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Powell's City of Books
Powell's City of Books
1005 W Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209
Daily: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Book buying hours:
Daily: 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Rare Book Room:
Saturday - Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Bldg. 2 hours:
Daily: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The Espresso Book Machine® has arrived! Visit the Purple Room in the City of Books to publish your own book or print hard-to-find titles, all in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee. Learn more.
Get turn-by-turn directions to books — on your phone! Download the free Meridian app for iPhone and Android. Click here to learn more.
Powell's City of Books is a book lover's paradise, the largest used and new bookstore in the world. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.
Each month, the Basil Hallward Gallery (located upstairs in the Pearl Room) hosts a new art exhibit, as well as dozens of author events featuring acclaimed writers, artists, and thinkers such as Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Chabon, Annie Leibovitz, and President Jimmy Carter.
The City's Rare Book Room gathers autographed first editions and other collectible volumes for readers in search of a one-of-a-kind treasure.
And the City's newest addition (October 2010) is Powell's Books Bldg. 2, a relocation of Powell's Technical Books, brings mathematics, sciences, computing, engineering, construction, and transportation sections closer to visitors at the flagship store. Bldg. 2 is located across the street from the City of Books on the corner of NW 10th and Couch.
Every day at our buyers' counter in the Orange Room we purchase thousands of used books from the public. Powell's purchases special collections, libraries, and bookstore inventories as well.
A few facts about the City of Books:
• 68,000 square feet packed with books.
• We buy 3,000 used books over the counter every day.
• Approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day.
• Another 3,000 people just browse and drink coffee.
• We stock 122 major subject areas and more than 3,500 subsections.
• You'll find more than 1,000,000 volumes on our shelves.
• Approximately 80,000 book lovers browse the City's shelves every day in Portland and via the Internet.
So is our mother ship the world's largest bookstore? Heck, it may be bigger than your whole town.
The Washington Post called Powell's "perhaps the best bookstore in the world." You can also browse our store map online in .PDF format.
If you've already placed an order for a book via our website and would like to check on its status, please email the internet office at email@example.com.
More about Powell's City of Books:
Store Map (PDF) |
Directions to Powell's City of Books |
World Cup Coffee & Tea at Powell's City of Books |
Tour Powell's City of Books |
The Rare Book Room
Here are just some of the books we're talking about at Powell's.
This heartbreaking story of a Confederate soldier is absolutely riveting. Although Inman is gravely wounded, he deserts the army and heads back home on foot, keenly aware that he has the slimmest chance of making it alive. Trying to elude bounty hunters, starvation, and fear, Inman's journey is both harrowing and beautiful.
Recommended by Dianah May 10, 2013
Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles revisits the sprawling story of the Trojan War but focuses on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. It is a love story so intensely searing, the brutal 10-year Trojan War somehow takes a backseat: the love they share means more than Helen, the war, and all of Greece put together. While Patroclus learns that he is much stronger than he ever imagined, Achilles learns, the hard way, about pride. Miller's take on this slice of Greek history is a passionate view of love amid disaster.
Recommended by Dianah May 6, 2013
What a strange yet wonderful box of loveliness! Building stories is odd, sweet, sad, beautiful, and quixotic, yet that barely scratches the surface. Made up of what I can only guess are "chapters" in varied formats, with no true end or beginning, its sprawling size is a bit overwhelming straight out of the box. Yet the melancholy story of the tenants of an old building is fascinating despite (or maybe because of) the fact that it's a cartoon. It is an intimate look at the human condition; the stories of the old woman who owns the building, the constantly fighting couple, and the woman who lost her leg are close observations of human despair. Amazingly accurate in its depiction of interior monologue, each character is so complex, rich, and layered, the soul-crushing burden of their lives is keenly felt. Building Stories will make your heart ache for its characters, and it will make you realize that this tiny slice of life looks mighty familiar.
Recommended by Dianah May 3, 2013
What Dies in Summer
A modern day Huckleberry Finn with a twist of magical realism, Tom Wright's What Dies in Summer will leave you torn between page turning and savoring the luscious prose.
Recommended by Michelle M May 2, 2013
In the 1920s, married couple Jack and Mabel leave their home in Pennsylvania and travel to Alaska to homestead a farm. Still grieving the loss of their stillborn child years before, Jack and Mabel are faced with the inhospitable land and deadly weather of Alaska. Their marriage begins to unravel; Mable feels lost and alone, while Jack struggles under the unrelenting workload. In a rare moment of levity, on the night of the first snowfall, Jack and Mabel sculpt a snow child. The next morning they discover the statue destroyed and find footsteps leading away from the wreckage, but none to it. They slowly begin to realize just what they have set in motion, and both are terrified, yet hopeful, for the outcome. Both lyrical and magical, The Snow Child is a haunting, bittersweet, lovely read.
