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Half the Cost, All the Material - Review by Stacy C | Half Price Books

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Half the Cost, All the Material 9/9/2006

I remember first hearing about Half Price Books a few years ago. It was during my "need money for food and gas cuz I'm a poor college student" stage, and I remember vaguely loading up my 1980 Chevy Citation with my precious tomes and driving across town to sell them. Since that time, a few more of these havens have appeared, including this store, across the street from the local Wal-Mart. And also, quite ironically, down the street from Borders. Now, you may wonder, why would you consider visiting this store? Simple. EVERY book is at least half off. Some more. You can also find all sorts of treasures: software, games, DVD's and LP's, amongst others. Most are trade-ins from other consumers, but some are new, sold at a reduced cost through the store. If you are a book fanatic, and having a diffcult time finding that special tome through eBay, it might be worth the time to peruse the aisles of your local Half Price Books. My husband and I are both fanatics of the DragonLance and Forgotten Realms series. For us, it is important to have a complete collection of these novels, including the first edition prints. If we surf eBay, the costs can skyrocket for true devotees. Half Price, however, remains faithful to its promise. The titles are half the cover price. This can be a good or a bad thing. While Half Price Books by-and-large won't take books that are in horrible condition (missing covers, etc.), I have seen some novels that have obviously lived less-than-perfect shelf lives. Stickers, writing on the inside covers, and dog-earred pages are some of the many irks you could find as a book purist. On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, you can also find mint condition copies, obviously traded in by true lovers of print. On our most recent trip to this store, we were perusing the software shelves, and I noticed a thin binder amongst the other collection of boxes. Curiously, I pulled it out, and discovered a gently worn edition of the Final Fantasy VIII computer game! Joy of joys! The prices on eBay topped $30 easily for this rare game... but in Half Price Books, it was a mere $6.98! Sure, the CDs had some minor scratches, but I was ecstatic! A rare find for our collection! And, to note, a sticker was on the cover that did indicate there were minor scratches on the CDs... AND the cashier told us (I hadn't noticed the sticker at that time) about the damage, and we could bring the game back for in-store credit within 30 days, with our receipt. A find like that? As if! The staff at the store is very friendly, and are more than willing to help. If you are bringing in boxes of books or just there to take your time amongst the many aisles... they will gladly point out a book for you, or help find it. Recently, they re-arranged some of the sections (mainly the gaming and DVD areas), but helpful signs point out the way. My only real complaint is that this recent move placed all of the Dungeons and Dragons books with the manga comics on a shelf below the records. If we hadn't normally visited that section anyway, we may never have found them on our own; as they are missing from the obvious "Gaming" department. In short? If you are looking for older books, specific editions, or frankly just don't want to pay full price for a book, stop by this store. In its own building on the corner of Heisley Rd. and Route 20, across from Walgreen's, it is easy to spot. Plus, if you get hungry, there is a great little chinese restaurant in the plaza right behind the building. To earn some extra cash by trading in your old books, or to pick up some new ones, come here. I guarantee that you will leave with something that you didn't have when you came it. more
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