Half Price Books. Photo by Renee Umsted.

Half Price Books opened its first location in a converted laundromat on July 27, 1972.

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The Dallas-based store was founded by Pat Anderson and Ken Gjemre. Its mission, in the words of Anderson, is to “be fair to customers and our employees, promote literacy, be kind to the environment and remain financially viable so we may continue.”

In 1983, the company opened its first location outside of Texas, in Wisconsin. Half a century after Half Price Books was established, there are stores in 19 states across the country. The flagship is right at the edge of our neighborhood, on E. Northwest Highway.

Anderson, one of the founders, died in 1995; her youngest daughter, Sharon Anderson Wright, took over as the leader of the company.

Half Price Books posted a timeline on its website to celebrate the 50-year anniversary, complete with photos and interesting facts about the company.

Earlier this year, the bookseller pledged to be free of plastic bags by 2023. Right now, plastic bags are available by request only, but the bags are being phased out.

“Half Price Books has created a tried-and-true business out of sustainable reading,” says Kathy Doyle Thomas, the president of Half Price Books. “We realize that single-use plastic bags are a big problem for the environment, and we’re doing what we can by offering customers the opportunity to partner with us in creating a greener footprint.”