Half Price Books


In 1972 two people, Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson started a used bookstore, in a laundromat in Dallas. The rest of their corporate history can be found on their website. I’m going to tell you about stuff not on their site. Like what it is to work for them. You see Mr. Gjemre, was gay and Pat, was a woman. Two social groups that have historically been marginalized in business and social settings. They were determined that everyone was going to be treated with respect in their company, customer and employee.
I worked for Half Price in an Arlington Store about ten years ago. The Executives which include descendants of Pat, do not get all the money. Each employee gets a quarterly and yearly bonus, based on the company’s earnings, besides their hourly wage. (An hour-long lunch is on the clock) Promotion as everything else is equal. They call themselves a socialistic company. Their employees feel and are treated like family.
So why am I telling you all this employment stuff? You know you’ll get top drawer service because it’s tired directly to their earnings. Because they feel proud of their job and your dollar is not going to some fat cat who doesn’t need it.
That said why this post? Located at 5803 E Northwest Hwy, this 50,000 sq. ft. store is their flagship store. As a biblioholic I refer to it as the Mothership! 46 years in and Half Price has 122 stores in 17 states. But none of them are like the Flag Ship. Forty-five of the 122 stores are here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. But you still want to drive past all of them to come here.
Want to look closer at a book, there is a coffee shop, Black Forrest Café, located inside the store. Full sandwich meals to dessert menu with fantastic coffee and smoothies. But wait there is a full-size conference room which hosts authors signings, art shows and poetry readings. Half Price has been hosting the Dallas Poets Community, First Friday Readings, for over fifteen years. The Community Room is at the farthest point from the coffee shop, so Readers are not overwhelmed by the roar of the coffee machines.

The store is also pet-friendly. Not just service animals but all dogs that are friendly. With their belief that “books should fill our lives, not our landfills”, this YEAR they have donated 1 million books. This YEAR! Can you imagine how many books have been donated since their start!
An entire section is dedicated to Nerds, with a fifth of the store, making up their children’s section, complete with play house and more. Half Price has started carrying new releases with a 25% discount, their own distributor, Texas Bookman, and their own brand, Hackberry Press. Like Barnes & Noble, they sell other merchandise, including toys, stationery, blank journals, calendars and novelty gifts. As well as Electronics (used) and Electronic associated devices, new and used. There are gaming nights and a Live Band plays on Friday evenings.
Their everyday hours are 9am to 11pm. Check website for holiday closings. https://www.hpb.com/001 you can join their mailing list for coupons sent periodically and they offer a full-time discount of 10% for teachers.