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Archive for the 'In the Stacks' Category

“Mockingjay” Midnight Release Party

Very early this past Tuesday morning, throngs of young readers filled more than two and a half city blocks in downtown Portland to be the first to get their copies of Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay, the third and final book in her acclaimed, bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.

As the New York Times noted:

It is not "Harry Potter" or "Twilight," but there are echoes of those phenomena in the reception of "Mockingjay," the final volume of Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" books, a trilogy of dystopian young-adult novels.

[...] At Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., managers have ordered 3,600 copies of "Mockingjay," a supply they hope will last about three weeks. Gerry Donaghy, the new-book purchasing supervisor at Powell's, said he expected the book would be right behind the Stieg Larsson "Millennium" series in sales for the year.

Check out our photos from the midnight release party below — and click here to see even more!

In addition, local children's author Lisa Schroeder has her own pics from the party, where she dressed up as Katniss!

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At various points in the evening, the line stretched all the way around Powell's flagship Burnside store — an entire city block!

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The Powell's staff were ready and in costume.


Matt Love’s Gimme Refuge

Our On Oregon blogger, Matt Love, has just published his newest book, Gimme Refuge: The Education of a Caretaker :

Frustrated with life, teaching, and the inability to become a writer, Matt Love escaped Portland in 1997 at 33 years of age and moved to the Oregon Coast. A year later he became caretaker of the 600-acre Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. During his decade (1998–2008) as caretaker, he helped restore the grounds to fuller ecology, discovered a love for teaching, and reinvented himself as a writer and historian who established Nestucca Spit Press and eventually won the 2009 Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award from Oregon Literary Arts.

Gimme Refuge is his passionate, 177-page account of his teaching career, experience as caretaker, and awakening as an Oregonian. The book also includes 17 original illustrations by Cindy Popp.

We're thrilled about the book, which you can order here. The following excerpt (with photos) is from 1998, when Matt visits the refuge for the first time.


Powell’s Winter Mystery Sale

Winter Mystery Sale

Nothing like a little murder, intrigue, and noir to heat up those dark, chilly nights! Visit our Winter Mystery Sale section and check out these great titles:


Mrs. P Reads at Powell’s!

February wrapped up with a lovely event at our Cedar Hills Crossing store, where Mrs. P (also known as actress Kathy Kinney) read from her book of classic fairy tales to a crowd of over 300 delighted first and second graders. Captivated, the audience of children and adults alike listened to tales spiced with Mrs. P's own quirky anecdotes and humorous divulgences.

Please visit Mrs. P's website for an online library of tales read by (who else?) the ever-entertaining Mrs. P!

Powell's would like to thank Mrs. P, Dana Plautz, and the rest of the fine folks at Mrs. P Enterprises. Without their charitable contribution of chartered buses, 300 smiling faces would not have been able to attend the afternoon's event.

In true fairy-tale conclusion, a splendid time was had by all!


Powell’s City of Books Drives the Food!

If you're heading downtown to our flagship Burnside store, why not grab a can of those beets you're never actually going to eat and donate it to the food drive?

Between now and January 5th, Powell's Books on Burnside is working with the Oregon Food Bank to collect canned and non-perishable boxed items for those in need. (But please, nothing that's homemade or opened!)

Since we are now OFFICIALLY in a recession that started last December, the number of those in need is growing all the time.

You'll find drop-off barrels in the Orange and Green rooms. Here's a store map to guide you — and if you get confused, just find a smiling face at an Info desk to help.

And don't try pawning off Aunt Mathilda's 300-pound fruitcake on us! If it's not in an unopened can or box, please don't donate it.


Twilight: A Confession

Forgive me, for I have sinned. I am a late-20-something female, who studied literature, who works for Powell's, who strives to display a discerning, critical, sometimes snooty taste in all forms of art. And I saw the Twilight movie. On opening night.

It's not what you think. I haven't read the books. I wasn't one of the women wearing a "Yes, I know he's a fictional character" t-shirt. I was the one who made sure to get adequately hammered beforehand, hoping that large quantities of Jim Beam would make it all more tolerable. I served as wing-lady to my irrevocably obsessed also late-20-something roommate, who, on the other end of the spectrum, locked herself in her room for three days to read all four books, only emerging for fresh supplies of Amy's enchiladas and Mike and Ikes.

I should probably be ashamed of myself, but I am not. Well, in retrospect, I'm sort of ashamed of the bourbon ...


The Tribulations of a Marquee Changer

Quite possibly the worst job at Powell's is changing the marquee. I'm not one to complain usually but each time I go out there to change it, something horrible and life-threatening happens. You see, our marquee is old. And dirty. And the gutters where the letters are supposed to sit are often warped or totally broken. I'm lucky if I can fit more than a couple words on each line. It's like writing haiku, but with less syllables. Somehow, yesterday, I was able to put a web address on there to promote our poetry contest. I was amazed at my achievement. But these rewards do not come without cost. Here are some of the dangers and nagging dramas I deal with in this somebody's-got-to-do-it position.

Faulty Suction: The tools are awkward yet simple. Some 12-inch tiles with black letters and an extendable pole with a suction cup on the end. The marquee is about 10 feet over the sidewalk — not high enough to warrant a ladder but high enough to strain your neck while you ...


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Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.