We Buy Everything Printed and Recorded—and More!

At HPB, one of our primary missions is to provide the biggest variety of printed and recorded merchandise you’ve ever seen. But we can’t do that without YOU! Of course we buy and sell a huge variety of books, but we offer so much more, based on what customers like you sell to us each and every day. As our co-founder Ken Gjemre used to say, “We buy everything printed and recorded, except yesterday’s newspaper.”

Whether Marie Kondo has convinced you to “tidy up” those closets and bookshelves or you’ve been bitten by the Spring Cleaning bug, we’re happy to help. Let’s take a closer look at the many kinds of things you can bring us for cold, hard cash! Continue reading

The Birth of Half Price Books

In 1972, we opened our first store in a converted laundromat in Dallas, Texas. Co-founders Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson stocked the store with more than 2,000 books from their personal libraries.

In 1999, Ken wrote, “The thing I am most proud of is Half Price Books. It was way more than a business — it embodied everything one could ask for in an enterprise. It had the benefit of continuity; we did it every day. Every day we made a whole bunch of people happy; we did good work every single day. In many ways it was a ‘waste not’ kind of operation, much as my father had always personified.”


“Both Pat and I were bibliophiles,” Ken wrote. “I had a personal library of 5,000 books and Pat read a book a day or more. The thought of having a bookstore excited us both.” 



“People started buying up the books as fast as I could get them on the shelves,” Ken wrote. “Half Price Books opened on a Thursday with $140 in the bank, and by the end of that weekend, we had done enough business to pay our employees. By August, we had already begun planning our second location as our first was already too small.”  

Now that we’ve heard from Ken, let’s hear from Pat, in her own words:   

 Here’s to 40 more. Happy birthday, HPB 🙂 

— Kristen D.