Half Price Books presents the Half Price Blog featuring book reviews, music and movie reviews, trivia and randomness about things we love. That means a whole lot of fiction, nonfiction, music, movies, games, and collectibles… including rare and out-of-print literary treasures.
 
Meet all our Blog Authors & Contributors »

Authors
Becky
Potluck-genius, insomniac-procrastinator and crafting-whiz. Inventor of the “Hey that’s my Boots!” CEO Paper Doll, the HPB Snuggie, braille t-shirt and Tacky BW Holiday Sweater.
Emily
PR maven, news junkie, baseball fanatic, late-night talk show watcher, frequent restaurant diner and former VH-1 reality show addict.
Jim
Film buff and wanna-be chef. Who's up for dinner and a movie?! Crouching Tiger stir-fry or Godfather spaghetti and a bottle of vino. Please, no talking or texting during the movie.
 
Meredith
Donned in an apron, baking pies and other tempting treats – there's nothing desperate about this housewife. Loves travel, the great outdoors, classic films, indie music and non-fiction.
Steve
The Buy Guy is a quarter-century-plus employee expert on all things books & music; his favorite buy involved hundreds of old theology books from the Mount St. Michael Convent hilltop library in Spokane, Washington.
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Tuesday
Aug112015

17 Movies That Make You Laugh and Cry!

I recently saw the newest Pixar hit Inside Out (2015), a journey through the mind of an 11-year-old girl and her emotions. Like so many other Pixar films, it touched upon basic human emotions about changes in life. And it does so literally in this one, because the main characters are named Joy and Sadness. But it got me thinking about some other fun films on DVD which are equally heart-warming. It takes some great storytelling to balance an array of emotions in one film.

Sometimes you desperately need to laugh out loud. And sometimes a good cry does you some good, too. Rounded up by my officemates and me, here is a collection of 17 loveable movies that have been known to illicit both laughter and tears before the credits roll. I won’t name names because some of the guys in the office were reluctant to confess – “I might have cried or whatever.”

Get your tissue box in reach and prepare to laugh.

1. Steel Magnolias (1989). The plot largely takes place in Truvy’s (Dolly Parton) Beauty Parlor. It’s the story of a close knit group of people whose lives come together there. As you get to know the people at Truvy’s, their stories will make you laugh, and they will make you cry. Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts) is a diabetic young lady who becomes pregnant, against the advice of her physician. The pregnancy endangers her health. Her mother, M’Lynn (Sally Field) shares her concerns with her close friends. [SPOILER ALERT] This scene will make your heart ache along with M’Lynn as she express the anger she feels from losing her daughter.

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Friday
Aug072015

10 Reasons Books Make Better Companions than People

I live in a one-bedroom apartment and currently have six bookcases.  My main motivation for moving next year is that I have nowhere else to put another bookcase, and I’m running out of room.

Source tumblr.com

I have three books in my car at various stages of completion.  I walk down the hall to my office with my head stuck in a book (which bothers the legal department to no end, and they are constantly asking me to be careful).  Needless to say, Booklovers’ Day is a holiday I can get behind.  To celebrate Booklovers’ Day, which is August 9, I’ve decided to share ten reasons why books make better companions than people.

1. Books never judge you.  You can read them in sweatpants, without makeup, in a dirty apartment, eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, and they don’t care. Your mother, however, would be mortified. 

2. Books don’t mind if you throw them across the room when you get mad at them.  If you throw people across the room, the police tend to be called and charges tend to be pressed.  It gets very awkward.

Source matineemoustache.tumblr.com

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Friday
Jul312015

Local Store Events Round-Up: August 2015

 

ALL STORES 

The Day the Crayons Came Home Storytime
Your HPB Bibliomaniacs are super-excited for the release of Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’ The Day the Crayons Came Home on August 18. Your neighborhood HPB is planning a special storytime on Sunday, August 23 at 3 p.m. featuring this sequel to the bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit. We’ll have crayons (they came back!) and special coloring sheets featuring Oliver Jeffers’ whimsical art. All ages are welcome.

