This last week I?went east to visit my family in Somerset, Wis. One of the things I?always look forward to when I go there is making a trip to Half Price Books in Maplewood. Sure there's a mall, a Savers, a Best Buy and other stores, but it's the excitement of finding that one book you need for book club at half the cover price that motivates me.
And last Thursday was no different.
Half Price Books of Maplewood used to be in a complex along with a Burlington Coat Factory and JoAnn Fabrics and other stores. It was maybe a little small and cramped but it was a treasure trove for bibliophiles like me. My brother and I usually flip through the clearance CDs, hoping to locate one that's by an artist we know (my brother's had better luck in finding said CDs, but he also has an advantage is that he lives closer to Maplewood than I?do).
Last year, Half Price Books of Maplewood moved to a new location. It's larger, better lit and the materials are more spread out. One could spend all day just cruising the shelves. Admittedly, we did spend quite a bit of Thursday morning doing just that.
I was on a mission to find the book that my book club is reading for this month - Lisa See's "On Gold Mountain." It's basically about her family history. There are only two copies in the Plum Creek Library system and both were checked out. When I tried to get it through the state's interlibrary loan system, it would bounce back to Plum Creek as well, there are two copies. I was toying with the idea with getting the book for my Kindle, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend $7.19 on an electronic book. I was hoping and praying I'd find it at my book mecca of sorts.
I go to the fiction section under S and look by See's other books, like "Shanghai Girls"?and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan"?on the off chance it may have been shelved there. Nope. I looked across the way in the memoirs. Not there either. So I?brought myself to the book buyback and reference counter. The man at the counter told me to also look under Asian-American studies. I?didn't know there was a section for that! Sure enough, there was one last copy of "On Gold Mountain." It was 80 cents more than the Kindle version, but that was OK. There are times I'd rather read a book in its "traditional" format.
But I didn't stop there. I nabbed a couple of books in clearance section, a Luann comic book, the "Life As We Know It" complete series on DVD and then another DVD for Ross' Christmas present. Damages were a little more than $50. I think the last couple of times I've been to Half Price Books, I've managed to spend more than I?intend to. Ross was a little worse. I?don't know how much he exactly spent, but it was more than me.
So if you're ever in the Twin Cities (seven locations - Apple Valley, Coon Rapids, Crystal, Maplewood, Roseville, St. Louis Park or St. Paul), I'd highly recommend a trip.Who knows what you may find?