Oregon Attractions April 30, 2019
The Largest Independent Bookstore In Oregon Has More Than One Million Books
If you love books, you probably spend a lot of time in libraries and bookstores, and you love whiling away an entire afternoon amongst the shelves. There’s a bookstore in Portland that’s so large that it would take you weeks to properly explore the entire store. In fact, Powell’s Books in Portland is so large that it’s home to more than one million books!
Powell's Books got its start in 1971.
Walter Powell had retired from his career as a painting contractor, and he was looking for a new adventure. His son Michael had opened up a used bookstore in Chicago the year earlier, and once Michael spent some time there, he was hooked. He came home from Chicago and opened up Powell's Books on Northwest Burnside.
As Powell's Books grew over the years, it just kept getting bigger and better, eventually taking up an entire city block.
Today, the flagship store is home to more than one million books. It's still family-owned, with Michael's granddaughter, Emily Powell running the store today.
Powell's Books covers 68,000 square feet over four floors, and it's absolutely vast.
To help customers navigate their way around the store, it's divided into nine different rooms, each given a different color. Inside each room, multiple sections separate books of different topics. In fact, there are more than 3,500 different topics sections in the store!
Powell's puts its new and used books on the same shelves, which is a unique method that makes it even easier to find what you're looking for.
Because of the narrowed-down sections, you can see everything offered in both used and new books...all at once.
Powell's buys as many as 3,000 used books every day, so you'll find something new every time you visit.
From novels that were published just months ago but were previously loved by another reader, to gems from your childhood...you'll find it here.
Even with all the color coding and different sections, you might still feel a bit overwhelmed while browsing.
No worries! There are information stations sprinkled all throughout this vast bookstore, with knowledgeable, book-loving employees who will point you in the right direction, and even give you their own personal recommendations.
Your kids may never want to leave the children's section.
Powell's has the most comprehensive children's section of any bookstore. From baby board books to chapter books for early and middle readers, your little book lover is certain to find plenty to choose from on these shelves.
Not sure what to read? Visit the main floor for book recommendations...
...and check out the chalkboard to see the current award-winners - locally, nationally, and internationally.
All this book browsing is sure to make you hungry and thirsty, so stop into World Cup Coffee and Tea.
The cafe is located right inside the bookstore, and offers coffee, tea, baked goods, sandwiches, and more.
Want to get an overview of everything at Powell's? Take the tour!
Powell's Books offers a guided tour every Sunday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Tours last 45 minutes, and they're free.
Powell's Book is open every day of the year, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and you can stop by to sell your used books every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m..
You'll find the Powell's Books flagship store at 1005 West Burnside Street, Portland, OR, 97209.
Powell’s is a Portland institution! To learn more about the store, visit its
website, and find out what events are happening there on its Facebook page. Have you visited Powell’s Books? Tell us your favorite thing about this humongous store.
Speaking of Portland institutions,
this tiki lounge has been here since the 1940s, and you’re going to want to visit for drinks and karaoke.