Candy & Books: A Sweet Pairing

There’s nothing I like better than a good book. Well, except a good book and some chocolate. Or something a little tart. Okay fine, I love candy, and I love books. Since it is October, I have plenty of each! What better way to celebrate this fun month than pairing candy and books?

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Candy Pairing: Payday

Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Pairing 1Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job—any job—could be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. She worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly “unskilled,” that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety and surprising generosity. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich’s perspective and for a rare view of how “prosperity” looks from the bottom.

Pair this critical book that is still relevant today with a Payday to appreciate the fact that millions of Americans have to work full-time, year-round from payday to payday just to survive.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Candy Pairing: Snickers

Pairing 2Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning paragraph to the final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

Pair with a Snickers bar because you will not be able to contain your laughter while reading this classic, humorous account of Tina Fey’s life, as well as behind-the-scenes stories from her hit shows! 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!

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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

10 Reasons Books Make Better Companions than People

I live in a one-bedroom apartment and currently have six bookcases.  My main motivation for moving next year is that I have nowhere else to put another bookcase, and I’m running out of room.

via GIPHY

I have three books in my car at various stages of completion.  I walk down the hall to my office with my head stuck in a book (which bothers the legal department to no end, and they are constantly asking me to be careful).  Needless to say, Booklovers’ Day is a holiday I can get behind.  To celebrate Booklovers’ Day, which is August 9, I’ve decided to share ten reasons why books make better companions than people.

1. Books never judge you.  You can read them in sweatpants, without makeup, in a dirty apartment, eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, and they don’t care. Your mother, however, would be mortified.

2. Books don’t mind if you throw them across the room when you get mad at them.  If you throw people across the room, the police tend to be called and charges tend to be pressed.  It gets very awkward.


Source matineemoustache.tumblr.com

Continue reading

Happy National Punctuation Day!

I’m sure everyone has seen the punctuation meme that points out the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Or you’ve heard the joke where a panda walks into a restaurant, eats a sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots his waiter before leaving, because according to the dictionary, a panda “eats, shoots and leaves.”  These examples prove that punctuation saves lives. Well, today is National Punctuation Day, a day to celebrate commas, periods, quotation marks, semicolons and ellipses.  

Recently, our office debated whether or not to use the Oxford comma on our website.  While most were ambivalent, one of my co-workers was adamantly opposed to using it, while another remarked that not using it “made her head explode.” Though we all hoped she was using hyperbole, we kept our distance for the rest of the day just in case. 

However, that got me thinking about what punctuation mistakes make my other co-workers’ heads explode.  So, I asked them, and here are their answers.

Jason—“Unnecessary quotation marks”

So is it chicken, or is it not chicken?  Maybe they just called it “chicken” and hoped no one would notice.

 

Emily–“Using apostrophes to make things plural.”

 

Apostrophes are used for possessives and contractions, not plurals.

 

Susan–“A complete lack of punctuation”

Or in other words, RUN!

 

So do you have any punctuation mistakes that make your head explode?

If you want to learn more about punctuation, visit the reference section of your local Half Price Books.

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

Tournament of Heroes – Sci-Fi Brackets

Presenting — our Top 32 Sci-Fi Heroes and Heroines!

ROW 1:  Ellen Ripley – Aliens, River Tam – FireFly, Seven of Nine – Star Trek: Voyager, Samos Aran, Metroid; ROW 2: Dana Scully – The X-Files, Lady Jessica – Dune, Kara”Starbuck” Thrace Battlestar Galactica, Katniss Everdeen The Hunger Games; ROW 3: Turanga Leela Futurama, LeelooThe Fifth Element, Princess Leia Star Wars, River Song Dr. Who; ROW 4: Sarah Connor The Terminator, Sydney Bristow- Alias, Trinity Matrix, Tris Prior- Divergent

 

ROW 1:  Captain James T. Kirk – Star Trek, Arthur Dent –  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Paul Atreides – Dune, Commander Adama – Battlestar Galactica; ROW 2: Rick Deckard – Blade Runner, Dr. Who Dr. Who, Goku Dragonball, Fox Mulder The X-Files; ROW 3: Korben Dallas The Fifth Element, Marty McFlyBack to the Future, Neo Matrix, Optimus Prime Transformers; ROW 4: Philip J. Fry Futurama, Captain Reynolds – FireFly, Captain Sheridan Babylon 5, Han SoloStar Wars

So tell us, who SHOULD we have included as a Sci-Fi Hero or Heroine? Of the ones who made the tournament, who do you have going to the Final Four? The championship?

Stephanie is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate
You can follow her on Twitter at @saltpepperpress

Love Notes: Valentine’s Day Calligraphy Lessons

This Valentine’s Day, write your love a handwritten note. Calligraphy is a beautiful and elegant way to express your love for that special someone in your life. Stop by one of our stores and pick up one of our calligraphy books to master your penmanship and your sweets’ heart.

