I first discovered Saxapahaw, North Carolina about two months ago (May 2014) and I was pleasantly surprised with all this very small “town” had to offer. My original intention of visiting Saxapahaw was to eat at the Saxapahaw General Store as there are not many 5 star gas stations/general stores left in the state of North Carolina; or anywhere in the south. If you have an updated listing of all the 5 star gas stations in and around North Carolina please feel free to leave a link in the comments. Now, back to where I was. After eating at the Saxapahaw General Store with my friend we made our way down the hill and noticed the Flying Beagle Bookstore on the hill on the right hand side of the road.
One of the things I love about traveling to small towns is the old fashioned bookstores. This is one of the best I’ve been to. Flying Beagle Books is only one small room but don’t let the size fool you. In the case of this bookstore, size does not matter. In other areas of life, well, nevermind. Although the bookstore is rather small it does not mean it is not loaded with amazing stories, literature and non fiction.
One of the first things I quickly noticed about this particular bookstore was the quality of books. You are not going to find a lot of fluff. There aren’t shelves and shelves of books that are not interesting. After speaking with the owner a few times I found out that he only puts books on the shelf that sell. All other books are in a warehouse and they sell online through Amazon. This is a very common business model these days as more and more shoppers are looking to snag first edition books online.
Unfortunately, not everyone can take the trip to Saxapahaw, North Carolina. This does not mean that Flying Beagle Books should miss out on sales of first edition books. Speaking of which, by scouring through the shelves at Flying Beagle you will find many first editions of some of the classics. I was able to grab an old, first edition, paperback of Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. If you have never read Casino Royale do it now. It truly explains how James Bond became the heartless womanizer that we know him as today. Damn Vesper! Do not let the movie adjust your opinion of this story. The book is only about 175 pages but it is chock full of entertainment.
I was also able to pick up a few other first edition books that I have yet to read. These are on the shelf right now and they will be consumed in the next few months. If you have any opinions of The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman let me know. I have heard mixed reviews related to the controversy. The other first edition I picked up was an erotic thriller. Yes, Flying Beagle Books has an erotic thriller section. Interestingly, the owner has 50 Shades of Grey on the shelf but we joked that the only reason he has it is to be considered a “real” bookstore as the book itself is complete crap. I am not 100% certain of the title of the erotic thriller I purchased but I will be sure to do a quick review once I finish it.
On my second trip to Flying Beagle Books, with a lady friend, I did not make any purchases but I had a great conversation with the bookstore owner. He introduced me to a few great time travel titles. I am a huge fan of time travel! One particular story he told me about, that you should read right now, is All You Zombies. You can find a link to the PDF file here. Robert Heinlein puts together a masterpiece in about 15 pages. It should take you no longer than 30 minutes to read and it will be well worth your time.
It is stories like All You Zombies that make me want to go back to Flying Beagle Books. If I had not visited this small town bookstore I would have never fallen upon this amazing story. I also wouldn’t have embarked on my first ever erotic thriller. As you can probably tell, I am super excited to plough through that one. No pun intended.
If you are ever in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill or the surrounding areas make sure to go to Saxapahaw, North Carolina and stop by the Flying Beagle Bookstore; tell the owner Jesse sent you. If you are in the area on Saturdays in the summer you can stop by the Maple View Mobile Ice Cream truck and say hi to Jerry Richardson as well. Here is the Maple View Mobile review of this amazing ice cream. The contact information for Flying Beagle Books is as follows:
Also, check out the Flying Beagle Books website as there is an explore Saxapahaw tab that is amazing. You cannot go wrong by visiting this area at any time of the year. It is less than 30 minutes from Chapel Hill. If you are in and around the Triangle area and you are looking for things to do please utilize this resource: North Carolina Triangle Reviews.