Jim Swayze’s Favorite Section

As you’ve heard me say so many times on the radio, *almost* everything at Half Price Books is half price or less. But here’s a Swayze secret: no matter which store I visit, my first stop is always where I’m pretty sure things won’t be half price … the Collectibles Case! Every store has one under lock and key and it’s a must stop and see, fellow treasure hunters!

Besides the really rare stuff – vintage first editions, out of print goodies and the like, I’ve found autographed copies of Hemingway and Twain, great old vinyl records signed by the artists, and Beatles albums from around the world I’ve never seen (I’m a Beatles freak by the way).

In Austin, Texas, there was an original, yellowed, typewritten report on Charles Whitman and the timeline of UT campus clock tower shooting tragedy back in the 60’s. It was sold to HPB by a descendant of the chief of the campus police at the time. HPB bought it with the intention of donating it to the UT library for their archives, but had it on display among their collectibles for a while and I was able read through it in its entirety. Being the history nut, this was an incredible time warp experience– and it was the first time I truly realized what a fantastic place Half Price Books was. Who knows what may show up when you’re buying from the locals all day, everyday?

While in California on vacation, I found a pristine 45 rpm of Elvis’s first national release, with a perfect dust jacket and not a scratch on The King’s first hit! Now, that was something I had to have … and like most everything at HPB, it was in my price range! It’s now framed in my office. When folks ask if it’s one of those novelty reissues, I’m happy to say, “Nope! It’s certified authentic – another treasure I found at HPB!”

Folks, when you hear me say that you should make as many visits to your local HPB as often as possible, remember that they’re adding to their collectibles almost as often. What a store! Half price? I’m thinking priceless!

 — Jim Swayze


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