The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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    Exploring Literary Gems: The Western Mass Bookstore Crawl

    Photograph from mcla.edu
    Photograph from mcla.edu

    Mark your calendars for a literary adventure like no other! On Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 10 AM to 5 PM EDT (GMT-4), the Freel Library invites you to join us for the Western Mass Bookstore Crawl. Hosted by the Freel Library, this exciting event promises a day filled with exploration, discovery, and, of course, plenty of books.

    Hop on a van with Freel Library staff and fellow book lovers as we journey through the picturesque Pioneer Valley, located just about an hour east of MCLA. Departing from the MCLA library parking lot promptly at 10 a.m., we’ll set off on a quest to uncover the hidden treasures of independent bookstores nestled in charming towns and villages.

    Our first stop on this literary pilgrimage is Raven Used Books in Shelburne Falls. Recently relocated from Harvard Square, Raven Used Books specializes in carefully selected scholarly and literary works, with a diverse range of genres including philosophy, social theory, art, history, and literature. Spend some time browsing through their extensive collection and perhaps find your next literary obsession.

    Next, we’ll make our way to downtown Greenfield, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore two unique bookstores: Imaginary Bookshop and Federal Street Books. Imaginary Bookshop offers a genre-specific selection focusing on small presses and books written by women and other marginalized groups, along with an array of gifts and curiosities. Meanwhile, Federal Street Books boasts a wide selection of both new and used books, catering to every literary taste.

    While in downtown Greenfield, take advantage of the vibrant atmosphere and explore other shops, restaurants, cafes, and cultural attractions. Whether you’re in the mood for thrift shopping, record hunting, or indulging in delicious local cuisine, Greenfield has something for everyone.

    Continuing our journey, we’ll head to Turners Falls to visit Unnameable Books, known for its diverse collection of new and used books spanning all major genres. With strong sections dedicated to poetry, philosophy, and fiction, Unnameable Books is sure to delight bibliophiles seeking literary gems.

    Our adventure culminates at the iconic Montague Bookmill, aptly described as “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” Housed in a beautiful old mill overlooking a river, Montague Bookmill offers an enchanting setting for book lovers to lose themselves in a sea of literary treasures. Browse through their extensive collection of academic and popular titles, and perhaps stumble upon a rare find.

    If time permits, we may even squeeze in a visit to Odyssey Books in South Hadley, another gem in the Western Mass literary landscape.

    Before concluding our journey, we’ll make a final stop at Olive Tree Books-n-Voices in Springfield, a local community bookstore with a focus on African American literature and multicultural books. Explore their diverse selection of afro-centric items and support this vital literary hub.

    As the day draws to a close, we’ll return to MCLA by 5 p.m., hearts and minds brimming with newfound literary treasures and memories of a day well spent exploring the rich literary landscape of Western Mass.

    As we traverse through the charming towns and villages of the Pioneer Valley, let us not only revel in the joy of discovering new literary treasures but also celebrate the vibrant communities that these independent bookstores support. Each bookstore we visit is not just a place to find books; it’s a hub of creativity, culture, and connection, where locals and visitors alike come together to share their love for literature. By participating in the Western Mass Bookstore Crawl, we not only support these small businesses but also contribute to the preservation of the rich literary heritage of our region. So, join us on this unforgettable journey as we celebrate the magic of books and the communities that cherish them.

    Don’t miss this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of books and connect with fellow book lovers. Sign up for the Western Mass Bookstore Crawl today and embark on a literary journey you won’t soon forget!

    Asbestos in Venable and Freel? What is happening! – The Online Beacon

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    Karen Yamada, Staff Writer

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