#HPBUniversity: Customer College Stories

Let’s face it. College can be tough. Those four years—or more—teach us just as many lessons about survival as they do about our major, and whether it’s late nights at the library or being down to that last pack of ramen, we all come out a little stronger in the end. In the spirit of reminiscing about our days in the dorms, we’ve taken to Facebook to ask about some of your favorite college memories. Check out our favorite responses below!


  • “Don’t sign up for that credit card just to get a free t-shirt.” — Eric B.
  • “You’re going to want to quit a few times. Don’t!” — Anita C. 
  • “Get involved in the clubs for your major/minor. Go to office hours, even if you don’t have a horrible problem. Build a relationship with your professors – you’re going to know them for four or more years and they are generally good people. Plus, they can be super helpful professionally.” — Ken O.
  • “Go to tutor sessions.” — Christopher D. 
  • “You need to do some cardio in the summer beforehand. I was dying walking across campus in the 15 mins I had.” — Myshell R.
  • “Stop trying to make Mom happy. It wont happen.” — Michelle S.
  • “Beware of the freshman 15! Those pounds are a real thing and hard to get rid of!” — Janet K.
  • “Branch out and meet more people in the dorm.” — Shalei B.
  • “You’re going to go through some hard time, but you’ll come through stronger and braver.” — Cassandra S.
  • “Take an intramural sport that you wouldn’t have done otherwise. I had a lot of fun doing sports I wanted to try in high school but just never felt good enough to do.” — Alanna L.

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Class of 2016: Best School-Themed TV Shows

It’s officially the time of year which parents love, children dread and teachers…nervously anticipate. That’s right—it’s back-to-school season. Whether you’re rushing to buy the perfect protractor or you’re soaking up every last moment of glorious summer freedom, like it or not, in the next few weeks, life is going to change. Here at HPB HQ, back to school gets us thinking of all the great schools we’ve seen on screens big and small over the years. While we’ve covered school days in film on one occasion or another, I thought it would be worth looking at some of the best TV series set in the world of education. It’s hard to rank them all, so instead I went with the classic “superlative” approach. Enjoy!

Most Likely to Star on Broadway: Glee

The students of William McKinley High School went through a lot in 6 seasons with a smile on their face and a song in their hearts. Say what you want about this show’s rocky run, but I’ll never forget when I heard the New Directions take on Don’t Stop Believin’ for the first time.

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Top School Required Reading You Didn’t Hate

As summer ends and the kids prepare to head back to school, our thoughts naturally return to the required reading we were forced to endure the last time we sat in a classroom.  The books that spring quickly to my mind are William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, three books which I would be happy to never see again in my life.  Now, we know that not all required reading makes you question the sanity of your English teacher.  So, we asked you what were the books on your required reading list that you enjoyed.  (Enjoyed might be too strong of a word.  Liked? Tolerated? Didn’t throw across the room in a fit of frustration and boredom?)  So, without further ado, here is the list of required reading you—didn’t hate.

(1) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; (2) Brave New World, by Aldoux Huxley (3) Night, by Elie Wiesel (4) Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen (5) The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien (6) Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (7) The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (8) The Giver, by Lois Lowry (9) A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (10) All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque (11) 1984, by George Orwell, (12) War of the Worldsby H.G. Wells (13) Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (14) East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (15) Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (16) Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (17) A Separate Peace, by John Knowles (18) The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde (19) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (20) Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

(21) Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut (22) The Iliad, by Homer (23) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (24) The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells (25) The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien (26) Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (27) On the Beach, by Nevil Shute (28) The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (29) A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (30) The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck (31) The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (32) Legend, by Marie Lu (33) The Ramayana, by William Buck (34) Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (35) Animal Farm, by George Orwell (36) The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway (37) Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (38) The Red Pony, by John Steinbeck (39) The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch (40) As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

(41) Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (42) Alas Babylon, by Pat Frank (43) Anthem, by Ayn Rand (44) Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand (45) Indian Killer, by Sherman Alexie (46) Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonthan Swift (47) The Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (48) James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl (49) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (50) Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse (51) Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous (52) The Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell (53) Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom (54) Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor M. Dostoevsky (55) Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore (56) The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, by H.W. Brands (57) Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (58) The Diary of Ma Yan, by Ma Yan (59) O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather (60) The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Reading this list I remembered several books I read and loved in school.  What about you?  Did your favorite required reading title make the list?

And if you are preparing to go back to school yourself, we hope your required reading list is full of books you—don’t hate. — Julie

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

40 Classic Books You Should Have Read in School

Earlier this month Jim Swayze challenged you to read Classic Literature, but if you are anything like me, you wonder when a book stops being a regular book and starts being a “classic.” Interestingly enough, no one really knows. In fact, essays have been found debating the topic since the early 19th century. The term “classic” is accepted to mean that the book is noteworthy and stands the test of time. However, the noteworthiness of the book is also very subjective.

So how are you to know whether the book you are reading is a classic? Well, lucky for you, our employees know books. We conducted an extensive and amusing poll, consisting of the ever-so-technical question, “So, what do you think?” Without further ado, here are our employees’ selections for 40 Books You Should Have Read in School, a.k.a. Classic Literature.





So, how many of you read that list saying, “Read it. Read it. Hated it. Want to read it. Never heard of it . . .” ? Wow! You are like me. If so, I know that you will be itching to read those books that you haven’t read, and why not enter to win a $50 HPB gift card in the process. You have one more week to sign up for the HPB Reading Challenge: Lit Classics.

Tip: Les Miserables is almost 1,500 pages. A Christmas Carol is a little more than 100 pages. I’m just saying.

Did we leave out your favorite classic lit from our list? Let us know in the comments below.

— Julie

Back to School + Ripping Out Textbook Pages

Hey stoods and profs: We’re talking to you today. What up? Has anyone coined the term ‘stoods’ for students? I think I need cred for that.

What?! I’m hip!

The start of the Spring Semester always seems like a misnomer. First of all, for many, the first day of the “Spring” Semester means donning a down puffer coat and wellies and trudging back to class in chilly temps or worse, snow and ice.

Speaking of– when is the first snow day!?

Whether you are a student with a whole new schedule or a prof with a new brood of stoods, we hope this semester is a great one.

So, what’s fun about starting back after Winter Break?

1) Having a good excuse to say the word “syllabus.” I mean that’s fun anytime. Say it. Fun right? I didn’t say I liked a syllabus, or that I was able to “keep up” with a syllabus…but I like saying it. Syllabus.

2) You have something to do on the weekdays. I mean really, whether you picked up a winter break job or have just been laying around watching daytime TV, you are ready to go back. You don’t want to admit it, but you are!

3) Buying books. I know, it is stressful, and a ton of money, but you know it has to be done– and nothing feels more back-to-school than waiting in line behind hundreds of your favorite co-eds, only to find out they don’t have the edition you need, and neither does the next bookstore, or the next . . .  But you kids have it easy these days: you can buy textbooks online!

            *SOME people I know (me) didn’t have the interwebs to do their textbook shopping, you lucky stoods, you!

So it’s off to class you go. Don’t you wish every first day of class started like this?

Best of luck to all and now, the countdown to Spring Break begins!

 –Becky (Former Stood)

 P.S. Teachers: obviously you’re just as excited (read: full of dread) as the kids to be returning, so let us help: HPB offers a 10% educator discount! Sign up here and let us take a tiny bit of the edge off. Happy learning, all!