For years I’ve heard about Portland’s Powell’s Bookstore. And people were amazed I hadn’t been or even knew of it’s existence.
I can now say I’ve been Ka-Powelled after today. Ka-pow like being knocked out. Being booked up takes on new meaning.
Doing my Pacific Northwest summer tour usually includes a dabble into Portland, but not too deeply since I am long out of practice of navigating city blocks and rush hour traffic.
Today I jumped in, with Siri’s help, and found my way into the heart of Portland. With my bag of books I and a three block walk, because city parking is a grab-it-when-you -see-a-spot, I wandered into the used book line.
And waited. There were four buyers, with seven sellers ahead of me (one guy had SIX boxes on a handtruck!?!), and more lining up behind me. Who says people don’t read anymore?
After obtaining my store credit voucher I went shopping. The store was amazingly flush with customers. This place is like a Disneyland for bibliophiles. If you have yet to visit or are perhaps wondering–here are some Powell’s facts courtesy of Wikipedia (as with image):
- Considered to be the world’s largest independent bookstore
- Buys around 3,000 used books a day
- The building takes up a full city block.
- The business started with a Powell and is still under ownership of a Powell.
- Founded in 1971.
- Five locations in Oregon.
- Two million book inventory.
- Employer of 530+ people.
- Considered to be one of Portland’s top attractions.
Okay–reality factor. How many cities can name a bookstore as a tourist attraction?
Feeling rather overwhelmed with all the choices, people,and sheer amazingness of it all, I finally managed to use most of my store credit and stagger out an hour and a half later with five books in hand. I barely explored the offerings since there was too much to see. My brain froze at the totality of it all. Books, books, books. It was ever so lovely.
Anyone else been Powelled?