Posts Tagged ‘Half Price books’

I’ve driven the Chicago-Cleveland (or Cleveland-Chicago) route many times in the last years but still, once I get in the van and on the road, I settle down and enjoy the ride.  There’s always something new to see and plenty old favorites.  Join me for a very compressed, selective six hours. (more…)

I went to Half Price Books today to look for a book for my husband and as I strolled into the aisle for clearance books, I came upon a disturbing sight.  (more…)

Although there’s always been power in the written word, I think there’s more power now in the age of
the internet, emails, cell phones and texting, because so few people actual write on paper. “In the old day”, people wrote letters; literally wrote them. They kept diaries, not blogs, and many diaries, even from hundreds of years ago, are still around. (That may be a good or bad thing, depending on what the person wrote, but we’ll leave that for now.) There are undoubtedly quite a few people of my generation who still have letters or cards from friends in a scrapbook or, more likely, a box in the attic, where these missives might be taken out periodically and re-read.

There’s power in that. There are memories. There’s the distinctive script of the writer, maybe even a drawing or doodle added. Things that bring that person to mind and to life.

When I started “writing” this, though, my thoughts were on the lost art of the thank-you note. Maybe it has more to do with gratitude, as exemplified in the title of Alexander McCall Smith’s book, “The Lost Art of Gratitude”. But let me ask you. How often have you gotten a thank-you note from someone to whom you sent a gift? How did it make you feel? And when you haven’t gotten one, how did that make you feel?

I’m not putting down any other form of thanks. Thank-you’s in person are fine, easy, and inexcusable to miss. We’ll agree that sending an email or thank-you e-card, or making a phone call all work, too. Also, let’s make it clear that not thanking the gift-giver in some way is completely unacceptable. We’ve given substantial weddings gifts and never had an acknowledgement of that fact. We’ve sent gifts to relatives and not heard a peep in return. Sorry. Not OK!! It’s not so much for me as for the person who received the gift; that person should realize the thought and sentiment that went into picking the gift or signing the check and respond with gratitude. That’s it. End of story.

But I think that in these days of communication by technology and despite the fact the US Postal Service keeps raising the price of stamps for less and less service, and sometimes not even polite service when it’s there, there’s something special about a hand-written note or letter. It shows you care. It indicates you took the time to respond, to show your thanks, appreciation and, yes, love. It says that even if you didn’t really like the gift or it wasn’t very much (but all that was affordable), whether it was handmade or from an expensive store, you appreciate what lay behind the gift as much or more than the gift itself. And it shows you, in return, took that little extra time to indicate your understanding and your love and affection.

It doesn’t matter if you bought a card (Half Price Books has cute, inexpensive boxes of thank-you cards), made a card, wrote note, sent a postcard or wrote the note for your child who can’t yet write, wrote it right below the thing that’s an unrecognizable picture of something, something you thoughtfully labeled. What matters is the thought, brought into tactile form by the written communication. What matters is the love. And the gratitude. And it matters for your sake; you, the person who received the gift and now are giving a little something in return.

So say thank-you. And if you want it to be a little more special, consider writing a thank-you note

Naperville, Illinois has edged one step closer to being the perfect place to live…it now has a Half Price Books store!!

I discovered it yesterday while zooming down I-59, a main-drag highway that sometimes masquerades as a parking lot, headed for veggie heaven at Caputo’s Fresh Market, where I sometimes wish I had a smart phone just to look up what some of those vegetables are and what they’re used for. I glanced to the left, then did the classic double-take. There it was. A Half Price Books sign. A joyous smile plastered itself to my face and on the way back, even though I didn’t have time to look, I made a quick stop, just for the joy of walking through the door, taking a page of coupons from a welcoming book-ista and skimming through the cookbook section. Another visit is on my list for this week.

It’s not that Naperville doesn’t have a bookstore; they have a wonderful, independent one, Anderson’s Bookshop,, a beautiful bookstore offering all sorts of book-related activities and bringing an astounding number of authors to town. There’s also Frugal Muse,, in Darien as well as two places in Madison, Wisconsin, although it’s a bit of a drive. Oh, yes, there’s also a two-story Barnes and Noble downtown, although the Borders is now gone. So there are bookstores; bookstores I patronize, even though I’m trying not to buy so many books. But I’m a bibliophile and despite Kindle’s storage and portability advantages, I still love books and buy them at least occasionally.

Naperville also has a vibrant downtown, a beautiful river walk, an excellent library system, name-brand stores in old, lovely buildings downtown, every store you can think of along I-59, a publishing company, Sourcebooks, Inc.,, (who wonderfully reprinted Georgette Heyers books–bless them!), Binny’s for all the beer/wine/alcohol you’d like at discount prices, some wonderful thrift stores and, as they say, a whole lot more. And now it has a Half Price Books. Just when you think life can’t get any better!

Now what about an artisan bakery? And maybe a vegan/vegetarian restaurant? And my last request (at least for now)….a non-frou-frou teashop. Hats off to TeaLula in Park Ridge,, for perfecting that concept! Oh, that you were here, too!!