All Things Printed & Recorded: The Printing Press Helps the World Get Bookish

This year in our HPB calendar (you got one, right?) we’re celebrating all things printed and recorded—and played, solved, watched, etc. In other words, all the cool stuff we sell in our stores.

For January, we’re taking a look at the development of books and printing. A good place to start, huh?

Gutenberg circleDID YOU KNOW?

  • Books were costly and relatively rare before the innovations of Johannes Gutenberg. In 1439 he developed a system of printing—using movable type and a wooden press—that was quickly adopted throughout Europe and beyond, leading to increased production of books and the spread of knowledge to the masses.
  • Movable type, where individual characters are used to create words imprinted on a page, existed as early as 1045 in China. Gutenberg was the first to make type using metal, using an alloy of lead, tin and antimony.
  • Mental Floss calculated that, throughout history, about 134,000,000 unique book titles have been published.

TIMELINE

2nd cent. BCE  In India, texts written on palm leaves are bound with twine between two boards.
antique book1st cent. The codex appears. With folded pages bound on one side between two hard covers, codices are portable, easy to use and presage the modern book.
1455  Gutenberg completes his 42-line Bible, printing 180 copies.
1810  The steam-powered printing press leads to greater speed and efficiency.
1843  Book production flourishes thanks to the steam-powered rotary press.

DISCOVER MORE

book The Gutenberg Revolution: How Printing Changed the Course of History, John Man
book Gutenberg’s Apprentice: A Novel, Alix Christie
book Five Hundred Years of Printing, S.H. Steinberg & John Trevitt
book Type: The Secret History of Letters, Simon Loxley
music-note-21 Gutenberg! The Musical, Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
clapperboard The Book of Eli
clapperboard The Book Thief

Keto, Paleo…Where Do I Go? A Look at Popular Diets for the New Year

2018 is upon us, folks. After spending months over-indulging on holiday sweets and starchy side dishes (*guilty*), the New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start with healthier eating habits, a dedication to fitness and an overall change in lifestyle.

Okay, so where to start? If you’re new to the world of healthy eating, it can be a little intimidating. There’s a new crop of buzzwords and diets to research (many end in –o, it seems), and choosing the right one for your needs and objectives is a big decision.

At Half Price Books, we’ve seen first-hand the impact these diets can have through various author events at our stores around the country, and 2018 is shaping up to be another busy year of visits from even more healthy-eating authors! If you’re resolving to change how you eat in 2018, we’d like to help by taking a closer look at the latest diets, and we hope to see you at an HPB author event soon!

whole30The Whole30 Diet
Whole30’s 30-day plan calls for cutting out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy and dairy. Instead, the focus should be on whole foods: meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, eggs, fruits and veggies. There’s no calorie counting or weigh-ins, and after you’re done, you can revisit the restricted foods as long as you pay close attention to the results.

Pick up a copy of Whole30 founder Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook at your local Half Price Books or at HPB.com.

engine2The Engine 2 Diet
Created by former Texas firefighter Rip Esselstyn, the Engine 2 Diet also advocates for whole foods, with a “plant-strong” focus and the restriction of meat, fish, eggs, dairy and processed foods. Health benefits include weight loss, lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of disease, as Esselstyn saw among his Texas firefighting crew.

Stop by an HPB store or shop HPB.com to pick up a paperback copy of the Engine 2 Diet, as well as Esselstyn’s new Engine 2 Cookbook. In her review of Engine 2 Diet, HPB bibliomaniac Jennifer says “If a bunch of meat-loving Texans can walk this path, you can, too!

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NYE on TV: How our Favorite Shows Ring in the New Year

Well, folks, 2017 is finally about to draw to a close. As we prepare for what lies ahead in 2018, we first must celebrate New Year’s Eve. For some, it’s a time to kiss someone special at the stroke of midnight with blissful hope for the future. For others, it’s a time to turn in early and remind oneself that “well, there’s always next year.”

Regardless of how you’ll be ringing in 2018, take a moment with us to look back at some of our favorite New Year’s moments from TV, like we have done for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So let’s get started!

10…9…8…

Friends: The One With the Routine (1999: Season 6, Episode 10)

No NYE celebration is complete without “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” In this classic Friends episode, Ross and Monica go all out to ensure that they’ll be featured on the big broadcast, bringing back…“the routine,” a dance they did in school.

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Totally Random Lists: Auld Lang Syne

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we celebrated the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ve found books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So here’s our final random list for December 2017!

Dec titleAs we bid adieu to another year, HPB would like to remind you that old acquaintances shouldn’t be forgot—unless they’re always posting offensive stuff on Facebook: Then forget ‘em! Did we mention we’re terrible at goodbyes? Here’s a list of titles related to endings & farewells.

BOOKSDec visual
Farewell, My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
The Garden of Happy Endings, Barbara O’Neal
This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper
Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, C.J. Box

MOVIES & TV
Bye Bye Birdie
The Day After Tomorrow
The Long Goodbye
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

MUSIC
The End, Nico
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
Leaving, Pet Shop Boys

Not ready to say goodbye just yet? Keep the story going at HPB.com/auld.

