In the Valley of the Literate


General Culture

When I tell people that I now live in “Western Massachusetts”, they often have no idea what or where that is (in all fairness, I didn’t know, either - but then I also was not born in this country, so at least I have an excuse). Calling Northampton, where I now live, the ‘new weird America’ is probably nothing more than the kind of embellishment you’d expect to hear from an aging alternative rock star who decided to move here (to rationalize not living in New York City), but this article is quite a bit more accurate: “The Pioneer Valley is arguably the most author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating place in the nation.” For someone who loves browsing for books (and who hates the corporate book supermarkets) this area is just ideal, and it sure helps that it’s also intensely beautiful, in a very quiet way (make sure to check out the slide show of book stores in this area).