Where is this place?
When you first walk into Half Price Books the smell of stale coffee and old paper engulf the air you breathe. It seems intimidating to walk into a room full of thousands of stories; wherein you travel to far off distant lands or maybe you even journey to the past. Half Price Book contains a warm, comfortable, and accommodating atmosphere for all readers, not matter their age or genre preference. The bookstore contains products beyond simply books that range from video games, antique records, journals, and collectibles. The bookstore is nestled right on the outskirts of Marietta, just bordering the boundaries of Roswell, Georgia. Sitting in the Woodlawn Square Shopping Center Half Price Books offers a diverse location next to plenty of coffee shops and restaurants. 
To see more from my exploration of this hidden gem, please see my gallery.

Photography by Gracie Shackelford - Entering Paradise


What does Half Priced Books offer people?

Photography by Gracie Shackelford - Comic Book Showcase

One of the most attractive features of Half Price Books is the bookstore caters to not only readers, such as: comic book enthusiasts, music lovers, and film buffs. When you first walk into Half Priced Books you’re greeted immediately with shelves of journals, comics, and mugs which can also check out via their website. It’s a cozy chaotic atmosphere with plants hanging down on almost every other bookshelf with collectible action figures.


It easy to see in such a technological driven age why bookstores need to appeal to a wider audience, especially used bookstores. Since the early 2000s with the creation of e-readers, publishers suffered a blowback where physical book sales were in decline.


However, with the popularity of a few books to screen adaptations, physical book sales have reached an all-time high according to Forbes. Book publishers are investing more in physical book sales due to the monetary benefits of the aforementioned adaptions. Half Price Books aims to please these movie adaptation enthusiasts by offering up a wide variety of affordable films and collectibles based on major blockbuster franchises. It serves as a precautionary reminder before entering Half Price Books: You don’t need to love books to find a place for yourself at this bookstore.

The Big Tent Sale

Half Price Books hosts an annual sidewalk sale called the “Big Tent Sale” where prices are the lowest of the low, beyond their usually cheaper prices. People come from all over Georgia to come visit this location to purchase books, music, movies, and CDs as separated by the prices below:

  • Movies, CDs, and vinyl records are all $0.50.

  • Paperback books are $1.00

  • Hardback books are $2.00

The book event provides a unique experience where book fanatics get to explore the more viable cheap options available to them. The annual “Big Tent Sale” happens every spring for three days. During the event, shoppers are given a free tote bag to carry all their goodies in them. The unsold products that Half Price doesn’t sell get donated to a variety of literary charities. Independent used bookstore chains are what keeps the book market alive and more accessible with their affordable prices. Without used bookstores, poorer communities wouldn’t be able to have access to a variety of books. Some might say that libraries are always a viable option for some communities and independent bookstores like half-priced books offer a substitution for this problem.

Solitude - Photography by Gracie Shackelford

Earth Day Animation Gif created and used by Half Price Books to advocate for their green initiative.


Courtesy of their website:


Half Price Books Misson

Half Price Books aims at providing help to underprivileged communities across America. When the laundromat turned bookstore first started out, founders Ken Gjemre and Pat Anderson have dedicated over forty years to helping others in need. They’ve always been invested in helping the community because the community is what makes their business thrive. So, in an effort to stimulate change and hope in more difficult parts of the community, Half Price Books recycles books and donates books to underprivileged areas in the United States.

There are two major aspects of their philanthropy: education & environment. In 2018 alone Half Price Books donated over 1,000,00 books to places like Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and many more charities to further encourage reading in children across the United States. To be even more helpful in the education system, Half Price Books offers a teachers discount year-round, and on top of their already low prices, because the company believes in giving back to those who stimulate their company’s growth. Half Price Books understand educators are the ones who encourage younger generations to the advantage of readings and what literature can bring to one’s life. 


Their efforts to give back to society do not stop at donating books to underprivileged communities. Half Price Books aims to help the planet and fight climate change by recycling unwanted books and materials to create newer books. Their green initiative strives to find a home for every single book sold to them, and Half Price Books does this by sending unwanted merchandise across the globe to other environmental recycling agencies. Furthermore, Half Price Books has used the money from certain book sales to donate to active environmental charities.

Please see my full digital story on Half Price Books.

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