When we traveled to Oregon in March, I made sure a designated stop was Powell’s City of Books in Portland. I joked with H that he should go visit a brewery while I shopped because I needed a minimum of “1 hour and $100”.
It did not disappoint.
Powell’s is a book mecca, with everything from bestsellers to indie to used books organized neatly by color-coded rooms in the city-square-block building of the Pearl District.
And they get readers. (Just check out their Pinterest boards.)
I thought about how I could best use my time while walking the stacks and realized that, if an indie bookstore is good for one thing, it’s the book-lovers they employ. So I made my way over to the Information desk in the Gold section (SciFi/Fantasy) and asked the woman working if she could recommend any post-apocalyptic books.
She leaned over and pointed at a bunch of printed bookmarks with listings of Hugo and Nebula award winners. “Oh sure – there should be a list right here. It’s the one with the guy in a gas mask”.
Guy in a gas mask? Reading wheelhouse achievement unlocked.
But as she looked, she realized they were out of them. So she promptly pulled the binder of originals they use to print off more and I snapped a picture.
Then she and the guy behind the desk started rattling off more recommendations. We nerded out about ones we’ve read or just heard other rave about and I jotted as much info down as I could before floating off towards the shelves.
I ended up leaving with a huge stack of books (and under budget!).
The whole experience was magic. I loved every minute I spent in there and would visit again in a heartbeat. It’s made it even more clear to me that we need to support independent bookstores, if not for the product they sell, but for the culture they create.
Have you read any of these titles? What are you reading these days?