The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

Powell’s Books

Happy first of July!

July is National Independent Retailers month, you know. With that in mind, throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting a few of our favorite independent book sellers. First up . . .


Mention independent bookstore to any book lover who’s ever visited Portland, Oregon and chances are good they’ll sneak Powell’s into the conversation without missing a beat. While Powell’s is actually made up of four full-service and two specialty bookstores, the mecca is their headquarters, Powell’s City of Books.

What got its start in an old car dealership, now takes over several city blocks (mainly, 68,000+ square feet, or 6,300 m2).

It gives whole new meaning to getting lost in a bookstore.

Grab a map and plot your course, or explore on your own. It truly is a treasure hunt–you never know what you might happen upon. Old books mingle with new, paperbacks share space with hardbacks.

And then there’s the room that makes grown men cry. OK, I made that last bit up–but it’s enough to make me cry. It’s the Rare Book Room, where the rare (and rather exquisite) books are housed. Of course, the surroundings are something akin to an elegant old study, because let’s be serious . . . such books would not feel at home, in anything less.


Do you have a Powell’s story? We’d love to hear it, in the comments!

Want to know more about Powell’s Books? Check them out online.    


  1. Powell’s has been on my ‘list’ forever now – it’s pretty much the entire reason for a trip out to the Pacific Northwest. My favourite of all favourites is Book People in Austin but Tattered Cover in Denver is pretty awesome as well

    • amelia

      1 July 2013 at 7:17 am

      It’s definitely a must! Tattered Cover, also awesome. And I’ve not heard of Book People . . . I must look them up . . .

  2. Portland’s very reason for existence is probably somehow tied to Powell’s Books.

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