I haven’t even finished reading all of the books I bought the last time I visited Half-Price Books (I’ve read four of the seven), but that didn’t stop me from loading up again. At a different location this time, I picked up four books for $7.16 plus tax, or $1.79 per book. I’m pretty sure that I paid nearly $7.16 just for Orson Scott Card’s Treasure Box, which I bought at full price to use up a Border Gift Card someone had given me. That is an excellent book, by the way, which I will review in more detail “soon.”
This trip, I picked up two more books by Georges Simenon, another John le Carré novel, and a novel from a new-to-me author, Randy Wayne White.
Having discovered recently that I am a fan of George Simenon, I picked up two more of his Inspector Maigret series, Maigret In Exile and Maigret Loses His Temper. Exile was written in 1942, so it must come pretty early in the 75-novel series. Simenon was 39 that year. Temper was written in 1963, when Simenon was 60, but he lived until 1989, so it may still be a “middle” book. Each of these books was marked at $1.98, but there was a 20% sale, so they cost me $1.58 each.
Since I mentioned in my last HPB piece that I had read very few of John le Carré‘s novels, I received an email from a good friend assuring me that I simply must read Smiley’s People. Okay, Ken, I have it now, and I will. This novel was written in 1979, and I have a December 1980 edition which cost me $1.40. The $3.50 cover price was cut in half to $1.75, but that 20% discount kicked in again.
I was actually at HPB because my wife was looking for a few things. It isn’t the best store in the word when you have something in particular in mind, so while she was looking, I had unfortunately too much time to look through books. I started with one, then two, then three and so on. Several times I talked myself out of books; at one point I held eight. I had worked my way down to three when I caught sight of a book entitled The Man Who Invented Florida. With a picture of an orange being peeled with a switchblade knife, and the peel in the shape of the state of Florida, how could I resist? And so I welcomed Randy Wayne White to my library shelves for $2.60 after the discount. Ugh, I bought a book written in 1993 and I sure paid for it. Brought my average price way up!
Still, four books for seven dollars is not too bad.