 

ARIZONA

Phoenix – Camelback 

First Sunday Storytime
Pack up your half-pint readers and come to your Camelback HPB for Storytime Sundays. Sit down and enjoy a good tale with us at 1 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. All young readers and listeners are welcome!

 

CALIFORNIA

Fremont 

Fremont Festival of the Arts
Look for the HPB booth at the Fremont Festival of the Arts in downtown Fremont on Saturday and Sunday, August 1-2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We'll have coupons and free tote bags while supplies last. And, don't forget to check out our store in The Fremont Hub.

 

ILLINOIS

Countryside

Eddy Decker Book Signing
Meet local cartoonist Eddy Decker on Saturday, August 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. at your Countryside HPB. Eddy will sell and sign his new book Far-Out!: The 8th Grade, which is based on his webcomic. Books will be sold independently by the author while supplies last.

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Thursday
Jul302015

5 Movie Remakes That Are Better Than The Originals

July 29 marks the return of Rusty Griswold in the “sequel” or “reboot” of one of the funniest films ever made, National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). With so many remakes these days, it made me wonder if a film this classic should be remade? After seeing the recent releases of Godzilla and Poltergeist, my initial thought was absolutely not. But, after giving it some thought, there have been many remakes that I have thoroughly enjoyed and actually thought were an improvement on the original. So maybe there is some hope for Vacation (2015). Here are my top 5 movie remakes that worked!

The Birdcage (1996)

A remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. Those two names alone should justify this as a must see, but add in the fact you get to see Gene Hackman in drag  makes this a classic remake.

 

The War of the Worlds (2005)

Steven Spielberg adds some much-needed tension and even horror that was lacking in the 1953 original. Although I can’t imagine what it would have been like to listen to the original radio show playing out as a newscast, this film delivers.

 

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Monday
Jul272015

Different Stores. Different Stories. #HPBturns43

Today, Half Price Books turns 43 years old! On July 27, 1972, we opened our first store in a converted laundromat in Dallas, Texas. Co-founders Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson stocked the shelves with more than 2,000 books from their personal libraries. Today, Half Price Books is America’s favorite family-owned new and used bookstore chain, with 122 stores in 16 states.

This year has been a busy one, no doubt. We opened our new Las Colinas store in Irving, TX, relocated our much-loved Richardson, TX, store to a revitalized shopping center and ventured into a new market with our latest store in Citrus Heights, California! Things are about to get even more exciting on August 6 in the Columbus, OH area, as we welcome HPB NorthPointe Plaza to the neighborhood.

Just like our booklovers, every store is different and has its own set of unique stories and quirks. To celebrate our birthday, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite HPB stories.

Did you know our President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright was the first employee at Half Price Books? She is the daughter of co-founder Pat Anderson. Sharon managed the Richardson store location and would take her dog Dylan to work with her each day. Even today, many of our store locations are dog-friendly. If you ever visit our corporate offices in Dallas, Texas, you’ll be greeted by Vader at the reception desk.

While most booklovers come through our doors looking for the perfect read, some have been lucky enough to find the perfect love here as well!

 

Our Flagship store was the backdrop for Brady and Nichole's grand proposal during Valentine's Day weekend. We've also been a special once-in-a-lifetime wedding venue for booklover Jenny and her handsome groom.

Last, one of my favorite HPB stories of all! Jammie, (my "cube"-mate....our offices share a wall), began her Half Price Books story working at the Lincoln Square store in Arlington. Aaron, her now husband, had just started working there, as well. The two became fast friends, and, a year later began dating. Below is their first photo together as a new couple, ironically at a Half Price Books holiday gathering! The happy couple has added a new chapter to their HPB story...an adorable son named Malcolm.

What are some of your favorite Half Price Books stories or memories? Tell us your story by mentioning @halfpricebooks and using #HPBturns43 on Twitter. You can also jump over to Facebook and leave a comment on our birthday post.

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Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.