Frequently Asked Questions

Holiday Season 2020 FAQ followed by General Website FAQ:

Q: Are you doing the snowflakes this year? 

A: Yes! The Snowflake Giving Project is up and running! You can call or email the store with donations of books or funds to get great new books into the hands of children in Shelburne, Charlotte, and Burlington this season. As always, donated books are 20% off for customers, and donated funds go 20% beyond your donation (So $20 buys $24 worth of books, for instance). 802-985-3999 or Deadline is December 15.

Q: Can we shop inside the store?

A: Not exactly. Please read on!

We aren't able to have people inside the store to browse because of COVID numbers—our small space/low ceiling makes ventilation challenging, and book browsing is a high-touch, long-linger venture—we do have great alternatives! 

In addition to our website (, we offer window pickup service and what we call "artisanal concierge browsing," which works really well! You come to the door and let us know what kinds of things you'd like to look at, and we fill the cart with goodies for you to browse out on the porch or inside the foyer of the main building if it's too frosty to stand outside.

Q: Why do I get voicemail during business hours?

A: We are helping customers on both phones and at the windows. Holidays are always busy, and this year, it’s as though Santa Claus has only two elves at a time to do all the work! We have a small workshop and want to keep it safe for elves and gift recipients. We do answer all voicemails and try to do it within a day.

Q: Does your website show what's in the store right this minute?

A: Not necessarily. We do have 20,000 books and other items in the store at any given time, but the website—like most websites—shows what we either have on hand or can get for you. Depending on how available the book and when you place your order, books we don't have on the shelves can arrive back in as quickly as overnight or in 2-3 days. Other books (often older titles that aren't in high demand, books from very small publishers, books that are print-on-demand titles, etc.) may take 4-10 days to arrive. We try to give customers a realistic sense of when their books will arrive.

Q: Why doesn't your website show exactly what's on hand in the store?

A: Our web host updates the website once per day, every evening. We can't change that. This means that a book in stock at 10 am may not be in stock at 10:30 am if someone buys the last copy, but the change in inventory wouldn't be reflected on the website until that night. Conversely, the website might show that we are out of a title, but we might receive 20 copies midday. Those stock levels also wouldn't be accurate until later that evening.

We didn't want customers frustrated by coming to pick up books that had been sold out from under them and figured it was better to show what we have and can order instead of showing inventory that may not be accurate as stock levels fluctuate throughout the day.

Q: How can we be sure to get our books in time for the holidays?

A: From December 14 on, you’ll want to buy what we have on hand in the store – which is 20,000 books!

Q: Do you have gift cards for people who live out of state and/or prefer to order online?

A: We do! In addition to physical Flying Pig gift cards, which we can mail to local recipients or hold at the store for their visits, we also sell online gift CODES, which are specifically meant to be used for online ordering. Our website shows both options. You can purchase gift cards through the website or at the bookstore, but you can ONLY purchase online gift codes through the website. (Note: Please make sure to put your name in the message you leave for your gift recipient, since the online gift code will be emailed from the Flying Pig and your grateful recipient may not know whom to thank!)

Q: I'd rather not order online. How else can I order books?

A: You are welcome to email requests for recommendations and lists of titles you'd like to Titles and authors are helpful, as well as preferred format (hardcover or paperback if both are available). We will respond to emails as quickly as possible. Remember, the elves are busy and we are a small staff!

How to Use Your Gift Cards Online

Hello! If you have a Flying Pig gift card (the cute plastic one with the pig and clouds), here's how to use it online:

Select the books you'd like to order. During the checkout process, you'll see a menu of options. Click on the little black arrow next to Store Gift Card pane:

Once you've expanded that menu item, you'll see a box to check Yes:

Once you click the checkbox Yes, you'll be asked to enter your gift card number. That's the number under the barcode on the back of your gift card. It might be a short or long number:

Enter it into the box below the words Enter Your Gift Card Number:

That's it! You will have to add a credit card as a backup in case your gift card doesn't cover the full amount of your purchase. **Because the website doesn't 'know' what amount is on your store gift card — the website and store system are separate entities — you will not see your gift card applied until your order leaves its Pending status and is Processing or Completed.**

If you received an Online Gift Code (NOT a physical card, but a string of numbers and letters emailed to you), please refer to your emailed gift to redeem those! They are applied instantly when you visit the website via the gift code email.

If you have further questions, please email us at!