Half Price Books: Books on a Budget

It doesn’t seem too original to hunt for deals on books in a store called Half Price Books (10201 University Ave.), but I had been by a hundred times and never seemed to make the stop. So, I finally took an hour to drop in and check it out.

The store is bigger than it looks from the outside. Long wooden shelves of books extend way back into the store, organized in the typical genres: horror, science fiction, humor, art, etc. Because it was organized well, much like a full-priced bookstore, it was easy to find the books that I was looking for. Often in discounted stores the organization is terrible and it is difficult to find anything specific, although I do love the hunt.

I browsed through the art and crafting sections; the books were all high quality and condition was generally good, but the prices were surprisingly high for a discounted book store. Most of the full color art books were close to $60, well outside of my budget, despite being cheaper than most bookstores. So I looked on through the fiction section. I easily found two books that I had been looking to read: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Stephen King’s Carrie. Both books were small and paperback, but they were under $4 and on my reading list.

The real deals could be found in a smaller section for CDs, albums, DVDs, and even a few dinosaur VHSs as well. I browsed through a section of $5 DVDs, most of them were terrible, but I nearly purchased Shakespeare in Love.  (I’ve always wanted to see it.) But the shelf of TV seasons was glorious. They had the first season of Chuck for $8 and seasons one through four of The Office for $5 each.

But my nerdy holy grail was the complete set of Star Wars DVDs, something I’ve been on the lookout for a while, for $29.99. That is over $10. Yes. But I was not going to leave it behind when the lowest price that I have seen is $59 for the set.

Basically, I was unimpressed by the book prices at Half Price Books. But the DVD prices, and the wide selection of books made the trip worthwhile. And keep an eye out for the SUPER BUY stickers if you go, because those are the good deals.

 So, my bill was a little over the $10 limit this time, but I did find two great books for under $10. [And it was Star Wars, come on.]

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