VT Bookstore Adventure #6 – Flying Pig Bookstore

Store: Flying Pig Bookstore
Location: Shelburne, VT
Bookseller: PJ
Recommendation: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

It would be easy for me to say that the Flying Pig is my favorite bookstore so far on this adventure. It’s a sweet store with a great fiction section, lots of staff recommended books on the shelves and it has wonderful feel.

But I’m afraid if I call it out as number one, someone will discover that they gave me a free Flying Pig tote bag when they heard about my project and accuse me of taking a bribe.

(I do love good swag!)

But I promise that the tote bag didn’t sway me. The store really is a nice one. It’s big enough to offer a little bit of everything but small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed like you sometimes do in huge box stores or even some of the bigger independents.

While I enjoy browsing in bookstores with no particular purchase in mind, I find it difficult to select a book that way. There are so many choices even in the smallest store and unless I can think of an author or specific genre, I tend to get lost.

And the bigger the bookstore, the more I feel lost.

This wasn’t a problem in Flying Pig because, as Goldilocks would say, it is just right.

The store was the third stop of this particular trip so I didn’t spend as much time checking out the children’s section as I might have if it was the first store of the day.

I wish I had now because according to Flying Pig’s website, Yankee Magazine named it the best children’s bookstore in New England!

Two booksellers were in the store when we stopped in and when I finished browsing, I told them both about my “adventure” and asked for a recommendation.

One of the booksellers, PJ, came right out from behind the counter. We chatted about authors on the way to a shelf up front, but it was clear she had a book in mind from the moment I asked.

Her recommendation was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and I was thrilled.

I follow Neil Gaiman on Twitter but have never read one of his books, mostly because every time I start looking at them I get swamped in all the titles and give up.

Also, I’m not a fan of graphic novels (Although I really haven’t read one since Art Spiegelman’s Maus in college so I’m not sure it’s fair to say I’m not a fan. The idea of graphic novels just doesn’t appeal to me for some reason. ) and the couple of times I’ve settled on a Gaiman title at home and then went to the bookstore, they ended up being graphic novels so I didn’t buy them.

I need to work on my research skills.

PJ said that The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a “fairy tale for adults” and her favorite recent read. Her excitement was contagious. Not only did I buy the book with pleasure, but my friend Nan borrowed it from the library after our trip based on PJ’s recommendation.

As I continue to write these bookstore posts, I realize that there are only so many good things you can say about a store… they have a good fiction section, they have a lot of local authors, the space is nice, etc.

So I decided that I’m going to pick the one thing about each store that either stood out during my visit or makes the store extra special, just to so I’m not saying the same things over and over again.

At Flying Pig, the stand out was actually PJ. She was interested, engaging and obviously loves books, a love that she shares with the store’s customers.

I wish I lived closer to Flying Pig Bookstore so I could talk books with her more often. But since I don’t, I’ll just have to console myself with my new tote bag.

(Did I mention I love swag?)

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