Half Price Books Summer Reading Program

Kids 14 and under can earn a $3 Half Price Books gift card for each week they read at least 15 minutes a day.

Money for reading? Good deal, right? Maybe. We did this program for a few weeks last year. The kids liked it, I didn’t.

First, because the staff was woefully unhelpful. I’m not quite sure if they were untrained or hated the program, but it left me feeling yucky each time I took the kids’ lists in. They also required that each list be turned in the week immediately following — I’m not sure if that’s a feature of the store program, or if it was the staff getting grumpy when I asked them to do six or nine lists at a time (3 kids x 2 or 3 weeks). (For folks in the Kansas City area, we were at the Westport store. Maybe you could try the Overland Park or Lawrence ones and let me know if they’re any better?)

Second, when it came time to redeem the gift cards, you can only use one per transaction. So I had to do three small buys (or six, or nine…), and of course Mama had to come up with the balance due each time. Also, the kids found it frustrating to find a book that cost no more than $2.99 (so Mama only had to pay tax). My then four-year-old could kinda read the price tag, but the two-year-old had no clue why Mama would turn down book after book and then suddenly approve one.

I’m not sure I’ll tell the kids about this one this year. I *might* just fill in the lists and turn them in to collect myself a stack of the gift cards. $3 off *my* purchases through the next year might be worth my time — but what benefit is that to the kids?

Anyway, if you want in on this one, the info is on the Half Price Books website.

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