Powell’s, the Great and Awesome Bookstore

Sorry guys, I’m doing a fairly awful job at getting back to a regular posting schedule.  I mean, better than not-posting-anything-all-month awful, but still not every-other-day great.  (I guess I’ll take it, though!)

So yeah.  I promised you all a better coverage of Powell’s Books, and here it is!  If you can tell from the sign above, Powell’s has a LOT of books, a LOT of rooms, and is basically like an enormous warehouse that smells like binding glue, paper, coffee, and all those little scents that come with THE WRITTEN WORD IN PHYSICAL FORM.  (I bite my thumb at you, e-readers!)  From the outside it is not terribly impressive to look at, but the inside is appropriately awesome, homey, and full of more books than I will ever read in my lifetime.

It brought me back to the days when I would spend 4-6 hours sitting in our local Borders, just reading and drinking chocolate javacoolas.  When they went out of business, I stopped spending as much time around books.  I didn’t stop reading, of course!  We still had second-hand book stores, the local library, and even a Barnes & Noble, but they just weren’t the same.  (And our B&N always smells strongly of chlorine…)  So it was nice to get a surge of that feeling again, since I’ve missed it so much.

Even better, there seemed to be so many people!  I had to laugh.  As I was perusing the mystery section for a couple of Aurora Teagarden books, I overheard a mother and daughter talking.  The Mom, I gathered, wanted to buy a book.  Her daughter was holding it hostage.  “Mom, don’t buy this here!” daughter said indignantly, “you can get it for, like, half the cost on the Kindle!”

“But daughter,” said mom patiently, “I hardly ever use the Kindle, and I don’t like that thing anyway.  Now give me that book!”

It warmed the cockles of my heart, I tell you what.

Not only did I love it for its vast, sweeping, all-consuming selection of literature, but it also had all the little odds, ends, bits and bobs that bookstores like to sell.  Mugs. Pens. Paraphernalia.  You know.  There was a whole section of Doctor Who stuff in the Sci-fi room, as well as tons of games that I only ever seem to find online.  The YA and Do-it-Yourself area had some housewares that were making me salivate.  And don’t get me started on the adorable little wallets made out of old WonderWoman comics!  (This trip happened to fall at a time when I was tragically broke.)

Plus, just to add wonder upon wonder, Powell’s is open to, like, 11PM.  I realize Portland is also a bigger city with, theoretically, a young and hip population that like to be out at night, but coming from a small town, let me tell you that this was definitely a novelty for me.  You could be out, in a store, reading until almost midnight!  Forget Cinderella’s ball, I’ll just chill in the Powell’s, kthnx.

See? Looks like an old movie theater on the outside–MAGIC ABOUNDS on the inside!

So, I guess there isn’t much else to tell.  There was something for everyone–we all wandered in, promptly scattered, and then begrudgingly met back up two hours later to do other stuff. (Because we felt we must.)  Although, one last anecdote: I was on the elevator with my friend and her baby, as there was no angling her stroller up those steps.  In the elevator with us was another mother and her 2-3 year old daughter, who was wearing a bright pink tutu and a huge grin.  “She just can’t wait to get there,” her mom told us, with an air of speaking to similar spirits, “we’re on our way to the pink room. (Childrens.)  We’re gonna read some books.”

Heartwarming indeed.




2 thoughts on “Powell’s, the Great and Awesome Bookstore

    • Ha ha! Seriously–no sales tax! And I don’t know about heaven-on-earth… Maybe just MY heaven-on-earth, lol. You should definitely go sometime! It’s a nice city for a little trip. =) And if you have longer, you can always actually visit the mountains, ocean, etc. (Which we didn’t have the time or means to really do…)

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