Tweet or tag us on Instagram with pictures of your handmade love notes. Also, make sure to check out these books for more calligraphy inspiration. — Stephanie

Stephanie is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate
You can follow her on Twitter at @saltpepperpress

Top Ten Things Ben Franklin Gave the World

307 years ago, a man by the name of Benjamin Franklin was born.  Of all the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin has always been my favorite.  Don’t get me wrong – the majority of them were all educated, some inventors, some with wisdom beyond their time that would last through centuries.  But, Benjamin Franklin, the son of a soap maker, he continues to affect our lives in ways that many of us don’t even realize.  Here are just a few ways:

Bifocals: Yes.  Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals, after becoming tired of having to change glasses for up close and far away.

“Remember that time is money” — Words said by Ben, that are still repeated today. Perhaps your boss has used those words today?

Electricity:  I didn’t put this at number one, only because of course electricity “existed” before Benjamin Franklin.  So he didn’t invent it, but it’s because of him that we began to understand it A LOT more. He also coined many new terms in relation to electricity including: Charge, Conductor, Positively, Negatively, and Battery (more on batteries in a moment)

Odometers: We may not look at them everyday,  but they are definitely in all of our automobiles.  As PostMaster, Franklin wanted to keep track of routes delivering the mail.

Batteries: The battery might have many incarnations today, but Ben is the one who first developed the name and experimented with his “Franklin Battery.”

“A penny saved is a penny earned” — It’s a little bit of a misquote from what was originally said by Franklin – but I certainly cannot count the number of times this was said to me by my parents and grandparents.

Public Libraries: Franklin created the first U.S. public library so the less fortunate could expand their minds.

Swim Fins:  Ok, so maybe we don’t use swimfins everyday.  But, he did invent them at the age of 11. (His were just used on the hands instead of the feet)

“Benjamins” — The Pennsylvania Gazette was a printing press owned by Benjamin Franklin that began printing the first paper money in Philadelphia and Delaware.  (Even with misspellings thought to ward off counterfeits.) Over a century later, an image of Franklin was used on the $100 bill, and many of us call them Benjamins to this day.

Freedom:  Yes, we have him to thank for this.  He was one of the 5 men to draft the Declaration of Independence. He was also one of only 4 men to sign the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War and acknowledged the United States to be a free, sovereign and independent nation. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from Ben Franklin?

— 

Crystal is Store Manager at Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, Texas.

David Bowie Fashions through the Decades

Fashion! Turn to the left!

Fashion! Turn to the Right!

Oooh, Fashion!

David Bowie is as synonymous with fashion as he is with music.  From Diamond Dogs to Scary Monsters.  In honor of his 66th birthday, let’s put on our red shoes and dance through fashion trends during the decades of David Bowie.

The 1960sThe Redhead

David’s signature locks showed us all that being a red headed stepchild actually looked good! Ginger was definitely the color to have on your head.

The 1970s – Glam Rock

The trend that describes a musical style as much as a fashion style.  Don’t like your hair? That is totally fine – Just cover it with a wig!  Don’t like your face? Not to worry – Just paint one on that you like! Feeling a little short? No big deal – Heels are now ok for girls and guys alike!  And let’s not forget the beginning of bling with all that glitters and sparkles.  Who was at the center of all of this?  Ziggy Stardust.

The 1980s – Goblin King

Sure there were many styles in the 80s, but I want to focus on my favorite.  The style that proved that being the bad guy can always be in fashion.  David Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth.  With a hairstyle and eye makeup that have re-emerged on fashion runways through the years.   David Bowie was certainly holding the crystal ball to see into fashion trends.

The 1990s – Goatee

The facial hair pattern that is still worn by so many men (including my husband.. on rare occasions).

The 2000s – Re-inventing the Mustache

The 2000s re-introduced us to Bowie, the actor.  When we say mustache, so many of us think Burt Reynolds in the 1980s, we so often forget the 90s – the 1890s in fact with Mr. Nikola Tesla.  David Bowie’s portrayal of Tesla showed us that it’s not only cool to be geek but it’s also cool to sport the ‘stache.

So what’s your favorite Bowie incarnation? — Crystal

Crystal is Store Manager at Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, Texas.

Introducing the latest in retro-nostalgic holiday fun — “Halfy Call-A-Days,” the Half Price Books Holiday Hotline!

Our talented Bibliomaniacs are at it again! They sing, they write poetry, they give great book, music and movie recommendations . . . and they can really spread the holiday cheer! So this year HPB created a toll-free line where you can dial in for holiday greetings any time, any place, straight from our Bibliomaniacs to you! Hurry, don’t delay! Call 1-855-HPB-FONE right now!

Our HPB Halfy Call-A-Days Kazoo Crew gives you a special preview!

So, grab a cup of holiday tea or cocoa at your desk, at home by the fire or even while you wait in line at the grocery store and take a moment to relax and enjoy the holidays. Dial up Jim Swayze at 1-855-HPB-FONE that’s (toll-free) 1-855-472-3663.

Add it to your contacts and call back often!

If you are wondering what you might hear, some options include:

  • A special greeting from the Half Price Books Santa Claus
  • T’was the Night Before Christmas in the Bookstore, an original poem written by Elizabeth E. on the HPB Development team (and read by Tim, our HR director)
  • Up On the Housetop performed by the Buy Guy
  • A Holiday Funny brought to you by Our Customer Service Department
  • Auld Lang Syne  performed by some Caroling Marketeers
  • And a bonus track from Jim Swayze!

Our warmest wishes to you this festive season! – Becky

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Bexican75.