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

HPB’s Tips to Go Green for Earth Day

The first Earth Day occurred 47 years ago on April 22, 1970! Earth Day was established by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who believed in taking care of the earth. For many people who care for the environment, Earth Day is an opportunity to join in a nationwide effort to protect our planet. If everyone did something, we could all contribute to saving our environment. Half Price Books fully believes in reducing and reusing, and we hope you do, too. As we get ready to celebrate Earth Day this year, read on to discover our top tips for going green!

Save Energy
One of the first things you can do to save energy is to switch out your old light bulbs. If every U.S. home swapped out one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), we’d save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes each year! Another great way you can help save energy is by putting your computers to sleep. Activating “sleep mode” on just one computer can prevent roughly 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Want to save even more energy? Unplug your electronics. When you’re not using your electronics or are done charging up your items, unplug them to conserve electricity.

Save Energy

At Half Price Books, saving energy is part of our day-to-day operations. We contract with green energy companies like Green Mountain Energy Company, which provides pollution-free wind energy for 31 of our stores and other facilities in Texas. We have also installed light- and heat-repellent window tints in our stores, which allows them to be eligible for energy code rebates. 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.


IMG_3690

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

It’s time to celebrate Booksgiving Day!

Attention kids and parents – it’s time to celebrate your favorite Half Price Books holiday, Booksgiving Day!

Now in its fourth year, we here at Half Price Books celebrate Booksgiving Day with a special storytime. BUT, the best part is, every child who attends will receive a FREE new children’s picture book to take home, while supplies last. (Who doesn’t love free books?!)

And this year, for every book purchased online at HPB.com on Booksgiving Day, we’ll donate a book to the nonprofit organization, Feed The Children. All books donated on Booksgiving Day are part of the Half Price Books Million Book Donation Project, which donated more than 1.6 million books to non-profit organizations and schools in 2015.

So stop by your local HPB on Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m. local time to celebrate Booksgiving Day with your fellow booklovers, and don’t forget to shop online, too. Hope to see you there!

Check out photos from previous Booksgiving Day celebrations!

imag0979

HPB Independence 2015

Continue reading

The 2017 Half Price Books Calendar of Totally Random Lists…and Coupons!

Each year during the holiday season, Half Price Books offers loyal customers a year’s worth of book-loving excitement in the form of the Half Price Books Calendar. For 2017, we’ve stepped up the fun factor with…The Calendar of Totally Random Lists!

img_6978

Available in stores now for FREE! with a $30 purchase while supplies last, The Calendar of Totally Random Lists is full of quirky inspiration to help you find your next great read, movie, music…whatever! Because, let’s be honest, half the fun of shopping at HPB is the randomness. You never know what you’ll find! My favorite list in the calendar? Well, Rabbits!, of course, a list of rabbit-themed books, movies and music. Let’s get it hoppin’! Continue reading

Celebrate National Literacy Month with Half Price Books

Here at Half Price Books, we celebrate reading year round, but September is special – it’s National Literacy Month!

I can hardly remember a time when I couldn’t read, so it’s easy to forget that there are millions of adults across the country who cannot read, and if those adults have children, they have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves.

Here in Dallas, I’m proud to be a member of the board of directors for Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) to help them reach their goal of bending the trend and teaching adults to read.

lift-toast-crop-2

Celebrating LIFT at their annual Toast to Literacy fundraiser.

Continue reading

A Dog’s-Eye View: HPB Celebrates Take Your Dog to Work Day

Hi there, I’m Sophie. I’m an 8-year old black and tan miniature dachshund who loves books! You might remember me from occasional appearances on the HPB Instagram and HPB Blog. I’m here to talk about the best day of the year, Take Your Dog to Work Day, which is happening today, Friday, June 24th.

Since my dad works at Half Price Books, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day! Okay, so he doesn’t bring me every day, but I do get to explore all the books from time to time. So many smells!

Luckily, Dad brought me to work today, so I get to wander around the big bookstore. I think they call it…Flagship? Seems like a weird name to me, but they have dog treats, so I’m not complaining.

