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Half Price Books Clearance Event

So many epic scores. Despite getting only 3 hours of sleep the night before day 1 due to work, and my uterus deciding to surprise punch me on day 2. Nothing gets between me and the biggest book sale of the year.


About The Hunt
Because I had only about 3 hours on Friday, and today I was with Chris, once it became clear the juvenile/YA section was not going to be as fruitful as usual this year, I more or less abandoned it in favor of a new "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" Hard Mode approach: tackling the regular fiction section. Ostensibly in hopes that one of the exponentially expanding number of adult titles I have enjoyed would glow for me, but also in secret hopes of finding a brand new book I might actually just want to read. And I did, hoo boy, I found one I love so much I've been hugging it to my chest for 24 hours straight, WHAT A GOOD BUY...but we are not at that part of the story yet.

I also threw myself with more fervor than usual at the DVDs, figuring I have seen so many obscure and crappy Action/General Dude Movies there over the years that, now that I know what I'm looking for, it was not unreasonable to think I might luck out and hit an older Billy Burke film. This was not to be.

I did finally find Enchanted -- 5 times over, in fact -- but I'm Discerning for my fave film, and only 1 of them was widescreen and it was scratched all to hell. And so, I continue to wait for it to find me. I'm sure it's getting to me as fast as it can.

I also could not find The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, though a different Michael Chabon book did turn up in the YA section just to annoy me. And Taylor Swift CDs -- I am always on the lookout to upgrade to Target editions -- eluded me entirely.

The very worst thing I had to leave behind was Nop's Trials, a book about a Border Collie and possibly the very first non-classic Book Entirely For Adults I ever read and enjoyed, which I have always wanted...but it was in a massive hardcover. Massive. Built like a Bible. And I knew if I brought it home "just to read," I would never give it up, so I made myself leave it there, with the self-bargain that I could buy it online, as even double the cost is worth it to save shelf space and weight.

But like I said, I did really, really, really well.

Things I Bought

DVDs ($2 each)
-Friends: seasons 8 & 10 (the later seasons of a show, even a mega-show, are always hardest to find. first time I have seen these for less than $10 anywhere) (and yes I know that this whole series needs an eventual upgrade/is the only thing that's ever tempted me to get a BluRay player, because the TV reruns I watch are in HD and anything less clear than that might as well be original antenna TV quality, but until that day...)
-Reba: season 1 (because who CAN'T use more Reba in their life)
-X-Files: season 4 (I have literally never seen TXF go for less than $10, and its standard HPB price is usually $19.99)
-Girl Most Likely (which I still have never watched! but now I will have what I can only assume is Darren Criss's best film role ever at my fingertips, always)
-Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest (shiny 2-disc edition!), so now I have the trilogy proper.

CDs ($1 each)
I did not go in with a wishlist, but everything I found delighted me anyway.

  • Josh Groban, "Noel" (2007). Shiny special edition with a "making of" DVD!

  • Katell Keineg, "Jet" (1997). This is important because it's the CD with "One Hell of a Life," a song I fell in love with just last month! I was gonna pay 99 cents to buy it online anyway, and this way I figured if I like one hit, I might like more (and so far, I am digging it). I particularly like this copy because it's stamped "PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY. SALE OR OTHER TRANSFER IS PROHIBITED." Which, whoops, guess HPB just decided to ignore that twice.

  • Shawn Colvin, "Steady On" (19 -- whoa! 1989). This is the one with "Shotgun Down the Avalanche," another song I just fell in love with!

  • Lizz Wright, "Freedom & Surrender." (2015) I bought this solely because it looked like it might be the singer-songwriter type of stuff I love, based on the woman's clothing, song titles, and the fact that it's in a plain cardboard case with a pasted-on cardstock cover (also stamped "promotional use only," whoops again). It is sounding more and more like a mistake, as I have once again been foiled by something that looked like my usual artists turn out to have a gospel/blues/jazz tint. [edit: but 1 mistake out of 4 blind guesses ain't bad!]

  • Shani Rose, "Merry Go Round" (2013). Another I bought solely because of its appearance, based on the girl's clothing and the cardboard-sleeve packaging. I am not sure if it's more country or regular singer-songwriter -- never mind, The Internet says pop/contemporary! [edit: and it is definitely amenable to my ears! Go me!]

  • Kristy Hanson, "Already Gone" (2007). Goin' for the Triple Crown of undiscovered ladies in cardboard-sleeve packaging here, really. [edit: and I woulda won if I hadn't banked on Lizz]

  • Jeni Varnadeau, "Colors of Truth" (1996). Least sure of all about this one, never heard of her -- but she looked pretty solidly My 90s Radio Station material, and I loved that the booklet was signed/inscribed by the artist. ...so much so I forgot to examine the CD, which looks a bit scuffed. Hope it plays OK, because track 1 is filling me with great confidence and making up for Lizz!

  • [edit: well no wonder I haven't heard of it. Christian artist, it turns out she is. But I am also the one who's always like "of all the things Christianity has carved out its own genre in, music is the best," so if she doesn't get much more obnoxious than her title track, which at least has pennywhistle to distract me, I might admit this to the collection.]


Books ($2 unless marked less)

  • Mandy by Julie Andrews. Slim paperback, just because it's a childhood fave I can't get from my home county library system, and the illustrations in the neighboring county's are so awful I never want it near me again. This is the only one I could have maybe done without. But, 50 cents.

  • Zig Zag by Ellen Wittlinger. The first road-trip YA novel I ever read (or at least the first to make an impression on me), in a cutely compact paperback with small font to make the story fit. For some reason, in YA, small font automatically makes a book more appealing, the opposite of what it does in regular fiction. So excited to reread! I remember really enjoying it, but very few details. $1.

  • Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. I know I didn't need this. But it was a brand-new paperback of the edition I read for $1, and this is one of my faves from her.

  • Sisters, Ink by Rebeca Seitz. This darling and wonderful book! I first saw it at Savers, didn't wanna pay $4 to take a chance on a Christian novel, checked it out of the library instead, and then loved it so much I kicked myself. And this lovely paperback copy is basically brand new!

  • Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. A compactly cute hardcover memoir I've been thinking about reading and/or buying for a couple of years now. There is just something so appealingly glamorous about the world of high-end shopgirls before 1950.

  • The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman. (paperback) This is the book I was talking about at the beginning. I read this last night and I already wanna read it again; I can't even find the words to express my excitement anymore; it just has so many beautiful things going for it that are right up my alley and I genuinely cannot believe that I just found this, out of the clear blue, in the insanely wide world of adult fiction, with no pre-existing knowledge of it or its author, and just knew from the summary that it was For Me.

Bonus Animal Sightings
I would assume the fairgrounds have a rule about only allowing service animals in the building, but it's the ground floor of the colliseum and just has cement floors, so maybe HPB was able to wrangle the same policy they have for their stores, because between the two days I saw:

  • A Great Dane with some kind of wonky foot (it almost looked like he had extra toes?), which he held in the air as he hopped around on three legs instead

  • I didn't see this, actually, but Chris did -- a cat. A cat sleeping in someone's shopping cart full o' books. Who brings a cat anywhere for any reason except to and from the vet or a new home??


There. I've been twice now, and I want to be done, but also: I know me. I'm going back tomorrow [edit: nope. I'm gonna get overwhelmed by all the fun media at my fingertips, and in combination with intense cramping, I'm gonna wind up unable to sleep despite really trying, finally get tired around 7:30 AM and suffer rapid decline until I crash for good 3 hours later.]

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