Meet the Bibliomaniacs: The HPB Tyler Team

You asked, we listened. We’re beyond excited for the opening of our new store in Tyler, TX. In this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniacs, we would like to introduce you to the entire HPB Tyler team. Take it away, guys!

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What is your favorite part about working at HPB?

  • “Interacting with and serving our customers and setting up my staff to succeed.” ­– Joseph M. (Store Manager)
  • “My interactions with customers and employees.” – Cody T. (Asst. Store Manager)
  • “The customers and coworkers are my favorite part of working at HPB.” – Twila B. (Shift Leader)
  • “Being surrounded by the things I love.” – Curtis B. (Bookseller)
  • “Meeting new people.” – Natasha M. (Bookseller)
  • “Learning! Opportunities to learn about anything and everything are endless.” – Bree L. (Bookseller)
  • “Discovering fantastic books!” – Jeff G. (Bookseller)
  • “How much HPB understands and celebrates the individuality of its team members.” – Dana E. (Bookseller)
  • “I am a bibliophile, so my favorite part of being a team member is the books and officially becoming a bibliomaniac.” – Jennifer G. (Bookseller)

What is your all-time favorite book, movie or album?

Continue reading

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Aliyah Uddin

If you haven’t heard the good news, we’re opening a new store in St. Charles, MO. We can’t wait for you, our booklovers, to come check out our new digs. We’re even more excited for you to get to know the amazing staff. In this edition of “Meet the Bibliomaniac”, we introduce you to Aliyah.

Store #127 Shift Leader-Aliyah UddinName: Aliyah Uddin
Job Title: Shift Leader
Location:  HPB St. Charles

When did you join the team? 
September 2016

As a shift leader, what’s an average day like for you?
Right now, we are installing our new store in St. Charles, MO.  So it’s a lot of guidance, lots of alphabetizing, sizing the books and making sure the shelves are full for our Great Opening on August 17!

What is your favorite part about working at HPB?
Definitely seeing what we are buying from our customers!  Then visiting with our customers about our inventory and getting them as excited about it as I am!

What is your all-time favorite book/movie or album? 
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

What are you reading right now?
A Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

What TV show/movie are you embarrassed to admit you love?
Say Yes to the Dress

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a photographer.  I love to photograph weddings and families!

If you could write a book about yourself, what would the title be? 
A Foot in Two Worlds

When are you the happiest?
When I am in the presence of my family, whether we’re doing something special or just hanging out.

Anything else you’d like to add? 
I love this job!  Can’t wait for the new store to open!

 

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Kathleen Higgins

June 23 is National Take Your Dog to Work Day. At HPB Corporate, Office Manager Kathleen Higgins brings her dog, Vader, to work every day! Let’s jump into this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniac and learn more about Kathleen and Vader’s efforts to rescue dogs in need.


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Name: Kathleen Higgins
Job Title: Corporate Office Manager
Store Location: Corporate

When did you join the team?
March 1990. I was hired to be HPB co-founder Ken Gjemre’s assistant. Our mutual passion for protecting the environment made it a good fit.

What is your favorite part about working at HPB?
Working with like-minded people. Life is too short to put your values and beliefs on hold in pursuit of a paycheck.

As an Administrative Services Supervisor, what’s an average day like for you?
There is no “average” day. The nature of the job is putting out fires or solving the crisis du jour. Keeping up with the nearly 150 people here in corporate, meetings, and being available to the stores is a full agenda. One of the advantages (disadvantages?) of being here as long as I have is the amount of knowledge about HPB that you accumulate and how often people depend on it. Working with various vendors and comparative pricing are regular activities. Of course Vader, my dog that I bring to work every day, needs to be walked at least once a day and we have a steady stream of visitors that stop by to get their “dog fix.” Continue reading

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Bryan Douglas

In this month’s “Meet the Bibliomaniac” feature, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Bryan, assistant manager in the Austin-area. Since we’ve got comic books on the brain, let’s dive deeper into Bryan’s love of comics and learn more about him. Check out his Q&A below.


