Ah, Powell’s. Wonderful Powell’s. For the Portland book lover, there is no better place. For many Portland visitors it is a must-see during their stay. Looking to impress your hippie friends with your mad mulching skills? Powell’s has it. Searching for the book that you told your date the night before that you just adored (but haven’t actually read)? Powells’ has it. Need to find “New Survey of the West-Indies: Being a Journal of Three Thousand and Three Hundred Miles Within the Main Land of America” by Thomas Gage? Powell’s has it!
Open 365 days a year, the original store was founded by Walter Powell in 1971. Inspired by his son Michael’s successful book store in Chicago, he founded the Burnside location which over the years grew, blob-style, into the surrounding buildings, eventually encompassing an entire block. Later, the Pearl district would grow, blob-style, around Powell’s.
You can wander the aisles forever, either just looking at titles, or asking the advice of the well-read employees. But is Powell’s just a giant book warehouse? No, no, no! They also have great book clubs, book signings, and other fun events. And if you are stuck out in a suburb, they have several other locations for your perusal. Also, in this economic recession, you can make a little bread (or store credit!) by selling your used books.
Powell’s is just tops, and it is truly one of the things that makes Portland such a fun place to live.