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ThriftBooks is Turning 18!

Books, Movies, and Music From The Year We Were Born

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 13, 2021

Happy birthday to us! Thriftbooks turns eighteen this month. As a celebration, we decided to revisit some of the most popular books, music, and movies from the year of our birth, 2003.


These books, flying off the shelves in 2003, reflect a diverse mix of nonfiction, YA, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and humor. There's truly something for everyone!


This list of some of the best-selling albums from the year of our creation offers up a similarly eclectic mix, including classic rock, hip-hop, R&B, alt-metal, country, and pop.

And if this makes you curious about the top hits from other years, check out The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, listing the most songs and artists from 1955 to 2009.


This list of memorable, hit movies that hit the big screen in 2003 combine box-office blockbusters with critically acclaimed films. Pop some corn and revisit a few of these cinematic gems.

  • Finding Nemo—The beloved animated Disney film about an adorable little, lost fish, his devoted pop, and their quest to be reunited.
  • Lost in Translation—The Sofia Coppola-directed Oscar-winning film is a valentine to the nature of unexpected friendships and to the city of Tokyo.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl—Johnny Depp channels Keith Richards in the swashbuckling pirate fantasy.
  • Seabiscuit—Toby McGuire and Elizabeth Banks star in this Depression-era drama (based on a bestselling book!) about the life and racing career of an undersized and overlooked horse.
  • The Matrix Reloaded—Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss return to their roles from the original 1999 sci-fi film.
  • Whale Rider—Based on the novel of the same name, this is the inspiring story of a twelve-year-old Maori girl who aims to become the chief of her tribe.
  • 2 Fast, 2 Furious—Starring the late Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013, this is the second installment in the wildly popular action franchise.
  • Kill Bill, Vol. 1: Quentin Tarantino's campy, stylized grindhouse cinema-inspired film stars Uma Thurman as a female assassin.
  • Elf—Starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel, this goofy comedy about an oversized Christmas elf instantly became a holiday classic.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King—The final Oscar-winning installment of the epic Peter Jackson-directed trilogy.

Wow! Lots of good stuff happened the year we were born. We feel honored to be just one of many great things to have come about in 2003. We hope you've enjoyed this blast from the past as much as we have.

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