Title Poetry Contest Finalists & Winner (!!)

Okay, guys! We have finalists for our Title Poetry Contest! Hope everyone had fun with this.


Finalist #1

On the twelfth night,

Harry Potter (spilled) the goblet of fire

On Dante and caused the inferno of a lifetime,

Which raged on through an eclipse

That happened after twilight

–From Hollie in Fort Wayne




Finalist #2

Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn

Went to Treasure Island

Looking for the Wizard of Oz

And the Merchant of Venice,

Who they found in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

— From Sam in Austin




     Finalist #3



Alice in Wonderland

Went on Gulliver’s Travels

By hitching a ride with the Lord of the Rings

     And teaming up with Harry Potter & his deathly hallows

     To complete the Canterbury Tales on time

   — From Morgan in Dayton, Ohio



Finalist #4

In the Vatican Cellars,

The woman with the Scarlett Letter

Read of Memoirs of a Woman in Pleasure

and imagined the worlds of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

And realized she was not so Wicked, after all.

From Joe in Seattle





And our winner– drumroll, please!


Singing from the well,

The Ginger Man underwent a


From one of the Beautiful Losers

To Lady Chatterly’s Lover

— From Katie in Seattle

Congratulations, Katie! We’ll be in touch about your prize. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

— Kristen D.

Banned Books Posters + T-Shirts Round-Up

Censorship is not a thing of the past. You might be surprised to learn that more than 11,000 books have been banned or challenged since 1982 and 348 reported in 2010. Banned Books Awareness Week (BBAW) is an annual event when we, the community of employees and customers at Half Price Books, celebrate our First Amendment rights. Alongside the American Library Association and booklovers everywhere, we celebrate our freedom to read. As part of this, posters and T-shirts are designed each year. Here’s a round-up of some of our favorites.


Support the imaginative and courageous authors of all books, including those that open our eyes to controversial topics. Exercise your First Amendment rights this week by reading a banned or challenged book. And encourage others to build libraries, not bonfires.

Put on your favorite “Banned Books” T-shirt this week and join us! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the virtual rally happening online. Make a comment below telling us how you joined the First Amendment Rights Rally before 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, September 29 and enter to win a free HPB Banned Books tee. Winner will be randomly selected.

— Meredith


UPDATE: Congratulations to our random winner, Jackie Fender. You’ve won your very own HPB Banned Books T-Shirt. Drop us a note at besocial@hpb.com to claim your prize! This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.

#BBAW11 Title Poetry CONTEST

We LOVED the Title Poetry contests put on the last few weeks by the incomparable Janet Reid and the adorable Tahereh Mafi, so we were inspired to do our own, with a Banned Books twist! 

Here’s how it will work: 

Make a poem with your *banned* books. You may need to add a word here and there, but each line of the poem must include the title of a *banned* book— children’s or adult.  

How to enter: EMAIL the poem and the jpg to besocial@hpb.com. Poem in the body of the email, jpg attached. The contest will close Wednesday 9/28 at noon (12:00 p.m.) and will open . . .  NOW! We will publish the Top 5 and the winner on Thursday 9/29. 

(UPDATE: We’ve heard that some of you would like more time (understandably) so we’re pushing the deadline back to Thursday 9/29 at noon, with the Top 5 & winner posted on Friday 9/30. Now get to it.)

Don’t have a stack of banned books just laying around? Feel free to go to your nearest Half Price Books — there are plenty sold there (since 1972 :))

We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

— Kristen D.  

Celebrity Library Mix + Match Game

Home libraries are a beautiful thing. Accredited Online Colleges published this post last week about 20 celebrities with stunning home libraries, so we thought it would be fun to work it into a game to kick off National Literacy Month! Match the library photo below with its celebrity owner. One person who correctly identifies the right owner + library combo will win a prize! Try and guess without peeking!



A. Rod Stewart B. Jimmy Page C. Mark Twain D. Nigella Lawson E. Oprah Winfrey

F. Woody Allen G. Ralph Lauren H. William Randolph Hearst I. Julianne Moore J. Karl Lagerfeld

K. Keith Richards L. Diane Keaton M. Jane Fonda N. Sting O. Brooke Astor

P. Aaron Spelling Q. Tory Burch R. Michael Jackson S. Agatha Christie T. Jimmy Stewart 


Gorgeous aren’t they?! Which one of these celebrity libraries are do you wish you could call your own? Winner will be randomly selected and announced here tomorrow (Friday, September 2). Put your answers in a comment below.

Good luck! — Meredith  


UPDATE: Congratulations to Veronica P for being our randomly selected winner who correctly paired the celebrities with their home libraries! Thanks to everyone who participated.

Top 24 Great Showdowns in Film History (An Abridged List)

If you all have not yet experienced the genius of Scott C., you are missing out. His “Great Showdowns” series (depicting defining moments of conflict in film history) is so fascinating and fun.  According to Scott’s website: “Since the beginning of time, there has been struggle. The epic clash of being against being. Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Triceratops. Giant Squid vs. the Sperm Whale. The Circle vs. the Square. The struggle is forever. It makes the world turn around. These are the struggles that make us stop what we are doing and sort of check things out . . .”

Below are some of my favorites (view the full website here— the fun is in trying to identify each film), but I will advise you to stay away until you have time to digest it all — because you just can’t. stop. scrolling. You’ve been warned.

Aaaand go:



The saddest part is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to actually order these awesome prints. All of Scott’s info is available on his website here, along with a plethora of other showdowns.

Can you guys name them all? First one to name all the movies correctly (in the correct order) wins a prize!

— Kristen D.