Meet the Bibliomaniac: Caroline Kellogg

Ever participated in a reading challenge?  Did you reach your goal?  Well one of our own, Caroline Kellogg from our Appleton, Wisconsin location, has set forth on her own reading odyssey.  She plans to read a book from EVERY sub-section of her HPB.  We’re not quite sure how many books that is, but we know it’s a bunch! 

So in this month’s “Meet the Bibliomaniac,” meet Caroline and learn more about her quest!

Name:   Caroline Kellogg   

Job Title:   Bookseller

When did you join the HPB team? I have been at the Appleton store since it first opened in 2009.

What is your favorite part about working at HPB? I would say my favorite thing about working here is that each day is different. It’s great to work for a company where your ideas are actually listened to and taken into consideration.

You’re reading a book from every sub-section of the store.  What made you decide to do that?  I decided I needed to start reading a greater variety of titles. I tend to stick with history and felt I was getting into a rut.

When did you start?  I started my quest about two months ago. 

How many books have you read so far?  And how many will you read?  Right now, I’m in the middle of my seventh book. I haven’t counted how many sub-sections there are at my store – I don’t want to get discouraged!

As of now, what has been your favorite subject?  Since I started, my favorite section has been Political Science.

Tell us what you plan to do when you get to cookbooks.  Because it would be mind numbing to read a cookbook from each sub-section, I have decided instead to make a recipe from each one. Some I will make for myself and my husband and I’m sure the desserts will be brought to work!

How are you keeping track of everything you’re reading?  I bought a notebook to keep track of my progress. When I choose a new book, I write the title, author and subsection down. When I’ve finished, I write a paragraph or two with my opinions. When I finish a recipe, I plan to take a photo of it and add it to my notebook. I’ll do the same thing in Home Arts as I am doing with cooking.

What is your all-time favorite book?  It’s difficult to pick an all-time favorite book. Two titles come to mind for my favorite fiction books are Little Women and Animal Farm, while The Diary of Eva Braun is a favorite for non-fiction.

Anything else to add? I get a bit worried when it comes to sections that I don’t have much interest in – I don’t want to get bored!  For example, I’m not a big Sci-Fi fan. In that case, I am relying on my co-workers to help pick a title for me. If any fellow HPBers have some great, interesting titles in any sub-section, please send them my way!


We’ll check back with Caroline later this year to see how she is coming along.  In the meantime, leave any recommendations you have for Caroline in the comment section!

— Emily

HPB Reading Challenge: Lit Classics

Did you know that the weather powers-that-be predicted an exceptionally cold winter this year? When we first heard that, Jenni and I headed to Half Price Books to stock up on some great “cozy up to the fire” reads — so even though Old Man Winter is later than normal this season, we’ll be ready for him when he arrives!

Cozying up to the fire always makes us think of returning to the classics — Dickens, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Whitman. Then the blog team at Half Price Books mentioned that other customers wanted to do a “Reading Challenge,” where everybody pledges to read a certain genre of books together– and Jenni and I thought, “We should do a Literature Classics Challenge!”

The idea is this: if you have always thought to yourself, “Ah, I always meant to read Fountainhead, or Catch 22, or War and Peace, but never had the time,” now’s our chance to shake on it and do this thing together.

The goal is to read:

  1. A Children’s/Young Adult Classic
  2. 19th Century Classic
  3. 20th Century Classic
  4. A Classic Play

You can sign up for the challenge in the comments section of this post (be sure to indicate WHICH books you’ll be reading!) by Friday, January 27th. The challenge will end March 31, 2012 (at which point we’ll move onto another Reading Challenge!) Everyone who signs up for the challenge & completes it will be entered into a drawing for a $50 HPB gift card.

Have any questions? Enter in the comments or drop me a line here.

Reporting from the store floor,

Jim Swayze