Once again I hit pay dirt at Half Price Books! First off if you live anywhere close to one of these stores it is a must stop! They obviously have books and if you’re a fan of the Warhammer or 40K novels ranges you can always find a good variety and the occasional old/rare book. The somewhat hidden gem is that they also carry RPG and games at most locations. Some have better selections then others but it is always worth a look. They also carry comics and graphic novels as well. As their name implies, you typically get most items in the store for at least half of the original cover price unless it is some rare tome that they feel they can charge a premium. And you find the occasional gem in the $1 bin. I haunt the Columbus Ohio locations on a regular basis since you never know what you will run into and with 6 locations I’m bound to find something of interest. Another great offering from HPB is when you sign up for their mailing list you get access to their occasional coupon sales, typically a week long run of percentages off single items starting at 30% early in the week and culminating in a 50% off on the Sunday of the sales week. So with 50% off I had to indulge myself some.
Here is a pic of my haul from three separate store visits since you can only use the coupon on one item per store. I’ve always wanted to get into Munchkin, probably would have preferred the original version but all they carried was the Cthulhu version. At a starting price of $19.99, 20% off the regular retail price and not one of their standard half price items. With the coupon making it a measly $10 I had to pick up a copy. The same with the Cthulhu Yahtzee, ended up being $10 as well with the 50% off coupon and for $10 I thought it looked too cool to pass up. And lastly, one of the Columbus locations has picked up some misc miniatures and as I perused them I noticed an intact and complete original version Snotling Pumpwagon for a paltry $15 which is good at full price but at $7.50 I couldn’t resist! So the unusual game heavy haul from the used bookstore crawl.
Lastly, I mentioned previously that you do run into the occasional “rare” or “collector” tome at these stores. In most cases I agree with their premium prices. But I ran into a situation that I found a bit unusual. Awhile back I picked up the starting book in Graham McNeil’s excellent Mars series; Priests, Lords, and Gods of Mars. I found Priests of Mars and then subsequently found the last book Gods of Mars, but was having a devil of a time finding the middle installment Lords of Mars. I’m not sure if that particular book had a low print run or what but I just didn’t seem to show up anywhere, not in the used books stores or online. One finally turned up in a HPB and I stopped by to purchase it and was shocked that it was almost double the price of the original cover. I questioned the rationale behind it being so high and got something along the lines of hard to find. Well I’m a cheapskate first and foremost and a stubborn one at that. I politely declined the offer and they offered it to me at about $5 over cover price, about $20 or so. I again declined and moved on since at worst case I could still get an e-copy from Black Library if my patience didn’t hold out. i stress patience since I knew that a wonderful 50% off coupon would eventually appear in my email sometime over the summer. So months went by with the two tomes I did owned constantly whispering my name and begging me to read them. I managed to hold out until last month when the coupon arrived. We made the trip up to Columbus and I thought, “well if it is there I’ll pick it up with the 50% coupon that should make it close to what I should be paying for it.” Not only did they still have it but it appears that they had come to their senses and it was marked at the normal half of the cover price so I picked it up for $3.50. Sometimes it pays to wait!