Monday Adventure- Powell's Books

The pillar of books outside Powell's entrance. Seize the book, indeed!

The only surprising thing about this place is that it’s taken me so long to share them with you! Powell’s is one of the largest independent new and used booksellers in the U.S. They’re the antithesis of Amazon- a family owned business that’s been around for 40 years and is still run by a father and daughter (how cool is that?!).

Here is the first thing you need to know: this place is so gargantuan that you need a map to navigate it (which is almost as great as being told you have 2 hours to take anything you want out of the Vogue style closets). At 3 floors the rooms are color coded to help those for whom maps are difficult (

Which way to go? So many choices!

In case you can't think of anything to read- they have plenty of ideas

This is not a Barnes & Noble/Borders kind of place- bright, shiny, with a coffee shop in case you desperately need an espresso while looking at books- which you should not be allowed to do anyway (yes, I am THAT kind of librarian). It has shelves that reach to the ceiling, long narrow aisles, spotty lighting, and sales help that, while really nice once you do talk to them, can look a little freaky. In short, it is the perfect place to amble, browse, get lost, and thoroughly enjoy yourself. Not sit down, read a book or magazine with your greasy paws for several hours, then put it back on the shelf (not cool). I know, I have a real attitude about big box retailers.

So even though I’m not buying books these days (Jen Lancaster aside because I had to to get it signed) I did find some great titles in the Writing section. Also, perused the coin value books and was disappointed that I’m not going to be able to fund my retirement with a 1891 silver dollar I have.

It may be called the blue room but for me it's pure happiness!

Love this title! It's about being a freelance writer

If you visit Portland it's a must stop and see destination but even if you are just flying through, they have a branch at the airport so there's no excuse for missing one of the last great bookstores in the U.S.! And if they don't carry it, you shouldn't be reading it anyway.


  1. There was a downpour that night when I was in Portland but I still managed to trek to Powell's on foot, and wasn't disappointed. People in Portland are so well-read and opened to chatting with a complete stranger about what they love.

    In the Phoenix Valley, we have Changing Hands. Like Powell's, it is an institution here and well-regarded in the community.

  2. Wow, I am adding this place to my 'must visit one day, someday' wish list!!

    And, BTW, I think you have the beginnings of a very fine cafe table here on your blog. :)



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