A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend Leslie visited Portland and headed directly to Powell’s, the mother-of-great-bookstores. I was stuck in Los Angeles, mentally following her through the day. I e-mailed her a message to have fun just as she was entering the store. Hours later after I paid bills, picked up tired teenagers, and cleaned up the house for dinner guests, she e-mailed me that she was just leaving the store. One guess as to who had the better day. Here is Leslie’s wonderful afternoon:
Powell’s Books in Portland has long been one of my favorite bookstores. However, it’s been years since I’ve been there and I caught myself wondering if it was truly as special as I recalled or if my memory had turned it into something far better than it really is.
I recently returned from Portland to see a good friend who, when we were talking about what to do during my visit, immediately asked “You want to go to Powell’s, right”? We made sure that there was enough time to spend a couple of hours perusing the shelves. I’m very pleased that my memory was correct – it is a fabulous independent bookstore. And, a few hours really, for me, was not enough time to spend there. (My mother-in-law, who lives outside of Brunswick, Georgia doesn’t have a lot of good department stores in her immediate area and is always on the hunt for clothes. She was in Portland a few years ago and passed up two free afternoons shopping in Nordstroms so that she could spend more time at Powell’s. It’s that kind of place).
My girlfriend in Portland, Laura, visits Powell’s fairly often. She brought me up to speed on several of the changes that they’ve made over the years. The best change is that the store just simply keeps getting bigger. It now takes up an entire city block. If you don’t want to look through every single section like I wanted to, the sections are all color coded with very easy to understand colored signs. Looking for fiction? Look for the blue and gold signs. Philosophy? You’ll find it under the Read the rest of this entry »