On my birthday last month I ventured into my local BN store for the first time. This was the first time I’d been into any BN store in nearly 4 years. Suffice it to say I was not impressed. Watch and tell me your thoughts!
On the heels of reaching my annual reading goal for the first time, I’ve decided to tackle my everlasting TBR pile! So this means no more runs to the bookstore for some time. Take a look at my new books!
Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but for about a year from 2015-2016 I worked at Half Price Books. I’m sorry if you’re not in the US or live in a state without one. They’re really great places.
It was during this period I realized how silly I’d been for so long. Prior to that I’d almost exclusively bought my books through Amazon. Several years ago my favorite was actually Borders because they had the best coupons, but then they closed. At another point I had a Barnes and Noble membership. But the savings were never worth it.
As you can see, over the years I’ve constantly tried to get the most bang for my buck when buying books. Then I found HPB and my world forever changed. Now that vaccinations are starting my hope is that HPB is able to bring back their biggest sales in 2021. 4 times a year they have 20% off everything for a four day weekend. 4 other times a year they have a coupon for every day of the week, culminating with 50% off the final day.
I’ve written over and over about HPB on here. I honestly love the place. But lately it’s been difficult to find some of the books I’ve been looking for. And I’ve been looking for months. I partially attribute this to the pandemic. There’s definitely lots more shelf space than normal. I recently found another used bookstore just down the street from where I live. This is something of a gem, as it’s only one location. But it’s been around for decades. I haven’t gone yet, but I intend to. Who knows? Maybe this will be my new go-to store?
I swear I recorded the video and am writing this post fully believing the title to be true. About 20% of me thinks it’s a lie. 😂
At least it’s just books for me and not like, TVs or something. Anyway, feel free to watch. Or you can tell me what books you’ve recently added to your personal shelves.
No, this obviously isn’t happening right now with virus cases, as expected, surging once again in most of the US and world. What happens in the next few months will give us all an idea of what to expect in 2021.
What I really want to talk about is bookstores. It was less than a decade ago that Borders closed its doors, mostly on account of e-books. Barnes and Noble and Books-A–Million (the two largest chains remaining in the US) have been struggling for years before the pandemic took customers out of stores. Half Price Books (my personal favorite) seems to be okay because if their doors are open, then they can buy books from the public.
Months ago I told my brother I thought JCPenney and Barnes and Noble would close for good. So far, I’ve been wrong. All the bookstores around me have been reopened since the spring. That doesn’t mean customers have returned or will be doing so. Though we can still buy online, there are lots of people unemployed or furloughed. Books may not be at the top of the list of needed items.
I’ve gotten this far and haven’t mentioned indies. They are probably the most likely to shut their doors during the pandemic. They can’t host author events and even when open, customers may not return.
Recently I was thinking to myself about Half Price Books not having their 20% storewide or coupon week promotions. If you’re familiar, then you know both of these promotions bring in lots of customers over several days. They’ve moved their sales to their website, which isn’t my preference. I was thinking to myself about the few dollars I could be saving if they’d had their promotions. But what’s important is that they’re able to survive (along with all the bookstores around). That won’t happen, but at least they’re still fighting, like many in the country.
To answer my own question, yes I think there will be bookstores next year. The real question is how many.
I know I told y’all about this when I went. But I enjoyed it so much I wanted to make a video about it too. So here it is!
Another late start for me. Not because I wanted more sleep, although that’ll always be the case, but because I had to pack up all my things before leaving for the day. It was my last day in my Airbnb. Since I decided to lengthen my time in Dallas I’m staying the rest of my trip with my brother.
So because of that, because I also decided to get breakfast beforehand, and I had a 45 minute drive to get to Fort Worth I only visited one museum. The Kimbell Art Museum, which has the only Michelangelo painting in any American museum! Seen above.
I had limited expectations because I thought a museum created by a wealthy couple may struggle to keep pace with other museums. Wrong.
I can’t speak for the size of their permanent collection, but everything they had on display was rather amazing. Many of the sculptures on display were thousands of years old. And some of the paintings were more than 500 years old!
I was a little disappointed not to visit any other places, but I’ve gone to quite a few so far.
After I left the museum I had to burn a little time. I went to the Half Price Books Flagship store! Oh my. I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want anyone to be like “what’s he doing?”, but y’all! I’ve been to 6 different locations in Houston. The flagship store might be bigger than all of them combined! By far the biggest bookstore I’ve ever been inside. They have tons of everything. A coffee shop. An events room because they have real author events. An entrance specifically for selling your books. An information desk when you get lost in the maze of everything. And lots of places to sit down.
I decided against buying any new books, but I did find a nice replacement copy for a book I’ve had a long time in really bad condition.
I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I JUST post one of these videos recently? Well, yes. But everyone knows one can never have too many books! Right? RIGHT? Anyway, I picked up a few more books recently from my local HPB because they gave me a bed in back where I sleep now. Ha.
Also, special shoutout to Die a Stranger by Steve Hamilton, The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, and You by Caroline Kepnes. I bought all of these over the weekend and I already had the video edited and uploaded. Whoops.
Now watch and tell me which books you’ve picked up recently!
Since I worked at Half Price from 2015-2016 I’ve almost exclusively bought my books there. Why? Most of the books in store are in really good condition and I get to save money, which means more money for MORE books.
But of course there’s a downside to this. I never buy books online from because I’ve bought used books online before and the condition was atrocious when I finally got them. So I’m limited to what’s available in my local store.
That’s okay. It isn’t the worst thing ever. But I have three books I want to buy and have looked for multiple times and haven’t found them. Ugh. But I shall wait! Because I’m not spending 2x or more on a book I can get at Half Price. And don’t recommend I look at the library, I KNOW. But I need my own copies.
Yesterday I wrote about Amazon largely ignoring readers during its annual Prime Day. I may have been mistaken.
There’s a new book I’m interested in coming out next week. I happened to see a tweet from its author stating that the book was 70% off on Amazon. I checked. It was. A brand new release was $8.40. I decided to buy it. Then noticed that Amazon was (and still is) running a promo on books. $5 off $15. Not exactly the mountain of savings you could have from other items, but it is something. The promo code is primebooks17.
Also, this week is coupon week at my local HPB.