We were thrilled, thrilled, thrilled when the national chain Half Price Books decided to set out its shingle in the Biltmore area earlier this year. Yes, there are already plenty of good spots to buy used books in CenPho, and we adore most of them — but Half Price Books, we have to admit, is tops. It's not just the selection, though it's remarkably extensive and perfectly organized. It's the clearance area. No mere shelf, the clearance section of Half Price Books literally takes up three giant bookshelves. And unlike other stores, these clearance books aren't just a pile of boring bestsellers. They're remarkable novels, interesting biographies, and even (sometimes) an old classic or two. We've found many of our favorite books just by taking a chance and betting a dollar or two that Half Price Books will come through. It's rarely left us disappointed.