Nobody leaves empty-handed

People may believe that they’re just dropping off a few items for sale. But the sale’s never immediate. At Half Price Books, there’s always a wait to have the items appraised. This must be by design. In the meantime, only the iron-willed do not browse the shelves and end up buying goods worth more than what HPB just offered.

Half Price Books began in Austin by sharing a building on Lavaca with a dry-cleaning plant (and for a while later, with the Chron, which officed upstairs), across the street from a motorcycle shop and within easy lunchtime walking distance of everyone from the river to the science and engineering buildings on campus.

When it moved to the Drag, that location became Half Price central. Now that the Drag location has finally closed, perhaps the new Anderson Lane location is the largest branch. But it seems a long way from central Austin. South Lamar, which has expanded, somehow seems closer.

What tempted us most today were Taschen books of graphic images, with subject matter of devils (and a similar volume on images of angels), mid-century post cards, and kitchen- and cooking-related visuals from the same era.

Adults were buying lots of SpongeBob and Patrick items, for themselves personally. My favorite item of the day was a TCU yearbook from 1970. It’s in a very large format and with kazillions of evocative photographs, all in black and white. It was very difficult to leave Miss Horned Frog sitting there on the shelf, but her allure was successfully resisted. She and all the others captured so vividly still await some enterprising graphics designer.

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