By: Amy Whalen Deger
Half Price Books (HPB) is a magical place where books are abundant and affordable. The basic theory behind the store is that customers sell their used books to HPB who then resells them for a sizeable discount off of the original price. I like to think of it as a giant monetized book share. Their footprint does not span the whole country but does cover a large portion of it. In case you’re in one of the (sad) states that does not have access to a HPB I’m going to try to set the scene for you…also when you read this next part picture tinkly music in the background…
A little storefront sits at the edge of large shopping center, just between the Olive Garden and the main road. The air smells lightly of garlic. On the front sidewalk, beside the sliding glass door, sits a dolly piled high with paperback books. A little sign on the front happily reads “Just $1!” and so I stop there, because, I want to spend just a dollar on a new book. After perusing those books for a moment and grabbing one or two I make my way through the sliding glass door, and then it hits me. That feeling of a bookstore community. I am in a place where people love to read and imagine as much as I love to read and imagine. Books line shelves and as I walk by the first section, seeing how each colorful spine touches another, I might just run my fingers over them. Trusting them to rest on a book that I was meant to buy. I pull the book off the shelf and realize that I accidentally stopped in the paranormal romance section and so I put the book back. It jars me out of my happy place for a moment but then I refocus. One whole wall holds nothing but clearance items. They are paperbacks. They have been beat up, thrown in the bottom of backpacks, used as coasters, and read fondly on a lawn chair out in the sun. Or I imagine they were. The joy of this process is that I don’t have any idea if the book I am picking is good. My decision rests solely on the look of the cover, the style of the summary, and the length. Sometimes I cheat and read the first paragraph of the last chapter. This can tell you a lot and doesn’t ruin the ending the way reading the last page would. I might have gold in my hand and I might have the worst book I’ve ever read and either way is pretty okay.
So, I really enjoy going to HPB. I enjoy that feeling of not know what book I am going to get. And I want to share that feeling with you. Hence our new column the Half Priced Book Review and Giveaway. Monthly, Culture Babble is going to provide the title and a short description of a half priced book. In this post there will be a sign up for the giveaway. When I have finished the book I will post my review to it and a random winner will be chosen to receive the book. Some of the books may be amazing while others are bound to be duds, but the magic is in reading it and finding out for yourself.
The first Half Priced Book Review and Giveaway Book will be announced this Friday, June 20. Until then cuddle up with a book of your own.
You Can Follow Amy on Twitter @AmySeaMAMMALn
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