Bryan Douglas Half Price BooksName: Bryan Douglas
Job Title: Assistant Manager
Store Location: 104 Cedar Park

When did you join the HPB Team?
September 2004.

What is your favorite part about working at HPB?
Being surprised every day by the books I discover, either from seeing them in person or hearing about them from customers.

As an Assistant Manager, what’s an average day like for you?
My work days are a mix of getting to help customers directly and helping our staff to do the same. The leadership role is nice, because it gives me the feeling of helping even more people than the ones I interact with directly!

What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had since working here?
Finding two hundred dollars in cash hidden in a book called “The World’s Lost Wealth!” (This was at the Buy Counter, so we were able to get the money back to the customer!)

What got you interested in comic books?
I’ve always been interested in the multiple layers of meaning comics can provide. Certainly, prose fiction can do that, too… But somehow combining words and pictures in the comic book style seems to allow for a greater number of ideas to be distilled down to a smaller space! Continue reading

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Kiki Baughman

We’re so lucky to have bibliomaniacs of many talents throughout the company. If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, you’ve probably seen some of the fun and unique displays around the store. In this edition of Meet the Bibliomaniac, we’re pleased to introduce you to Kiki Baughman, Display Specialist at our Flagship and the mastermind behind all those awesome creations.


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Name: Kiki Baughman
Job Title: Display Specialist
Store Location: 001 Flagship

When did you join the HPB Team?
August 1 will be 11 years at HPB. 10 years and 9 months of that I have been a part of the Store Inventory Merchandiser team at 001 Flagship.

What is your favorite part about working at HPB?
My favorite part would be that I get to be creative every day. Second favorite thing would be my co-workers. They are the best.

As a Display Specialist, what’s an average day like for you?
As the Display Specialist for 001 my days are very diverse. One day I may spend all day working on a custom display for a book signing. Another day might consist of planning the holiday decor for the store and ordering product. Another day is spent displaying merchandise and helping with a book signing. Continue reading

Why I Teach: 5 Books and Movies with Inspiring Educators

I’d like to introduce you all to Caitlyn! She’s a middle school teacher in North Texas (an amazing one at that) and a wonderful friend of mine. Check out her picks of books and movies that help her along her teaching journey.  Enjoy!  -Sam


I’m one of those brave individuals that has chosen [been called to] a career as a teacher. I didn’t sign on because I wanted to have my summers free (although it is a beautiful perk) and I certainly didn’t embark on this journey because I thought it’d be easy (because in fact, nothing could be further from the truth). But it is my joy and my privilege to impart some small bit of knowledge on a set of middle school students every year.

I find inspiration in almost everything, even this Starbucks I’m sitting in. I really like the seating arrangements in this space and I’m making notes – ha! The greatest source of inspiration for me comes from books and movies. They are my love language. After a difficult day, I know I can read a chapter or watch a few minutes of a favorite story and it’ll fill my sails for the next day.

These are five movies and books that have been a source of motivation and encouragement at some point in my career.

Dead Poets Society (starring Robin Williams)
O Captain! My Captain! If you’ve ever seen this gem, then you’re probably nodding your head in a very, Ahh…of course kind of way. Mr. Keating is one of the reasons I love poetry and why I find it essential to teach in a free kind of way – no right or wrong, but interpretation and feeling. This movie reminds me that each person has the right to explore their own identity – what brings them joy, inspires them and fulfills them. I teach Walt Whitman’s poem O Captain! My Captain to my 8th graders and I love showing them the clip from this movie with that iconic line. Mr. Keating encourages me to be a source of inspiration to my kiddos, showing them that they can make their lives extraordinary.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Continue reading

You Know You’re a Booklover When…

A true booklover knows that National Book Lovers Day is every day, but to the rest of the world, it’s celebrated on August 9.  Now, we booklovers are guilty of doing things that might seem pretty strange to others, but we’re too busy with our nose between the pages to care.

