Saturday, September 3, 2011

Powell's Books - a Portland Landmark

Do you like bookstores? I have spent many happy hours looking for just the right book - whether it is a art or quilting book, a novel or a biography. You would love Powells Books in Portland. This was another stop on my 'girlfriends getaway to Portland' last month.
Powell's is the largest independent new and used book store in the world (according to them - and I certainly agree!). It is in the Pearl District on the edge of downtown Portland and occupies a full city block - it has over 68,000 square feet or about 1.6 acresof retail floor space!
The inventory includes over four million, new, used, rare and out-of-print books and they buy around 3000 used books a day.

One thing I discovered this time (dummy me...) is that they use the same numbering system as my local library. So, if I'm looking for fibre art and quilting books, it's 746.  They also have a huge fold-out map at the front entrance and all the 'rooms' are colour coded. So if you are looking for 'mysteries', go to the Gold room, 'travel' is in the Red room and 'poetry and classic literature' are in the Blue room.
All four of us found books to bring home. Here are the ones I found:

  • three novels (to read in Nova Scotia later this month, when I tour Cape Breton after teaching at the Mayflower Guild Retreat in Pictou)
  • a used copy of Rayna Gilman's book, create your own hand-printed cloth. This is a book I've had my eye on since it was published in 2008. I finally had some time to look at the book in detail and it definitely is a good addition to my library. I'll do a review of the book in an upcoming Newsletter.
If you would like to receive my FREE newsletter (approximately every 2 weeks), you can sign up right here on my blog. The spot is just on the right panel. I include a review of a book On My Bookshelf in every issue along with some quilting and fibre art tips that I have learned during my 20+ years of teaching.

My friend, Marg, had the best 'find' at Powell's though. Marg visited her grandfather in England in 1965. She was just a teenager and had a very special time visiting family and meeting some pretty famous people who were friends of her grandparents. Her grandfather was an 'eclectic' writer and was just putting the finishing touches on his latest book. Marg never saw that book in print; her grandfather died shortly after her visit.
Imagine her excitement when she was scanning the shelves for books for her husband when she came across 'Six Days to Shake an Empire' by Charles Duff, her grandfather's last book! She now has a wonderful copy for her collection!

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