A Story of Book Serendipity in Irving, Texas

Back in December, I had the pleasure of visiting Kinkeade Early Childhood School, when Half Price Books formed a special “Partnership in Education” with them.  As part of the partnership, HPB donated several hundred books to the school library, and will continue to support them throughout the year.

While there, Kristi Betts, the school librarian, told us a fascinating story that really shows the longevity of a paper book.

First, a little history. The school was named after Dr. Henry Kinkeade, one of the founders of Dallas Baptist University, and a longtime minister at First Baptist Church in Irving. Kristi’s parents were married by Dr. Kinkeade, and she attended the church while growing up.  Dr. Kinkeade also married Kristi and her husband.  (She clearly has a long connection to the Kinkeade name!)

While looking through the books donated from our Irving store, Kristi discovered a book of poetry that had been a favorite while she was a child.  Much to her surprise, she noticed a First Baptist Church of Irving stamp on the side.  And when she looked in the back, it still had the library card – she had checked the book out from the library as a child!

Who knows where the book had traveled since Kristi checked out the book back in the early 80s.  Lucky for us, it made its way back to Kristi’s hands and she can share it with the children of Kinkeade for years to come!

Do you have any similar stories about books that have made their way back to you? — Emily

Emily is PR Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at emilytbruce.

2 thoughts on “A Story of Book Serendipity in Irving, Texas

  1. I love book stories like this and I have a similar one. I am a volunteer with a community food pantry. During the holidays we collect and distribute gifts to our clients for their children. For the past couple of years (with help from HP Books!) we've also given each child at least one book to call their own. This past December a mom and her daughter came to pick up their gifts and the little girl was told she could pick out a book. All the books were wrapped and sorted by age. After much deliberation, she chose her book and sat down to unwrap and look at it. She let our a squeal and her mother, almost in tears, told our volunteers that they had been looking for that very book for her. They had visited several HP Books stores in the area but had not been able to find it. The sight of the little girl walking to the car, clutching a copy of "The Black Stallion" made all those hours of volunteering for this holiday project more than worthwhile!

  2. My grandmother was a great believer in the hereafter. So was my mother. Grandma read a small blue-covered book called "The Blue Island" and passed onto my mother. It was about what happens when you die, and the place you will go…Mom gave it to me shortly before she died. I never read it, but loaned it out to someone. It was never returned to me. Years went by, and grandma must have been trying to tell me to find that book, because I thought about it for years. One day my husband and I visited a thrift store, 50 miles from our home. I was looking at a rack of paperback books and there was a copy of "The Blue Island" Wow! Now I could replace grandma's lost copy! I opened the cover and there was my grandmother's name on the inside of the cover! The very same copy! She had led me back to that lost book. Of course, it came home with me, and I read it immediately. What a coincidence…or as grandma used to say, "There are no coincidences."

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