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

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!