HPB Book Club: Interview with a Magician

BookClub-logoFor the next few months, we’ll be reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Grab a copy at your local HPB and participate in the discussion on the HPB Facebook page through February and March. The Magicians has been adapted into a Syfy TV series. Our very own Assistant Buyer at Half Price Books, Kristen B., knows lead actor Jason Ralph in The Magicians TV series had the chance to ask him a few questions about his experience with the show so far.

When Jason Ralph moved to McKinney, Texas in middle school, he was a quiet kid. He barely spoke, but he would always get my notebook back for me when another classmate would steal it. Therefore, we became instant friends. As we both grew older and moved on to high school, Jason started to come out of his shell and we both became involved in high school theatre. Once Jason started acting on stage, it was clear that he was destined for greatness. With his good looks, charming charisma, and heart of gold, he was the guy that every girl wanted. Throughout the years we have stayed in touch, even when he went on stage as Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway.

KristenAndFriend Continue reading

Local Store Events Round-Up: February 2016

store-events-hdr_update

Arizona California Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Minnesota Missouri Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania Texas Washington Wisconsin

ALL STORES

Booklover’s Weekend
If you’re on the HPB Email List, check your email inbox by February 12 for a special offer! If you’re not on the list, it’s not too late to get in on this sweetheart deal! Sign up online or in store today and you’ll get your own store coupon to use during Booklover’s Weekend — Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15 — at any Half Price Books retail location. See coupon for redemption details. Not valid online nor at Half Price Books Outlet.

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

Dublin

Rehana Daud Book Signing
Meet author Rehana Daud on Saturday, February 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at your Dublin HPB. Rehana will read excerpts from, sell and sign her novel, The Journey. Books will be sold independently by the author while supplies last.

Fremont

Rehana Daud Book Signing
Meet author Rehana Daud on Saturday, February 20, from 10 to 11 a.m. at your Fremont HPB. Rehana will read excerpts from, sell and sign her novel, The Journey. Books will be sold independently by the author while supplies last.
Continue reading

Opinions Wanted! Join the HPB Booklovers Survey Club

PrintCalling all booklovers! HPB customers like you are pretty smart in our book. So we’d like to pick your brain. You’re invited to join our Booklovers Survey Club. We’ll occasionally send a quick survey via email with questions about your shopping experiences, preferences and opinions. From what types of books you like to how our stores can be better, we want your help. We figure we can improve the most by learning from the people we value the most. What’s in it for you? Well, let’s look a little closer.

First of all, you’ll feel rewarded at the end of the day because you’ve helped your favorite local bookstore plan for the future. Awesome, right?

But wait…there’s more! We’ll also send along select content from our fan-favorite HPB Calendar. The theme for 2016 is “Books Can Take You Places.” Pack your bags; we’re headed around the world.

HPB-Calendar2016-Final-HiRes_cover

Last, but certainly not least, we’ll send you additional coupons and special offers. Who doesn’t like savings? You’ll gain access to special deals and ways to save in our stores. Score!

Does this sound right up your alley? Are you ready to tell us your ideas? Then sign up for the Booklovers Survey Club here…and get to surveying!

Jason is the Email Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

 

North Texas Tornado Relief: How Our Customers Helped Meet the Needs of Tornado Survivors

UPDATE: May 9, 2016

Small gestures add up to make a big difference

After the December 26, 2015 tornadoes hit North Texas, HPB’s Dallas-Fort Worth customers donated toiletry items, we contributed books to displaced families living in shelters.  In January, donation coin boxes in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Oklahoma City encouraged customer donations to the Red Cross.  Many customers donated by directly texting to the Red Cross while others dropped their donation into the coin boxes.  After the money was tallied, we presented the coin box donations to the North Texas Region of the American Red Cross.  Our customers contributed a few coins or dollar bills here and there, which ultimately became a donation of $6,413.45!  The Red Cross works to help those impacted by the North Texas tornadoes even now, four months later, and these contributions will go towards that work – it is awesome to see your donations making a difference in the lives of the North Texans who are still recovering and rebuilding their lives.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela

 

Tornado Relief

Representing Half Price Books at the check presentation in March was Dawn, Garland store manager, and Dave, North Dallas district manager.  In the center is Ashley from the Red Cross of North Texas.  The day after the tornadoes, the Garland store was first to reach out to the Garland Police and let them know HPB wanted to help. 

Through the generosity of our dedicated customers and some additional big-hearted citizens who wanted to donate, Half Price Books was able to collect more than 10,000 toiletry items for the survivors of the recent North Texas tornadoes! What too many families in areas just north and south of the city of Dallas experienced was a devastating mass of twelve tornadoes that tore through homes and across neighborhoods, sadly taking lives in the process.

FBWall-NTXTornadoRelief-Amplified

The communities of Garland and Rowlett were hit the hardest, and, subsequently, several Red Cross Shelters were established and companies across North Texas volunteered to collect needed items. The evening after the tornadoes hit, our Garland store management team reached out to the Garland police and let them know we would help, in whatever way we could. On Monday, our Dallas corporate office, in partnership with the American Red Cross of North Texas, announced that DFW area Half Price Books stores would accept donations to the Red Cross. As a tangible way to meet the needs of the tornado survivors, we embarked upon a DFW Toiletry Donation Drive to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other immediate needs.

