Tag Archives: half price books

Just when I thought I was out…

I’ve been spending the month of July moving my office. Phase 2 starts this weekend with the assembling of some desk furniture and moving my files and stuff downstairs.

Phase 1 was moving my library, and as part of that I handled just about every book in my collection, making a brief assessment as to what to keep and what to sell to HPB. I am easily suckered in by bundles, whether it’s the digital comic book / game variety these days, or actual bundles of books or magazines tied together with twine. Through one such acquisition I’d acquired a full long shelf (double stacked of course) of science fiction magazines, which had a lot of cool covers that I never looked at, with stories inside that I never read.

Image Source: Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

Image Source: Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

Despite having recently listened to Neil Gaiman’s charming introduction to Cory Doctorow’s Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free, I didn’t suspect that I had the story in there that would change my whole perspective on writing (especially with a lot of these older works being available in much easier to consume form on ManyBooks). So I sold about half the stack, going through each one to see if I recognized the authors, or even liked the titles to determine which ones to keep.

This weekend was Half Price Book’s coupon sale, an exercise in trying to save the most money on a single item without getting suckered in by the clearance section. On the 50% day I did what my wife and I have termed “a trifecta” hitting up the Lane, Bethel and Graceland HPB’s. At both Lane and Bethel were beautiful crowd facing carts with vintage sci-fi mags, going for $1-2 a piece. Ironically the only store that didn’t have these was Graceland where I’d actually sold my books. Now other than suspecting I should have sold the magazines somewhere else, as HPB was making a lot more money off them than I had, I had a little pang of regret for getting rid of them.

Now bear in mind, I’d had these magazines for years and I still have a good stack of at least 45-60 (plus more than that many on my Kindle). I never read them, and only looked at them when I was down in the basement, which until my office moves down there fully was not that often.

But it’s weird how even when you’ve made the decision to get rid of something, that’s when you suddenly see it everywhere you go. It could be ex-girlfriends, books, technology, or whatever, but some things we don’t get away from easily.

Fortunately I stuck to my guns and came home with a short stack of graphic novels instead of old sci-fi mags, including a copy of Blankets by Craig Thompson that Matt suggested I’d like. Admittedly I’m trading one form of shelf fillers for another, but hopefully these are things I’ll actually read. At the end of the day I live in a small house, and much as I love to be surrounded by books, they need to be books I actually look at it and fondle more often than once every seven years (no matter what Churchill or whoever may say).

Have you ever gotten rid of something, only to be tempted by it the next time you go to the store?


Filed under Books + Publishing

What’s Making Me Happy

The last couple of days have been a little serious so I thought I’d do a round of “What’s Making Me Happy”.

1) Fellow Bloggers/WritersJo Eberhardt did a wonderful post today about “breaths” in a storyline, how action needs to be broken up by pauses that allow the reader to take a breath. The novel I am currently revising is in need of these “breaths” and Jo was gracious enough to devote a whole post to the subject based on one of my earlier comments. Thanks Jo!

2) New Asimov – On one of my frequent trips to Half-Price Books I found a collection of Asimov stories I had never read. As some of you may have guessed I am a huge Asimov fan and have read most of his material (at least his fiction), so I was delighted to find something I had not read. For those who are interested the book is Azazel, a collection of stories about a mischievous two-centimeter demon. Limerick on the back cover FTW!

3) Old Asimov – And going along with the Asimov theme, I am re-reading The Caves of Steel, one of the first Asimov books I can remember reading (at the suggestion of my mother). It’s the first of his robot novels, and is interwoven with my other favorite genre, mystery.

4) Good Old Games – My favorite gaming site recently signed Square Enix which owns the IP of a lot of titles put out by Eidos including one of my favorite games of all time: Deus Ex. Here’s hoping they also put out the PC versions of FF7 and FF8 (not that I have any time to game anyway!).

5) Life Group – Today is Wednesday so barring unforeseen weather disturbances my wife and I will be spending time at our weekly Bible Study for the first time in a couple of weeks. It’s been really nice to get to know this group of people over the last few months and it’s one of the best ways to get through the week.

6) My Wife – Last, but certainly not least, is my wife Hannah. Specifically this week she’s been very supportive of new Facebook group (she made the logo), as well as the years she’s been encouraging of the writing even when it means less time together. A particular treat are the nights when she comes out with me to Crimson Cup or Panera and reads Grisham while I revise.

What’s been making you happy this week?

NOTE: Those of you familiar with the “Pop Culture Happy Hour” will know that this is a segment that always ends the show. One of my little writing goals is for one of the panel to see one of my stories or the blog and say that’s what’s making them happy.

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Filed under Round-Ups