Powell’s Books is the largest independent bookstore in the world. There is a total of five locations, spread out the city of Portland, Oregon. The main location is the size of an entire city block with nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections. It’s also my favorite place in the world, next to Disneyland.
The first time I ever went to Powells was when I went to Oregon for the first time to tour my future college. The University of Oregon is located in Eugene which is about a two-hour drive south of Portland but there was no such thing as a direct flight from LA to Eugene, you most likely had to fly through Portland. My dad kept telling me about this incredible bookstore. So we flew into Portland and stayed the night so my dad could get some work done. After dinner that night we walked down to Powells and my mind proceeded to explode. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I kind of walked around in a haze.
I continued to visit the store whenever I was in Portland, whether I was there for a weekend or just a few hours. A few weeks ago, I planned a five-day trip up north to Seattle for my birthday weekend, spending the first two days with one friend and the last two days with another friend. For that special day in the middle of my trip, I reserved a solo trip down to Portland to visit Powells—driving over six hours in total, there and back. Whenever I mentioned what I was doing, people gave me a funny look and called me crazy. This was my birthday present to myself, and everyone else could just shove it. I prefer to do these kind of adventures by myself so that I don’t feel rushed and I can take my time going through all the sections I want to visit.
Not only do they sell new titles, but they have an extensive collection of used books as well as a huge rare books room. Best part of Oregon? No sales tax! If there was a book for $5.00, you paid $5.00. I had been planning my trip for a while so I went in that day, prepared to drop some cash. I ended up with 12 books (sorry Mom!) with most of them being paperbacks ranging between $5.95-$10.95. I was in complete heaven.
And even as I was stuck in major traffic driving back to Seattle that night, my heart was so happy just spending a few hours in a castle filled with books.