Half Price Books

I’ve long heard read of the biblical studies and theology treasures that many of my fellow bloggers unearth at Half Price Books. Well, I went today on my inaugural visit to HPB and here’s what I picked up:

Oh, you can’t read it because there’s nothing there. I perused the sections on Christianity, theology, commentaries, bible studies, reference, and Judaica–nothing. That’s not to say there were no volumes worthy of purchase, just none that were useful to me at present. I found a few good volumes on the DSS, Paul, and NT intro, but they were books I can live without for now. I was really hoping to see books by Bauckham, Dunn, Hurtado, Wright….no such luck.

There were next to no commentaries that I would ever use and the introductions (OT and NT) were either dated or I already owned a newer edition. I also saw little in the way of language works–a couple of lexicons, some interlinears (egad!), and no grammars.

Though I didn’t walk out with any books, I was able to sell several books, adding a few bucks to my wallet. Now I know where to take all the books that take up shelf space but have not been nor will ever be read! 🙂

Rest assured–I shall return and will seek such treasures that are worthy of my bookshelves!

Αυτω η δοξα,


10 thoughts on “Half Price Books

  1. Which Half-Price Books did you go to? Different ones have different titles.

    I find that the ones closest to seminaries around here should be visited right after the semester ends (when students sell their books).

    Otherwise look at places that are a little ways off from seminaries (where students have sold their books, but other students don’t know to rummage through them very quickly).

  2. Matt: I went to the one near SMU, the big one. There is a smaller one in Mesquite that I may drop in at some point, but I’ll definitely go back to the big one. Is there another location that you’ve found to be better?

    Nick: Glad to know I am not a hindrance on your road to sanctification! 🙂

  3. There’s one in Irving (across from Irving Mall) that I’ve had luck at with Greek resources and commentaries. Also, I’ve recently come across one in Arlington (on Cooper) that has a variety of biblical studies titles.

    Alas, I have not seen Hurtado or Buackham’s name anywhere, but I’m always on the lookout.

  4. Oh, you’re making me jealous. That place is a veritable gold-mine. I miss my weekly trips to Half Price Books when we lived in Cincinnati.

    Supposedly, there is a village in Wales called, Hay-on-Wye that is designated as the ‘village of books’–something like 40,000 (or more) and all of them cheap. The problem for me is the train fair from Cheltenham (where we live) and permission from the lovely wife. 🙂

  5. Jason, Half Price requires frequenting several times weekly. The week before and first week of school are not goods time to go looking. The week after school is out is a very good time on the other hand.

    Lets do breakfast sometime. Email me when you’re all settled in. I’ll introduce you to a friend of mine too who works at the DTS Bookstore.


  6. Matt: Irving and Arlington are a bit out of the way for me, so I may have to frequent Mesquite and downtown and just hope for a good find!

    Carl: I am sure in future trips I will come across some titles that are purchase-worthy! Hay-on-Wye sounds like my kind of place, so long as they have a café!

    Michael: Yeah, Matt said the same–timing is a big part of it. I would be glad to meet you for breakfast some time. W or F mornings would be best for me, but I’ll let you know when I think my schedule will be open. Maybe you, Matt, and I could meet and discuss all things nerdy, er, I mean biblical studies! 😉

  7. I have three or four half-price book stores in my area, each is about a half hour drive away.

    I have gone to each of them, but alas!, was not a single book I wanted to buy. It was heartbreaking.

  8. Like Michael said HPB requires multiple frequents vists and not just to one particular one. Basically you have to become a sort of fan of HPB and make visits like people do to B&N or Borders where you just spend an hour or so browsing around and just hanging out. I’ve found so many great books there. I’ve lost count. Last time I was there I ended up leaving with some books I didn’t imagine I’d ever actually find there and for great prices. It also helps if you broaden your interest to more than just a few subjects otherwise you may end up dissapointed most of the time.

  9. Kevin: Glad to know that I’ve not been the only one who struck out. Then again, I’ve only been once, so I’ll visit a few more times before I render a final reckoning!

    Bryan: Believe me–spending an hour or more browsing the shelves at a bookstore is no problem! The problem is that I usually don’t have an hour to spare for such activities. I also resolved before I even walked into the store that I would not buy anything that would not be of benefit to my studies immediately or down the road. So that limits things a bit, too.

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