The Red Cross let us know on Tuesday, December 29, they had several shelters with many children that were bored and asked if we had books we could donate – do we have books? YES! The boxes were packed to the top of the truck with more than 500 books, stacked, loaded and delivered to the Red Cross Headquarters by a Half Price Books team by the next day. Before we left the building, a Red Cross representative said those children’s books were already en route to the shelters! Now that was amazingly efficient!

2

Left to right: Michael (HPB), Ashley (Red Cross), Brady (HPB), Angela (Red Cross)

We continued the Toiletry Donation Drive through that week until Friday, January 1. To say that our customers, employees and the citizens of DFW area were generous is an understatement. Our Flagship store in Dallas collected more than 3,000 of the much-needed items, including some dog food and blankets, too! In addition, our19 other stores in the DFW area collected another 7,000 items! When the call went out, everyone responded with abundance!

4

Donation delivery site with HPB truck driver, Marvin (in orange vest) and church’s volunteers.

The closing chapter of our donation drive was finding an organization to distribute the donations we collected – in the process, we discovered a cool website called recovers.org, where the needs of a recovering community are listed and those who want to donate can be matched with each other. After searching for the Garland area, we found an organization that needed our toiletry items. Our corporate distribution staff quickly sorted and boxed up the 10,000 items into categories like toothbrushes and shampoo; the four shrink-wrapped pallets with 25 boxes each were then delivered to The Central Park Church of God in Garland on Friday, January 10 – on the day the director said they literally were running out of toiletries! It is because of our thoughtful and community minded customers, employees and fellow citizens of DFW that these donations got into the hands of those in need, just in time! If you donated, we wanted you to know – you met a huge need in a mighty way!

3

HPB employees sorted over 10,000 items!

 

Comics: Doctor Strange! Power Girl! Donald Duck! And More!! (Rarest of Rare Collectibles)

Comic books have been a big part of American culture since the 1930s, especially following Superman’s opening splash in 1938. Those superheroes of yore are back on the scene in full force, thanks to the huge popularity of movies featuring Spider-Man, Batman, the X-Men and others. Half Price Books has always included comic books in its product mix, and our stores’ Comics sections always have devoted fans poring over the stock. The stores occasionally see extra-special comic books, and we’d like to feature a few of those here.

Four Color Comics #4: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck
Dell, 1940.

donald

 

Our Greenwood, Indiana store recently got their most UNBELIEVABLE! comics buy ever. Truly the ULTIMATE! One of the gems they bought was Four Color Comics’ Issue #4, Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. The story is by Walt Disney, with art by Al Taliaferro. It’s in Good/Very Good condition, with tears on pages 1 and 12—but it’s a rarity in any condition! The price: $5,000. Continue reading

4 Ways to Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday (Rarest of Rare Collectibles)

Elvis Presley would’ve turned 81 this January 8! Whatever your opinion of Elvis and his music, he had a profound impact on popular culture and remains the second-best-selling departed celebrity of all time (behind Michael Jackson).

Here are four ways to remember The King on his birthday:

1. Get yourself an Elvis collectible.

Our South Lamar store in Austin, Texas, recently bought a pretty special Elvis item:

Elvis2 Continue reading

Books Can Take You Places: Paris, France

Half Price Books encourages you to travel more in 2016. Not the kind of travel that involves airplanes, passports and hotels, but the easier, more affordable kind — where you open a great book and let it take you somewhere.Paris-Travel-Sticker

Throughout 2016 we’ll share about the world’s great destinations, along with our recommendations for the books, movies and music that will help you get there. This month’s stop is Paris, France.

For centuries, the city of Paris has been a mecca for artists. Writers, painters and musicians from all over the world have spent time here, perhaps most notably during the first half of the 20th century. The lingering presence of these giants, including the American expatriates of the so-called Lost Generation, can be felt in the cafes and bars where they wined, dined and worked.

HOW TO GET THERE

Amélie An American in Paris • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein • The Best of Erik Satie Breathless Charade Histoire de Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg • La Vie En Rose: The Very Best of Edith Piaf • Les Misérables, Victor Hugo • Midnight in Paris A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway • Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik • The Paris Wife, Paula McLain • The Quintessential Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Gertrude Stein’s home at 27 rue de Fleurus was a gathering spot for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Picasso.
  • The popularity of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame effectively shamed the City of Paris into restoring the neglected Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  • Left Bank café Les Deux Magots was a favorite hangout of the city’s literary and intellectual elite, including surrealist artists and existentialist philosophers.
  • In 1928, Ernest Hemingway stashed two trunks of notebooks in the Ritz Hotel basement. They remained there until 1956, when he retrieved them and used them as the basis for A Moveable Feast, a memoir of his Paris years.
  • American expatriate writers met and sometimes crashed at Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore owned by Sylvia Beach, who also published James Joyce’s Ulysses when no other publisher would.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.

Bon voyage!

Meredith is Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate. You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.