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Powell's City of Books, Portland

4.9
#1 of 72 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. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Powell's City of Books by using our Portland family vacation planner.
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3,683 reviews
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4.9
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    I am a book nerd, and this is hands down the best bookstore I've ever been too. It is the "Amazon" of in-person wonderings. Their stock is huge, service is wonderful, and they carry lots of local auth...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    You could spend a day here looking at all this store has to offer in the way of books. We spent about an hour and felt quite satisfied that there is something for everyone here. Enjoy!  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    We had to split up to conquer! An hour was simply not enough! Good thing our bike rental came with a basket. Helpful staff!  more »
Google
  • July 10, 2017
    Wow. Lives up to its reputation. We spent close to two hours there and could probably spend another two. It would be hard not to walk out with a good find. For those interested....Powell's has the largest selection of bird books I've ever come across, by far! The aisles offer lots of browsing space as far as used book stores go. Well marked shelves and lots of good staff picks.
  • July 3, 2017
    I've been doing here since the early 90's. After all these years, it's still my favorite bookstore, and has so much great character, as well as many hard to find books. Even when I lived in Alaska, I found that the owners of the number one bookstore in Anchorage came to Portland to spend a lot of time at Powell's, because it was the model after which they planned to pattern their own store, Title Wave Books. But you can't beat Powell's - it's the top bookstore in North America, and in addition to the big store downtown, there are numerous smaller satellite stores around the Portland metro area. One great thing is that if one of their other stores has what you want, you don't have to travel there: they'll have it sent over for you, and let you know when it arrives.
  • May 27, 2017
    Is Powell's my favorite place in the world? Maybe. I've never been in a bigger bookstore. I don't know if there is a bigger bookstore. Every time I visit, I check out different sections, and there's still so many sections to pick. If you want to visit a store where you can find the latest best sellers, random used books, rare books, fun gifts, and more, this is the store for you. If you want to visit a store where you won't get lost and spend all of your money, do not visit this store. In addition to books, Powell's has a pretty good game selection, journals, cards, some snack foods, the sort of random items you find at cute bookstores (mugs, magnets, desk toys...), Portland themed items, a cafe, and probably at least one portal to Narnia. I always leave here with a stack of books, and that's after exercising self-control and putting back at least half of what I want.
  • June 28, 2017
    WOW! This place is HUGE. I usually have a hard time finding Philip K. Dick books at most resellers. Guess what? They have most of his books, several copies of each, including anthologies. They also had several E.L. Doctorow books; I usually do not see that either. Upstairs they have books in different languages, not just books on how to learn the language but literature in that language. I could have stayed there for hours, but I was in Portland and there is food to be eaten and beer to drink...they do have a coffee house inside by the way. Simply amazing, a wonderful experience for any bibliophile.
  • July 4, 2017
    I know, you can get the book 'online', why should you hassle with a book? Simply put, there is nothing like a book, which cannot be dumbed down to catatonic-like zombie staring at a device. Powell's has always been a poor intellectual's dream. There are scores of barely used books that you can own for a song. As a poor student of philosophy, four decades ago, here is where I bought my first Nietzsche, Kant, Hume and Sartre. It was what inspired me to become a philosopher. In the reading of books, the discipline that it builds will generalize into all other facets of your life. For decades, poor people of every gender and race have come into this building to find rare treasures at prices they could never have bought at full price. As our libraries are being transformed into computer centers, this remains a last bastion of knowledge not subject to Big Brother's censoring hand. I could have never become what I did without Powell's Books. It will always be a singular temple to knowledge and a path to wisdom. Q.E.D. "Behold, Life Itself Spoke To Me: I Am That Which Must Overcome Itself." Friedrich Nietzsche From Zarathustra "We Are Our Choices." Jean Paul Sartre From Being And Nothingness

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