Too bad. I have spent a ton of money there over the years.
Elliott Bay -- please start carrying used books too. Please!!
Dang, that's too bad. The CapHill Half-Price is so much more convenient than the U-District store, where, since the Trader Joe's moved in down the street, it's been nearly impossible to find parking.
First Velo, now Half Price. What next? The only thing that can thrive on Capitol Hill now are restaurants, bars and cafes -- and increasingly lame/corporate ones at that. Makes for a very one-dimensional neighborhood.
change is horrible. oh wait, we want density, change is good! oh wait, this store is gone, density is horrible. oh wait, we want change, we want cities, that's pro environment, putting so many people close together cuts down on travel and lessens carbon footprints. yay! oh wait, this makes real estate more valuable, changing the kinds of people and stores you get within TEN BLOCKS OF DOWNTOWN OMG RENTS ARE GOING UP AND THINGS CHANGE THAT'S HORRIBLE! oh wait, .......
This is really sad. The Cap Hill Half Price Bookstore is probably the bookstore I frequent most. Staff is super awesome. They almost always have everything I'm looking for. I hate what is happening to my neighborhood!
@3 it's going to get worse, they're building giant apartment buildings between NE 45th and NE 50th, and the light rail station four blocks away starts construction next month. All your parking is belong to Car2Go.
A shame. This was a really nice place to shop. Elliott Bay books is always crammed full of people spending money - is it really so farfetched to think that Capitol Hill can support a single decent used bookstore?
That building was lazer tag, then internet porn, back in the 1990s. Colorful history. I'm sure it'll make a wonderful branch bank location for someone.
@3, @8, Makes me wonder if the added rent from the huge parking lot (takes up as much land as the building itself!) that is rarely full is why it didn't make financial sense for Half-Price to stick around...
They're closing because they've got that huge parking lot. They would have gotten fucked on their next lease agreement.

Also the company as a whole has gotten really shitty in the last few years, getting more and more buttoned-down and giving fewer and fewer fucks about their employees.
First of all: Nnnnnnnnnooooooooooooo!!!

Second of all: Good news for Twice Sold Tales up the street, which is a true small local business?
How are independent stores able to thrive in even more expensive cities, like Chicago and Boston? Is there something specifically off on the hill right now that countermands that?

This sucks, specifically, but with that off-off street sort of location it was sort of inevitable. :(
Well that just sucks. That Half Price is/was a perfect used bookstore. Large, neat, and mostly orderly, with a good mix of good condition used books and (what I assume are) overstock new books. With tons of genre fiction and graphic novels as well. I've made some fantastic discoveries there. It's not a half bad place to unload some of your stuff, too.

It was always just tucked away enough away from the main Pike/Broadway area that I wondered how much foot traffic it got. I think it could still do well with a more visible location. I really hate to think what will fill that space now. Probably just some office space for realtors or something.

And seriously, this neighborhood needs more places to shop. All these restaurants are good and all, but there's less and less reason to walk around unless you're going out to eat or drink.
It seems each time I go to Capitol Hill some place that I loved and adored is gone. First the B&O and now the Half-Priced Books. Bummer
Isn't it interesting that of all their locations, the one that is underperforming is the Hill?

I guess they should have put a cafe/restaurant in there, maybe Bavarian-themed? Would have done great.
Or replaced the parking with a 20 story tall amusement park, @17.
Just a few years ago, Capitol Hill had Steve's Broadway News, Bulldog News, Bailey Coy Books, a much larger Twice Sold Tales, Spine and Crown and, obviously, Half Price Books. Now the confluence of the Internet, rising rents and leases and the teetering economy have wiped out all but a much smaller Twice Sold Tales. Like everyone, I'm thrilled to have Elliott Bay Book Company on the Hill. It has been my favorite bookstore my entire life. But the end of so many other great venues is truly saddening. And when you factor in the relatively recent losses of Sonic Boom, B & O, Cafe Septieme, Velo, Bauhaus, Edie's, Vu, Four Square and a number of smaller galleries on the Pine/Pike corridor, you realize we're losing many great places that anchored the neighborhood. And for each wonderful Elliott Bay Books, we're getting something subpar like Rex Seattle. (Seriously, dog owners: that place is bonkers.)
Seems like the Hill is dying. That's one of the few places I'd go and hang out at, and buy things at on the Hill. With free parking. Broadway Market turns into a grocery store. The Green Cat cafe closes. Vivace I still go to the new location but it's not as cool at the old one, thanks Sound Transit. Bauhaus is on the ropes. B&O. I'm running out of reasons to go to the Hill anymore. I can go anywhere if I want to see stupid condos with lame corporate storefront businesses. I guess this is just Adam Smith's invisible hand doing its work, but just another nail in the Hill's coffin. Guess I'll stick to Georgetown and Columbia city. Until the yuppies gentrify them too.
That is terrible, I love that store, in fact I love it so much I cant go inside without dropping a hundo. Though I do hold a bit of a grudge when I sole them a record for $3 and then it was behind the counter for $60, but hey I found it in a dumpster, probably after someone elses breakup.

