The Lady Killigrew Cafe, which has tables for outdoor dining.

Turn it Up music store (on right)

Bookmill is a charming book store in a very pretty setting, and should not be missed by anyone who loves book browsing in a unique and casual atmosphere.

The main objective our book trip was the Whately Antiquarian Book Center, one of our favorite places.  I have blogged about this wonderful multi-dealer place before.  It contains over 40,000 books in great variety, with lots of vintage titles.

Whately Antiquarian Book Center (Whately, MA)

Look at this ivy!  Truly a “green” building…

ivy on the north wall of Whately Antiquarian Book Center

Here I am with Barbara, one of the owners of the Book Center, as we were checking out our booty.

Barbara and Cathy at Whately Antiquarian Book Center

Check out Barbara’s book blog HERE.

The one place I LOVE to eat when we are in this area is at Wolfie’s in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  It is a quaint and homey place with good down-to-earth food.

Yay! I’m at Wolfie’s!

Ron, just outside Wolfie’s

Wolfie’s has a nice little bar, great seafood, and the very best fried chicken.  We even got our favorite booth!

Happy to be at Wolfie’s

We spent the night in South Deerfield.  On Sunday we stopped at Grey Matter and Troubadour Books at 47 East Street in Hadley, Massachusetts.  This is another of our favorite used and rare book haunts.

Ron at the entrance to Grey Matter Books, Hadley, MA

Although these two stores (same location) seem to put their greatest emphasis on scholarly titles, we always manage to find a few vintage jackets and decorated bindings here.  They also usually have a good selection of Modern Library editions, reasonably priced.  There are thousands of books – plan on spending a lot of time here if you are a book lover.

A store we had never visited was Odyssey Bookshop at 9 College Street in South Hadley.  Although they are listed in the MARIAB (Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers) Guide as stocking used and rare books, we didn’t find more than one very small case of antiquarian books in the store.  Most of their books are brand new.  It is, however, a beautiful independent book store in a lovely college town (home of Mount Holyoke College).

Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Massachusetts

It was bustling with activity when we arrived, and why not?  Labor Day weekend is move-in weekend for college students.

On this trip we left home (near Canandaigua, NY) on Saturday Morning (5:30am) and returned home by Sunday night (10:30pm).  It was a quick book scouting road trip, yet we acquired several hundred collectible quality vintage books.    You can look forward to seeing them listed for sale at Old Scrolls Book Shop on our website.

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