After 38 years, Half Price Books closes Rice Village location

Half Price Books Rice Village
Customers flocked to Half Price Books in Rice Village, March 8, the store's final day. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Customers flocked to Half Price Books in Rice Village, March 8, the store's final day. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Largely bare shelves met customers the morning of March 8 at the Rice Village location of Half Price Books, as the store opened its doors for the last time.

Citing rising rents, the bookstore chain announced it would close its location on March 8 at Rice Village, at 2537 University Blvd. The 11,300 square-foot store had been open since 1982.

“While we would love to stay in our current location, rent costs in the area have gone up to the point where we can no longer afford to stay,” wrote Monica Schultz, the chain’s Texas regional manager, in an announcement to the store’s website. “Although we’ve looked for another location nearby, we have yet to find a financially viable option.”

The store had cleared much of its inventory before its last day. Between March 2-6, the store offered 75% off everything in its store.

Within the last couple of weeks, the store has seen lines of customers purchasing books and other items in the store, said Chance, a manager on duty at the store on March 8 who preferred being identified by his first name alone.

“A lot of customers have been coming in to say goodbye to us,” he said. “As well as get good deals. Customers have been willing to wait in line.”

One of those customers was Erica Hubbard, who works as a librarian at Houston Community College. Hubbard had been coming to the Rice Village bookstore since 2013 after she moved back to the Houston area, and had shopped at the bookstore before her move.

“It’s a shame,” she said. “I think the store in terms of selection is one of the best because of the variety it offers.”

As a librarian, Hubbard has seen the changes in how people are reading their content.

“People are still reading, but just differently,” she said. “Having places like this helps literacy and shapes an educated society.”

Half Price Books does have eight other area stores, including a Montrose location at 1011 Westheimer Rd., Houston, and a Kirkwood location at 11960 Westheimer Road, Houston.

Anything purchased at the Rice Village store can still be returned at the chain’s other Houston-area locations, and coupons and gift cards can be used at any brick-and-mortar stores, Schultz wrote in her announcement.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.

Russ Poppe, the Harris County Flood Control District executive director, will officially step down July 2 after nearly fifteen years in the position. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Executive Director Russ Poppe announces resignation from Harris County Flood Control District

Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russ Poppe announced his resignation June 11.

Robert Mock headshot
Houston names new emergency center director

The center manages 911 calls and other emergency communications.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

League City's Helen Hall Library History Club hosted an event related to Juneteenth on June 7. The holiday honors Union Gen. Gordon Granger coming to Galveston in 1865 to announce the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. (Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Celebrate Juneteenth in Galveston with a movie screening, parade and more on June 17, 19

The Juneteenth Legacy Project, which aims to recontextualize the day and properly communicate its story and relevance, is hosting or advertising numerous events over the course of the holiday weekend.

Missouri City resident Jackie Ward became the chief nursing officer at Texas Children’s Hospital in January. (Photo by Michael Carr Photography, graphic by Chase Brooks/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Jackie Ward, Texas Children's Hospital chief nursing officer, discusses career, nursing during COVID-19

Prior to becoming chief nursing officer, Missouri City resident Jackie Ward worked as an oncology nurse and in a variety of leadership roles at Texas Children's Hospital.

The budget amendment came after an hour-long debate over how far the district could dip into its reserve funding to cover the raise. (Community Impact staff)
HISD approves $2,500 pay raise for teachers with another bump possibly coming in August

The budget amendment came after an hour-long debate over how far the district could dip into its reserve funding to cover the raise.

Taco Bueno sells tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more unique items, including the Muchaco, a taco made with a soft pita-like shell. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Taco Bueno coming to Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

El Meson offers jumbo gulf shrimp and mushroom served with a white wine cream sauce. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Family-owned restaurant brings Spanish, Cuban dishes to Rice Village

The Garcia family gained ownership of what was once called El Patio.

Intuitive Machines is based in Clear Lake. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Intuitive Machines expanding in Houston Spaceport

Houston officials have announced yet another development coming to the Houston Spaceport.

Economist Elliot Eisenberg spoke about the economic recovery post-pandemic, saying this year's GDP growth will be the best since the 1950s. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economist explains housing demand, price booms in Texas, Greater Houston area

Eisenberg explained why home prices are rising at a June 9 Greater Houston Builders Association luncheon.