Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Oh, won't take me to FUNKYTOWN! (Is that nice and stuck in your head now? Goood!)

Now you know, I likes me some books. However, my situation is such that my book allowance is generally quite, um, small. For you not so hep to subtlety...I am poor.
My preferred method to get my "fix" is the library. And we have a great library system! But sometimes, a great book comes along. And you just have to have it. A totally unnecessary, gorgeous book. So, where does a poor bookworm go? Why, to Half-Price Books, of course! (No, this is NOT a commercial!)

My store, bay-bee!

All of the HPB stores are great. They sell books - you guessed it - half price. There are a lot of previously loved books, but there are also a lot of brand-spanking new ones as well! And they do have the best sellers and all that. I don't really care, though, about that stuff. 

There are some fantastic finds here - tantalizing treasures, bizarre biographies, mesmerizing mysteries, and just plain beautiful books that I would never have seen in a typical bookstore! Here they display the funkiness. Ah, yeah.
I mean, really - "Jitterbug Perfume", "Susan Klegg and Her Neighbor's Affairs" (THAT sounds good), "Using Japanese Slang", "India, Then and Now"? I would never have checked these out normally. (Especially the Japanese slang one...I can't afford books, how am I gonna go to Japan??) But don't these sound good?

Each aisle displays some cool finds!

They even have a collectibles and nostalgia section- "Black Beauty", The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and some vintage Dr. Seuss!

The bargain bin

Do you see any old favorites?

Now. There are two Half Price Bookstores that I frequent. One in the artsy part of H-town (Montrose) and one in Rice Village. My fave? The one in Rice Village. It's been here since '89. And it still retains that FUNKYVIBE (sing it, girl!). There are brick walls, a winding staircase, and that old familiar smell of, well, books. Much loved books.

This winding staircase leads to business, foreign language, horror, romance, and games. (There used to be the COOLEST light fixture at the top...all retro-y. It's gone. I'm dealing with it. Progress, you know.)

Scarlet may just come sashaying down...with some books.

But what do you need as you look at books? A place to sit! And should it be one of those squashy sofas that sit so low to the ground that you have to roll out?

At the top of the stairs, sit a spell.
Well, of course not! No, it should be a nice comfy armchair that you can ACTUALLY GET OUT OF! This place has neat little reading spots all over. 

I just looove the children's area (Surprised? Yeah, I know! I even drive a minivan!). It is so bright and cheerful and there are books....



...and more books!

Dinosaurs, trains, and butterflies...all the subjects I look at these days!

I have been coming to this store since '93. And it has seen me through some major stages and events in my life. There were the lovely journals I had time to fill as a single chica, bought gifts for my friends, and then found Spanish lessons and travel guides before I moved to Mexico. I purchased wedding planning books, then pregnancy books, baby name books, potty training books, beginning readers...vegetarian cookbooks, mysteries for roadtrips,  browsed though their vinyl records for my hubby, and old magazines for school projects. I've even sold a few of my lesser loved books to them! Everyone is super friendly and helpful and knows what they are doing(!).

Bet I could find Funkytown here

Yep, it's a real treat for me to come in here, and I can get lost in here for hours.  Hope it stays here another 20 years!


  1. What a treasure! It looks so welcoming and delightful! I can definitely imagine spending plenty of time (and money!) in there!

  2. Wow your HPB looks huge! Ours is probably about half of that and is also closing. My city is obviously very full of non-readers.

  3. Yay! you will have some bargains to share for BBB!

    I love HPB!!! And I do mean HPB-- Did you know I blogged about finding their store in OKC and Branson closed last summer? The HPB manager from OKC commented that the store I meant was the 75% Off Bookstore! How embarrassing!

    Makes sensee though-- the 75% Off store was funky-- not cool funky-- funky funky!

    Wow! I've never seen such a big HPB-- never a two story one! too cool! I must visit it-- hope you'll take me on a tour someday.

    Yes, I do see books I recognize! I used to read Trixie Beldon at the Gibson's in Lgv--remember Gibsons? And I just bought an old bobbsey twin snow mystery this week-- thought T might like it since the twins are age 6 and lord knows he likes the snow!!

    Can't believe there is a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle-- I've been keeping my eyes peeled for her but no luck yet.

    Wish I could check out those old picture books-- especially Messy the Mooch-- What a title!!

    You may be penuriously challenged but you are one lucky bookworm!!


  4. Jillian: I can't believe your HPB is closing too! You have a bookworm tragedy on your hands.

    My local stores-- that means 50-60 miles away-- are Hastings and Books-a-Million. I sure hope they aren't closing like your Borders and BN. I don't keep up with business news but maybe I should see how they are doing...

  5. +JMJ+

    Now THAT is a bookstore! =D It has the feel of a library run by true book lovers.

    I wouldn't mind reading some of the old non-fiction/reference books in the "Old Favourites" picture. My high school library had some of them--biographies of famous people and such, published in the 40s and 50s and donated to the Philippines from America for some reason or another. They were clearly written for young children, but I was amazed at how intelligently and intelligibly they presented their information. I could have taught myself out of those books, if they were all I had had.

  6. ...just must comment on this post. The song is now dancing in my head and has me giggling out loud. It is so fitting here! Thanks fortaking me back to Funkytown!!! SOL!!! ..And that's for Screaming out loud!

  7. You guys too funny!

    @Lisa, it's a very dangerous place for me to be!

    @Jillian, oh no! Is there a petition you could circulate? Get you Congressman involved? It doesn't seem fair!

    @Lesa - do you want me to pick that book up for you and send it?
    And, yeah, there are lots of bargains, but I went in with my allowance and what I needed.
    But I am thinking that Tuesday, I will go in again.
    And I would LOVE to give you a tour!

    @E,yes, I know what you mean. I see books from the past that didn't talk down to kids and these days, not so much! It's fun to browse the biographies/history section too because I have looked over bios of people I've never had an interest in!

    @RYCJ - I know! It got stuck in my head, but that's what I think of every time I go there! So, I thought I needed to pass that along to you! ;)

  8. Oh, and seriously, the people that work there are very very nice,and knowledgeable, and actually seem to enjoy being there!

  9. I wish we had HPB in Australia!

  10. What's not to love about a store that smells like old books. Mmmmm. I'll have to take some pics of a used bookstore here. Very quaint.

  11. @Delynne...sorry, but you guys have kangaroos and boomerangs, so, it all evens out??

    @Georgia Girl, that sounds like a fun field trip! I only meant to run in a grab the book I had put on hold...I ended up staying over an hour and a half! Those old books make you lose track of time!

  12. L: Haha! that happens to us all the time. We call it 'falling into the void'-- there is a shopping void and a book void! When the shopping void and book void collide-- Watch out! Might not resurface for hours!


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