The 2018 HPB Calendar: Celebrating All Things Printed & Recorded

Each year during the holiday season, Half Price Books offers our best customers a year’s worth of book-loving excitement in the form of the Half Price Books Calendar. For 2018, we present (drumroll, please!) A Celebratory Compendium of All Things Printed & Recorded…& Played, Solved, Watched, Etc!IMG_0075

Available in stores November 1 for FREE with a $30 purchase (while supplies last), the 2018 HPB Calendar explores the history of printing and how media has been consumed over the years, along with random fun facts that are perfect for your next trivia night. We’ve been buying & selling everything in this calendar since 1972, so naturally it’s one of our favorite topics!

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Totally Random Lists: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we’re celebrating the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ll find books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So here’s our list for November 2017!

Nov title

Half Price Books isn’t a grocery store, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find tasty stuff on our shelves. This month we’re giving you a menu of nutritious & mouthwatering titles inspired by food and drink. Enjoy. Nov visual

BOOKS
The Hundred-Foot Journey, Richard C. Morais
Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
Sideways, Rex Pickett

MOVIES & TV
Chef
Julie & Julia
Ratatouille
Soul Food

MUSIC
Meat is Murder, The Smiths
Milk and Honey, John Lennon and Yoko Ono
The Spaghetti Incident, Guns N’ Roses
Whipped Cream & Other Delights, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Hungry for more of our food-related favorites? Whet your appetite at HPB.com/eat.

Celebrating Boss’s Day Like a BOSS!

Each year on October 16, workers in the United States and a few other countries take time to thank their employers. Created by Illinois secretary Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958, Boss’s Day will be observed for the 60th time next year. The goal in creating Boss’s Day was to strengthen the relationship between a manager and his/her employees.

To celebrate Boss’s Day, here’s a look at some of our favorite fictional bosses. While they’re not all necessarily the best bosses, they’re certainly some of the most memorable.

BurnsThe SimpsonsBurnsMichael ScottThe Officethe office

Tony SopranoThe Sopranossopranos

Captain Kirk—Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek franchisestar trek Continue reading

Life’s a Treasure Hunt…and so is Half Price Books!

Part of the beauty of shopping at Half Price Books is finding things you didn’t even know you needed…or existed! Golden Girls puzzle? Please and thank you… for being a friend! KFC promotional Christmas vinyl? Finger-licking YES! Star Trek Enterprise cordless phone? Beam me UP! (Yes, these are real items we’ve seen in our stores at one time or another…)

So when we set out to build our new website, the all-new HPB.com, we wanted to inject some of the “treasure hunt” factor that you get from a visit to your local HPB into the online shopping experience. Which is why we created “Quirky Tags.” Maybe you don’t know what to read, watch or listen to next, but you know what you’re feeling at the moment. Quirky Tags are curated lists of themed products that are hand-selected by our very own HPB bibliomaniacs. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! You can find Quirky Tags scattered throughout HPB.com, but in case you’re more of the “instant gratification” type, take a look at some of our favorites:

  1. Aliens Among Us – for when you need a… close encounter.
  2. Amazing Plot Twists – for when you just did not see that coming.
  3. Auld Lang Syne – for when it’s hard to say goodbye.
  4. Best Friends in Love – for when you have all the feels.
  5. Dysfunctional Families – for when you need to know you’re not the only one.
  6. Epic Quests – for when the journey is the reward, not the destination.
  7. Hair-Raisers & Spine-Tinglers – for when you’re scared silly.
  8. Retold Classics – for when you want a fresh take on an old favorite.
  9. Road Trip Musts – for when the road ahead lies in wait.
  10. Stranger Than Fiction – for when real life proves to be all too real.

These are just some of the gems you’ll find throughout the all-new HPB.com. Happy hunting… and stay quirky!

Jason is the Email Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

Totally Random Lists: Go Long!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we’re celebrating the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ll find books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So here’s our list for September 2017!

0826 DykesColor SEPT rev
Got some extra time on your hands? Need to work on your biceps? Try picking up one of these massively wordy books, epically epic movies or sprawlingly ambitious triple albums. Editor, schmeditor!

BOOKS
1Q84, Haruki Murakami
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

MOVIES & TV
Cleopatra
Hamlet (1996)
Lawrence of Arabia
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

MUSIC
All Things Must Pass, George Harrison
Emancipation, Prince
The Epic, Kamasi Washington
Have One on Me, Joanna Newsom

Want to extend your To Be Read list? Time for an epic binge-watch? Check out our even longer list of lengthy titles at HPB.com/long.

Totally Random Lists: Going Places

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year at HPB, we’re celebrating the random. Actually, we’ve been doing that every year since our founding in 1972. And we mean random in a totally good way, as in the random treasures you come across when you’re browsing our stores or website—and the wonderfully random stuff we buy from the public every day. In this series of posts, you’ll find books, movies and music collected in some very random ways. So here’s our list for August 2017!

Aug title

Pack your suitcase, put on your traveling pants and gas up the family truckster. At Half Price Books, we know getting there is half the fun, so we’re going on the road this month with a list of travel and transportation-related books, movies and tunes.

BOOKS
The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, Ian Fleming
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Aug visualMOVIES & TV
Knight Rider
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Polar Express

MUSIC
Blue Train, John Coltrane
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Lucinda Williams
Come Fly With Me, Frank Sinatra
Sonic Highways, Foo Fighters

 

Not ready to come home just yet? Check out our longer list of road trip-inspired titles at HPB.com/going.