Alrighty, let’s get the day started! What can I do to help? Greet customers, take books back to their shelves…I’m ready to work!

sophie2

Wait, what’s this? A desk! No, Dad, I’m bored!

Continue reading

Eating Books: How To and Why

April Fool’s Day is the biggest day of the year for caution, what with all the pranks your friends are surely concocting to surprise you. One steps lightly, takes their email with a grain of salt and checks toilets for plastic wrap on the First of April. But there’s more to this day than being exploited for your (really, my) gullible nature (I’ve fallen for a few pranks in my time). Do you know what else happens on this glorious day? A Texas tradition, that’s what! The Austin Edible Book Festival, you goose!

12764703_1163577176995032_9003573870044963327_o

Here’s How it Works:

Festival entrants participate by constructing a dish that is representative of a book title through puns or wordplay. These concoctions-often sculptural, sometimes literal, always engaging, are laid out to be admired and then voted on in a variety of categories, including Funniest, Most Appetizing, Least Appetizing, Best Construction and Best in Show. The winners get prizes, and then we eat everything. Or, at least in my experience, everything that didn’t win Least Appetizing. Some of my favorites from the last couple of years include “Gone Girl-ic Bread,” a loaf of garlic bread stabbed with a knife and drizzled with marinara sauce; “20,000 Big League Chews Under the Sea,” an aquarium filled with Swedish Fish and Big League Chew gum; “The Holy Bivalve,” a biblically-decorated cake shaped like a clam; and “Game of Scones,” a cookie chess board with mini scones for pieces. Perfection.

The first iteration of the festival came about in 2000, pioneered by art librarian and curator Judith A. Hoffberg and artist Béatrice Coron as way to celebrate the power of literature as a means to ingest culture and ideas. April 1st was chosen to honor the birthdate of French author and gourmet Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, whose La Physiologie du Goût was written as a witty meditation on the edible arts. The tradition was adopted in Austin by the University of Texas School of Information in 2003, and since 2014 has been hosted at Half Price Books on North Lamar.

AEBF2015crowd

It’s so much fun. People get really creative with their entries, and some of the puns at play are even more delicious than their edible manifestations. And if the joys of wordplay aren’t enough to get you pumped about this, the festival also kicks off a food drive to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas that runs throughout the entire month of April at HPB on North Lamar. You can eat weird stuff AND feel good about helping our community. Win-win!

So if you’re in the Austin area or are looking for a reason to visit, come be a part of this scrumptiously absurd event. You don’t have to sign up, just show up with your entry. We’ll know exactly why you’ve come into a book store with a fish in a kilt “Troutlander”, a temporarily-intelligent bowl of curry and bread “Cauliflowers for Algernaan”, or a seemingly ageless jar of Dijon mustard “The Picture of Dorian Grey Poupon”. We’ll save you a spot at the table during the first day of the best month you could hope to have. Welcome!

Zach Nash is the Community Outreach Specialist at Half Price Book North Lamar.

Barbie ‘n’ Beverly

Barbie was born March 9, 1959, brought into the world by Ruth Handler, the wife of a Mattel Toys co-founder. Male toy company execs scoffed, but Barbie caught on quickly and soon dominated the doll market. Now Barbie is iconic. Mattel claims that, worldwide, nine out of ten people recognize her. Time magazine says that 92% of girls between the ages of three and twelve have owned a Barbie doll.

Barbie’s turning 57, so we’d like to spotlight her. Barbies are collected by quite a few folks, including Beverly, the longtime receptionist at HPB Corporate and the glue that holds our office together. Bev has amassed quite the extensive collection of this timeless icon. Continue reading

Love in the Stacks: A Bookstore Romance

Many a Half Price Books employee has found love in the stacks while working at our little bookstore chain over the years. Our founders, Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson were a couple when they founded Half Price Books in a converted laundromat in Dallas way back in 1972. Pat’s daughter and current HPB CEO, Sharon Anderson Wright, even met her husband, Ken, while working at HPB.

You’ll find book-loving couples across the chain, so in honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s meet some of our bibliomaniac booklovers from Austin!

 John and Maggie

John-and-Maggie

How Their Love Story Began: Continue reading