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Powell's City of Books, Portland

4.8
#1 of 166 in Shopping in Oregon
Powell's City of Books fills an entire city block, where it sells new and used books. The company claims to be the largest independent bookstore in the U.S. It buys over 3,000 books every day to sells in its used and rare book sections. Be sure to stop by the rare book room where autographed copies and rare editions are displayed. Called "the coolest bookstore in the world" by CNN, the store hosts art exhibits and author events. Visit the website for a list of upcoming book signings. Plan to visit Powell's City of Books during your Portland vacation using our convenient Portland journey site .
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Powell's City of Books Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
4,441 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Asked extremely helpful staff to point me in the right direction and I promise you there are plenty of directions in book choices. Walked out with 8 out of the 10 books I wanted. I would say I scored!...  more »
  • This is really a not to be missed place. It is a very large bookstore - I think it is even larger than the Strand in NYC. They sell both new and used books, but they don't separate them. So when looki...  more »
  • I was in Portland for a workshop and found myself in Powell's several times. It is just a perfect bookstore. Great help, amazing selection, great prices, and the place is a multi-leveled labryrinth of...  more »
Google
  • I was visiting Portland from out of state and this is one of the first places I came across. I saw the name on my google maps and was expecting just a small cozy little book store and what I got was multiple stories of amazing. They had just about everything you could ever dream of and the staff is incredibly helpful if you have any questions. The cafe area is great for a little relaxing time and the coffee is good I spent half an hour in there just enjoying a coffee while I charged my phone. All in all this place is amazing and if I’m ever back in Portland I’m definitely stopping by there again :)
  • Worth the trip for the main store alone. 5 floors, one city block. Small rare book room on top floor with limited hours. Wide selection of genres and you'll find inexpensive used books shelved next to the new copy when available. Has a small cafe and random seating that allow lounging and reading of unpurchased material. Computers placed throughout store for searches. Staff recommendations and reviews also posted throughout. Very helpful staff. Color coded rooms/floors for easy navigation. Foot travel between floors mostly uses ramps with mild inclines, there is also an elevator. Their parking garage is terrible, requiring incoming vehicles to drive up a steep single lane driveway that is also used by cars exiting. After parking you must walk back down to the attendant booth and leave your keys before navigating your way (without clear directional guidance or markings) to the sidewalk by way of narrow, poorly lit cement flights of stairs. Street parking is much more convenient and feels safer.
  • A veritable temple of the printed word! The place is thick with people on the weekends, and for good reason. There's nary a book you won't find here. Authors reading, signing and explaining books, quick and easy reference system, a prodigious wealth of literature on all topics, a beautiful rare book room AND a cafe! This is more than a City of Books, it's a world of human expression. If you're visiting Oregon do not miss it. If you live here but haven't been inside... There's no time like the present to witness this local treasure.
  • This place is HUGE. There was so much selection and the organization system was easy to follow. There's a nice little cafe to chill out in with your new books as well. The only thing I would prefer is an easier way to tell which books are new and used without having to go through every one on the shelf. When you do find the used books, the prices are absolutely worth it and they're all in good condition that I could see. Absolutely worth a walk through.
  • I love Powell's. It's the thing I miss most about Portland, and no trip back is every complete without a visit. Or three. There's an amazing selection of books, both new and used, and the staff recommendations and featured book sections have helped me find new favorites on more than one occasion. Everything is well organized, and there are tons of helpful reference kiosks to assist you in finding just the book you're looking for. The cafe is a great place to chill out with your recent purchases as you watch the foot traffic in the Pearl go by, and the atmosphere is completely serene; if you manage to avoid weekends that is. They also have a great selection of journals, board games, and accessories for book lovers and nerds of all ages. This is my number one destination every time I visit Portland.
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