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Inside HPB

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Books donated to nonprofit groups last year.


Books bought last month


Yards of books, movies, and music fill our bookstores

“Be fair to customers and our employees, promote literacy, be kind to the environment and remain financially viable so we may continue.”
— Our Mission Statement in the words of HPB Co-Founder Pat Anderson

Hpb ourstory

How it all began

It was 1972. Corporate dropout Ken Gjemre and fellow bibliophile Pat Anderson opened a used-book shop in an old laundromat in Dallas, Texas. They ran ads in the local paper, declaring “We Buy Books,” and soon found themselves with a few thousand books and hordes of customers. “You could stir them with a stick,” Ken said.

And now? With more than 120 stores across the country, plus a website with customers and sellers around the globe, we’ve become America’s largest family-owned retailer for new and used books.

The stacks… and stacks… and stacks

Our founders coined the phrase, “We buy and sell everything ever printed or recorded (except yesterday’s newspaper).” And if you’ve been to one of our stores, you know that’s true.

Ken and Pat weren’t just talking about our enormous selection, but about our refusal to censor products. As Ken said, “We don’t let others, or ourselves, determine what our customers should read.” To this day, we’ll shelve and sell just about anything, from The Diary of Anne Frank to The History of Farting. We might chuckle at the titles, but we won’t censor them. 

Helping others and each other

Half Price Books is committed to the community. We've been supporting literacy and environmental groups for more than 45 years and will continue working together to carry on the mission and causes of our founders. Each day when we go to work, we hope to do two things: share our favorite things with our friends, and help make the world a little better. That includes recycling and donating more than a million of our overstock books each year to local nonprofits and organizations around the world. Learn more about how we give back.

Our goal of helping to make the world a little better also touches each and every HPB employee. This employee-centric culture began at inception with the notion of sharing profits with the staff, because our founders believed in addressing the “human quota, rather than just dollars and cents.” Want to be a part? Learn what it takes to join our team.