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Half Price Books Launches Online Store

Image courtesy Anthony Librarian http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthonylibrarian/

As some brick-and-mortar book retailers struggle to remain profitable in the digital age, Dallas-based Half Price Books announced it will start selling its used books on its website.

The Half Price Books Marketplace is currently only listing books that are in company's warehouses, according to spokesperson Becky Gomez. Half Price is in the process of adding inventory from all 110 locations in 16 states. By month's end, Half Price expects half of those stores to have their books in the system. Gomez couldn't provide an exact date when books from retail locations would be sold online.

"We considered the e-book craze right now. That's quite obviously a competition," Half Price Books spokesperson Becky Gomez told KUT News. "We know that there's still room for the printed book shopper, but there's more and more competition online. We want to be able to get into that and prepare ourselves."

Gomez said having a computerized marketplace for books will help them better determine pricing, and in some cases will mean customers will get a better price for books in high demand. Obviously, it could also mean that customers could receive less money for books in low demand.

The family owned Half Price Books says it will open two more stores this year: one in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Mansfield, another in the San Francisco-area city of Dublin, California.

Meanwhile, Borders is inching closer to bankruptcy while Barnes and Noble reported today that its store revenue grew more than 8 percent in the quarter, the company's best holiday performance in more than a decade.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at nbernier@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.