@20, 16, 4
Yee the hill has been the new belltown for years now. I think The Comet is the only thing left on the hill from when I moved there.
Sad to hear that. I've bought a lot of books and CDs there over the years. I won't miss it as much as the wonderful B&O and the QA Easy Street Records, but I'll miss it.
Bummer. B&O and HPB used to be my standard outing on my days off.
This is the natural result of the "density über alles" that many folks at the Stranger seem so smitten with. Want local businesses that sell real goods at moderate prices? That's not gonna happen when the city doesn't give a rat's ass about what the neighborhood thinks about density and where supposedly liberal papers have columnists who sing the praises of 600 square foot apartments without kitchens. As you told the Roosevelt folks - light rail is coming so suck it up and take whatever the developers choose to give you. At least we get to watch Capitol Hill fucked over first...
I watched shit like this happen in San Francisco 20 years ago-thats why I left and moved north, first to mendocino county, then humboldt county and finally here. In the last 13 years I've been here, I've seen the same damn patterns happening....first make rents impossible for normal working folks to pay, then begin the fern bar yuppification process and close out all the places the local folks were comfy going to, then criminalizing the really poor and creating default ghettos of poverty.... I could go on, but why bother....Im only a disabled transplanted San Franciscan...who gives fuck what I think?
The staff at Capitol Hill location were helpful, nice and professional. The staff at the U Dist HP are nasty, angry demons. I have been screamed at at the U Dist HP for asking a simple question, screamed at by an incredibly hostile 30ish tubby nerd with a mustache and beady eyes and a sour body odor. He saw me walking in the street once, flipped me off and walked over to the other side of the street to avoid me. His "Thor" superhero tee shirt is always badly stained and he never brushes his teeth.
The staff at Capitol Hill location were helpful, nice and professional. The staff at the U Dist HP are nasty, angry demons. I have been screamed at at the U Dist HP for asking a simple question, screamed at by an incredibly hostile 30ish tubby short nerd with a mustache and beady eyes and a sour body odor. He saw me walking in the street once, flipped me off and walked over to the other side of the street to avoid me. His "Thor" superhero tee shirt is always badly stained and he never brushes his teeth.
so sad, this is my favorite bookstore in all of seattle :(
Who owns that building and parking lot? What are the alternatives for good used books now? NONE: Twice Sold Tales' new location still smells too much like Cat piss even though they were given hundreds of thousands in our tax dollars for their relocation for the subway. For me, Elite Elliot Bay Books's new books are too expensive. I loved that now-vanished HPB store-the staff were super, fun, interesting and friendly. There was just one nasty supervisor(?) there for a while but he left long ago and since his departure, everyone else on the staff was great. Where will they find jobs? The U district HPB has been revamped and yet seems to have fewer books not more.Is their lease up for sale, too?????..
I do not do suburbs technically, but the irony is that the Capitol Hill scene, has become, with greater vertical density, a sort of vertical version of a strip mall from some creepy strip mall of a former nice little town like Monroe stood on its head. Where do all these banks come from, anyway? Do we really need several incarnations of chains-3 QFC's, 2 Mud Bay's, 3 Walgreens? All these proposed 6-story jobs full of tiny pods and no off street parking required? And, lest we leave out the one percenters-the skyview eliminating gated "communities" like the Harvard-Highland mega-condo$ that look like they were dropped out of the sky directly from some L.A. valleygurrl identaburbs and gating the eyes of us normals out with their high iron fences built right up to the sidewalk edges? Is this why all my friends have left for NY or LA?
Really surprised this location closed down; it was one of the reasons I moved into the neighborhood. I agree with the other posts...cap hill isn't what it was 5 years ago. Feels like another Belltown...oh well, I guess everything changes :(
Half Price Books is an awful company because they destroy so many books and other media. They deceive people who sell to them. The seller is generally not told that most of the books are going to be thrown in the dumpsters in the back of the stores. People should at least be told this so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to turn their media over to HPB. HPB does this as an anti-competitive measure. Also the HPB buyers have big holes in their knowledge of media, so many rare and irreplaceable items are now gone forever.

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