Recommended by Dianah April 30, 2013
The Brain That Changes Itself
You can change your brain! Neuroplasticity is the new gospel for remapping your brain and making real changes to not only the way you think but how your brain is actually wired. Using this new science, medical conditions previously thought of as untreatable are cured, damaged sense organs are restored, and learning disorders are solved. If stroke patients can learn to walk and talk again in spite of damaged brains, then surely there is hope for the rest of us to manage our daily anxieties and undesirable behaviors. Dive into the future of neuroscience with this amazing book.
Recommended by Serra April 24, 2013
Children of the Days (staff pick)
The great Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer and journalist, has spent some five decades in literary pursuit of restoring memory, veracity, and justice to their once-exalted heights. Resounding throughout his works are the amplified echoes of the forgotten, forsaken, silenced, and slandered. In giving voice to the voiceless, Galeano ensures that history's authorship shall not be entrusted solely to the wealthy, powerful, and victorious.
Children of the Days is composed of 366 of Galeano's trademark vignettes — one for every Gregorian calendar day of the year. Each of these entries, marked by both brevity and beauty, recounts or remembers an individual, moment, or era omitted from the official annals of yesteryear. In retrieving these stories from their historical exile, Galeano redeems their dignity and reanimates their tale. More than the mere act of commemoration alone, these vignettes illume the dark and disregarded corners of our collective past (and act, perhaps, as a bulwark against repeating its myriad misdeeds).
Like nearly all of Galeano's books, Children of the Days excoriates the excesses of war, religion, capitalism, and conquest. In reframing the historical narrative to be more inclusive and forthright, Galeano takes equal inspiration from politics, poetry, and the proletariat. Whether by revolution or revelation, many of the figures he chose to memorialize could be defined by their defiance, outspokenness, and dissatisfaction of the status quo. Galeano's longing for an equitable, verdant, and peaceable world has informed his writing since he began his career, and his commitment to engendering such a vision is one of the essential characteristics of his work.
Eduardo Galeano composes prose as resplendent as some of his subjects are sorrowful. With ever the eye for the neglected, distressed, oppressed, and maligned (spanning thousands of years), he creates beauty where once there was betrayal, and intrigue where ignorance once thrived. From the familiar to the obscure, Galeano masterfully recollects and rescues from amnesiac disregard those for whom history has never made room. Children of the Days is but the latest steadfast entry in Galeano's efforts to resist the erosive effects of time, revisionism, and selective memory. Obsessed with remembering lest the rest of us forget (and perhaps to help restore the enduring promise of the future), Galeano makes an offering of his art so that we may yet be reminded of the inherent brilliance, dignity, and wonder of a life consumed not by belligerence, fanaticism, and the shallow pursuit of wealth but one that is instead receptive to the voices of others and the world at large.
Children of the Days was rendered from Spanish by Mark Fried, Galeano's longtime English translator.
Recommended by Jeremy April 23, 2013
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Marra's debut novel is fantastic. His beautifully written story so eloquently expresses the intricacies of human behavior involving love and sacrifice during a brutal war. It's hands down my favorite book of the year and one you must read!
Recommended by Kim S. April 23, 2013
Mr. Madam: Confessions of a Male Madam
The story of this 1940s and '50s drag-queen-turned-madam is a raucous read. Kenneth Marlowe has done it all — seminary school, hairdresser in a brothel, star of a burlesque show. This story is a glimpse into the pre-Stonewall life of a man who was too fabulous for one gender.
Recommended by Wil H. April 15, 2013
Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra
Awesome. Think John James Audubon prints in a more twisted and dark light. The title Pancha Tantra refers to an ancient Indian animal folktale book thought to be a precursor to Aesop's Fables. This has lots of sly wit and offhand comments interwoven with the artwork.
Recommended by Morgan R. April 2, 2013
Dominion Card Game
I love this game. I have been a gamer my entire life and I highly recommend Dominion. It has a good combination of things going for it: It's easy to play. Every time you play, it plays differently (thus preventing any "cheap" strategies). It has fairly straightforward but deep rules. It's fun with two players and more. It's competitive but not head-to-head (no seriously hurt feelings). It doesn't require a huge gaming table. It has several expansions that make the game more complex and more fun. It doesn't take 9.5 hours to complete a round.
I would recommend it to both serious gamers and casual players.
Recommended by Hobie March 27, 2013
Munchkin Deluxe is fun with just two players, but once you get more than that, it's outrageous! This is the game where you find out who your true friends are or who would sic an even bigger monster upon you when you're at your lowest, sharing the loot with a fellow player.
With a board, game pieces, and cards, this is the ultimate MMORPG game to play without turning on the computer. And with so many expansion packs, the game can be played for hours on end.
Recommended by Marti March 26, 2013