Intrepid former Algonquin intern David Bradley and his trusty sidekick, Lucky the Leprechaun, hit the road this past summer for a tour of (almost all) the coolest, hippest, greatest indie bookstores in the United States. Join us for the journey…
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — Visiting your favorite bookstore after a long absence is probably the best thing in the entire world. Better than cupcakes or ice cream, better even than my mother’s world famous spaghetti (OK, fine, it isn’t world famous, but that is only because the world hasn’t had a chance to try it yet). Walking through Flyleaf Book’s familiar rooms, now filled with different books, lets you really know you’re home again, and it always helps when you’re favorite bookstore just happens to be the prettiest darn store ever made. Just look at the oranges and greens, the soft lighting, the wooden floor of the event space, the tables with all their books propped up, the shelves filled with all those books I need, that sly little dragonfly out front. Oh, I missed my store.
Sure, I’m biased, but I don’t care. Flyleaf Books is the best store in the world and I refuse to have anyone suggest otherwise. Even though I spent four years at college only about a mile away, I didn’t discover Flyleaf until after I had graduated and had to create my own reading lists instead of piggybacking on my classes’ required reading. It immediately became my favorite store, and though I’d make trips to other bookstores in the area and get books in all sorts of different ways, nothing quite measured up to the charisma at Flyleaf. Not only is the inside a stunner, but the staff is thoroughly, genuinely happy to be there. I’ve found that to be more common at bookstores than most other places, but it always warms the heart to see people procure such joy from their work. And if you have trouble taking my word for it, just take a look at Lucky. He literally fell head over heels for Flyleaf Books, and that, I promise you, is a rare thing indeed.
Flyleaf owner Jamie Fiocco, book buyer Mike Webb, and marketing director Linnie Greene teamed up to answer the Algonquin Questionnaire.
When did Flyleaf Books first open?
What was in this location before Flyleaf Books?
This space used to be a women’s fitness center. You can notice it by the hardwood floors in our event and used books room that used to be their aerobics area.
What inspired the name Flyleaf?
We thought it was a good book reference as the flyleaf is the blank page between the cover and the printed material in a book. And when we got the dragonfly design it just seemed to work perfectly.
What is your favorite Algonquin book and your favorite summer read?
We’ve had so much interest in The Art Forger from B.A. Shapiro, and it’s a great book that’s really easy to recommend. For the summer, I think Charles Portis books are great. My particular favorites are The Dog of the South and Norwood.
Are there any unique talents on staff that would be fun to share on our blog?
We have all sorts of talents in here. Hank has an encyclopedic knowledge of all sorts of media (movies, music, etc.), and he’s a beatboxer and a blogger. Our bookseller, Jesse, was in a band for ten years and is great on the guitar. And Sally somehow knows everyone in the area. I mean everyone. It’s amazing.
It’d have to be our Children’s section during story time. We have a weekly story time on Thursday mornings, and it can get very crowded very fast. Then I’d say our Cooking section is the busiest after that. There are a lot of foodies in the Research Triangle Park, so that area is always popular.
Next stop: Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia.
*Note: The Lucky Tour posts are not in real time. David and Lucky have returned from their travels with great tales and many, many books. Stay tuned for more road stories…