Jul 2, 2017

Powell’s (and Oregon)

I finally made it to Powell’s, and the city of books lived up to its description: it’s without a doubt the best bookshop I’ve ever been to. I think very fondly of my visits to, say, the Strand or Barter Books, but nowhere is quite like Powell’s. At most bookshops I’m excited if I find one or two books by my go-to authors, but Powell’s had pretty much everything. There was a whole shelf worth of Angela Davis, and the Ursula Le Guin section in SFF was three shelves long. Most bookshops have their strong areas; at Powell’s every single section I was interested in — children’s books, comics, poetry, queer literature, feminism, you name it — was amazingly well stocked. Also, as pretty much everyone who visits Powell’s tends to say, I loved that new and used books were kept together, and that I had a choice of prices and editions for whatever I was looking for.

I spent three hours there and didn’t see half of it. Let me give you a glimpse of my visit:

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Adrienne Rich’s Collected Poems were following me everywhere. One day.

I don’t think I’d ever seen so many books that are important to me in a single display not of my own making.

Angela ♥

ALL the Ursula Le Guin!

One day I’ll own all of Strangers in Paradise.

I loved that there was a Coretta Scott King display.

As much as I was happy to spend all of my time at Powell’s, I did see a few other things during my sadly brief time in Portland:

View of the city from Pittock Mansion.

I loved the street art and political posters and stickers everywhere.

This struck me as peak Portland, for some reason.

Some of the famous food trucks.

Green Bean Books, a lovely children’s bookshop I stumbled upon.

And of course I had to stop at In Other Words, a feminist bookshop, library and community space.

Salt & Straw icecream, which I hear is mandatory when you visit Portland.

The Central Library.

And the lovely tree in the Beverly Cleary Children’s Library.

“What is White Supremacy?” display.

The rest of my time was spent travelling down the coast towards California — here are some pictures that show why Oregon just might be my favourite US state that I’ve visited so far:

Next up: San Francisco! Thank you so much for reading.


  1. Did you happen to visit the rose garden or Japanese garden? Those were my favorite parts of Portland (although Powell's is awesome too of course)

  2. ANA I STOOD IN BOTH THESE PLACES so we have been in the SAME SPACE separated ONLY by 14 months!!! :O :O :O :O

  3. But did you get doughnuts? One of the amazing things about Oregon for me, as an American who often has a bit of trouble getting in and out of cars, is that at every single gas station, they pump it for you.

  4. Despite my addiction to bookstores I have never been to Powells. Or Oregon for that matter except for driving through on the way to Seattle. Wonderful photos. Thanks. And I love the Beverly Cleary library!

  5. Lovely! I haven't been down to Oregon in a few years now so I should probably do that sooner than later.

  6. One of these days I'm going to visit Powell's too! It looks wonderful! I love how it has masses and masses of books but it also has, like, aisle space. My primary gripe with the Strand is how goddamn crowded it is. HOW AM I TO REACH THE BOOKS with all these other monster book-lovers in my way!

    Your Portland trip sounds fab. I swear next time you are in America I will make sure to arrange for us to meet up.

  7. Ana that looks like an amazing trip, what a beautiful state. :)

  8. Someday. You so made me hope that someday is very, very soon.

  9. I lived in Oregon in the 70s. I sometimes ask myself why I ever left.


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