I was heading down one of the quiet, picturesque streets of Chapel Hill, North Carolina when a seemingly familiar object caught my eye. I turned my vehicle around at the next side street and traced my course to a small shopping center tucked away neatly among tidy subdivisions. The item, a small wooden crate filled with used books and perched on the sidewalk in front of local bookstore, had drawn me like a moth to flame and I prepared to get my wings singed.
Flyleaf Books is a refreshing rarity among the modern day big box book stores. The store was neat, clean, and brightly lit as most retail bookstores are, but immediately noticeable is the lack of toys, games, trinkets, and other miscellaneous impulse buying opportunities that now seem to run rampant in modern bookstores. This was no day care for tykes nor a balm for the attention deficit disordered. This was a Mecca for serious bibliophiles on a pilgrimage to find something fresh and interesting among the new releases or local interest.
The shelves lining the walls were filled with new books in a plethora of categories covering numerous topics and many diverse interests. Filling out the sales floor space were several small tables. Each was topped by store specials, literary gems, and employee favorites. If a bookstore employee likes a particular tome, it may be worth a read. The entrance to a used book area was discreetly noticeable off to one side. Cozy lighting, comfortable seating, and rows of gently used books are sequestered in a separate room off the main shop. A relaxed and inviting spot to browse the neatly stacked shelves and while away a little bit of time by selecting a souvenir manuscript or coffee table publication.
But Flyleaf Books isn’t just about rows of lifeless works waiting to be purchased and squirrelled away to collect dust on a forgotten shelf in a home library. There are several services offered that help broaden the gap between Flyleaf and the warehouse store down the road. Customers are invited to purchase a coffee or snack from the small café next door and bring it into the shop to enjoy while attending one of the casual monthly book club meetings or weekly author events. If you are looking for a particular book, Flyleaf handles special orders and will even get the item signed at no additional cost. The $20.00 lifetime membership fee seems a bargain as a one-time fee and is usable by all members of the household. That’s the first I have heard of.
If you live in the Chapel Hill area, or are checking up on a relative at the nearby campus, or maybe just passing through, stop By Flyleaf Books and see what they have happening. If your motivation is in any way book related, chances are it will be an interesting visit.
© 2015 G. Scott Brinkley. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.