We asked you guys (the HPB booklovers) on Facebook what your bookish quirks are. Here are some of the top answers and our favorite responses.

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A BOOKLOVER WHEN….

You spend your lunch break reading instead of eating.
You don’t need no stinking food! Well…maybe a little bit, but at least you’re feeding your brain with the sweet, sweet nectar of the newest bestseller.

Booklovers 1

Spreadsheets and lists are your new BFF.
It ain’t easy keeping all your book business in order. Books you’ve read, books you want to read, books you own…you know, so you don’t buy To Kill a Mockingbird for the millionth time. In the words of DJ Khaled…

booklovers 11 Continue reading

Books Can Take You Places: Seattle

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip to Paris, France, San Francisco, California, with a detour to New Orleans, Louisiana then back across the pond to Rome, Italy. We’ve even been to  Chicago, Illinois, Tokyo, Japan and made a pit stop in Atlanta, Georgia. This month let’s explore all that Seattle, Washington has to offer.

SeattleNothing’s better on a rainy day than hanging out in a coffee shop reading, and Seattle has plenty of rain and coffee shops. Maybe that’s why it’s always near the top in rankings of America’s most literate cities. Lots of writers live in the area, from Tom Robbins to Erik Larsen and Maria Semple. Seattle’s music history includes Jimi Hendrix, who was born here, and Quincy Jones, who spent his teen years here, but it is best known for 90s alternative bands like Nirvana.

I visited Seattle for the first time last year and it was amazing! Of course, it rained but that didn’t stop me from checking out all the city had to offer. I saw the entire city from the top of the Space Needle. (Although I REALLY wanted to see the snow cap of Mount Rainer but it was too cloudy.) I also got to walk through Pike Place, which was bustling with people and entertainment all around. To top everything off, we took a pit stop at Kerry Park at sunset, which was worth the drive…what a view!

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HOW TO GET THERE

book The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein • music-note-21 Badmotorfinger, Soundgarden • book Black Hole, Charles Burns • book The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke music-note-21 Dirt, Alice in Chains • slate_film-512 The Fabulous Baker Boys slate_film-512 It Happened at the World’s Fair music-note-21 The Moon & Antarctica, Modest Mouse •  music-note-21 Nevermind, Nirvana • slate_film-512 The Parallax Viewslate_film-512 Say Anythingbook Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle, Murray Morgan • slate_film-512 Sleepless in Seattlebook Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson • music-note-21 Ten, Pearl Jam • book Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple

 DID YOU KNOW?

  • The Blue Moon is a legendary watering hole favored by Seattle writers like the poet Theodore Roethke, who celebrated winning the Pulitzer Prize there in 1953. The adjacent alley was named Roethke Mews in honor of Roethke, who taught nearby at the University of Washington.
  • Seattle-based record label Sub Pop, founded in 1988, helped popularize grunge music by being the first to sign area bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney.
  • In the early 1950s, Quincy Jones and Clint Eastwood were both music students at Seattle University.
  • Seattle’s EMP Museum, formerly known as the Experience Music Project, is a nonprofit museum devoted to popular culture, and is also home to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

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.

Until next time!

Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

 

Give the Gift of Reading: 7 Books for Your Middle Grade Reader

Author Kate Hannigan and some of her awesome author friends stopped by our Dallas Flagship store in September as part of a Middle Grade Mania author panel. We asked Kate to share with us her gift recommendations for the holidays.

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Though I write for children, I do actually take a break and read grownup books: Girl Waits With Gun and Boy, Snow, Bird, to name a few recent titles. But I always find myself drawn back to the  middle-grade section at the bookstore. That’s because, of all genres, I believe middle-grade is where the heart is. It’s where young readers discover life’s truths for the first time: courage, loyalty, honesty. Here are some recommendations for great middle-grade reads to keep in mind this holiday season: Continue reading

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.

Sam is Public Relations Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.