So Rejectionists, they are somewhat prone to melancholy, and tend to become very despondent over things like apocalyptic oil spills that are, you know, going to obliterate entire ecosystems, and gay people being given prison sentences in other countries, and terrifying hate crimes happening in this one, and other things of this nature that merely serve to remind us that we, as a species, are pretty definitively not going to make it, and we are going to do our damnedest to take out every other good thing on this earth when we go. You would think it'd be enough, for us people to fuck over every single human being in the global south, or whatever, but no; WE'RE GOING TO DROWN ALL THE GODDAMN POLAR BEARS AND BURN DOWN EVERY RAINFOREST, TOO. Sweet. Rejectionists: they get sad.
And what do Rejectionists do when they get sad? They go to bookstores. It's easier for us to believe that all is not yet lost when we are surrounded by books in some creaky old firetrap, the more mazelike and disorderly the better, whose front counter is so piled high with volumes the salesperson (who, in the very finest bookshops, is either nine hundred years old and eerily reminiscent of the ancient bookseller in The Neverending Story, or is a teenage punk peppered with piercings and sporting a scowl the size of Manhattan O BELOVED SURLY BOOKSELLERS, THE REJECTIONIST IS HONORED TO HAVE ONCE NUMBERED AMONG YOUR COMPANY) is entirely obscured. ANYWAY, all of this is to say, a couple of weekends ago we went on a field trip to the Montague Bookmill, which is one of those places that restores our oft-ailing hope that somehow, against all odds, humanity will get its shit together (i.e., that rich people will stop taking all the stuff).
The Montague Bookmill! It is magical. MAGICAL. It is like if someone went inside our head and made a bookstore out of what they found there. Room after room! in an old wooden watermill overlooking a river! and every room is filled with a lovely golden kind of light and shelves upon shelves of books, and the floorboards creak underfoot, and there are funny little staircases that don't go anywhere! and battered windows flung open to let in the hot almost-summer breeze! so that every room smells of green and blooming things and here and there a bumblebee will ramble across the sill humming quietly to itself! and all the corners have shabby old chairs in them, the most comfortable chairs you can imagine, that do not mind having feet put upon them, or being sat in crosswise, and have supported who knows how many generations of clever and thoughtful people ruminating about Shakespeare or gender performativity or the perfect spy novel or maybe just whether a piece of chocolate cake from the magnificently tasty bookstore café qualifies as a wholesome lunch as long as one also eats a salad! and if you feel like being in the out-of-doors, you can wander into a little wood, and put your toes in the merry babbling river, and pretend you are a hobbit and the worst thing on earth that could possibly happen is that someone will make you go fetch their treasure from a dragon. It is a kingdom we should like to live in forever and ever, and perhaps we will, when our work of the People's Revolution is done and we can watch the seasons change from an armchair by the window with a pile of books next to our feet.