Monday, May 30, 2011

Powell's Bookstore

For me, the best bookstore in Portland is Powell's. I have been going downtown to the main bookstore, Powell's City of Books on Burnside, but I have trouble getting there and the parking is difficult and expensive although the store is wonderful. I love the coffee shop that is located inside. They have gluten free treats that are the best I have tasted in my life and terrific coffee. The basic price for parking is about five dollars, and I still have to walk quite a ways to the store. The parking garage is city owned and will not accept parking validation from the bookstore for some reason.

Yesterday, a friend came from Salem and we tried a new Powell's that is located at Cedar Hills Crossing. It is much closer to my apartment and easier to get to and there is no cost for parking. What is really wonderful is that there is nearby places to have lunch there. I like the store very much and there are many author events and even book clubs that are held there. Unfortunately, there is a downside to the place. There is no coffee shop although there is a nearby Starbucks but that coffee shop has no gluten free goodies. An employee said that the lease is up in a few years so no improvements such as a coffee shop are planned there.

There are plenty of chairs to sit. I used to go to Barnes and Noble in Redding and have been to the one up the street where I live. There are rarely enough chairs for people who want to sit and go through the books they want to buy. Powells believes in providing enough. I went through some yesterday before deciding on the one I did buy. I really appreciate having some place to sit and look over possible purchases. The Powell's City of Books has the same sitting resources and one can use the coffee shop for that purpose.

Powell's bookstores are wonderful because they have a very wide selection of books and they have both new and used books. They also have Internet services for people who live outside of the city. The second-hand books are in wonderful shape. It is a great savings. It helps the reader make his or her money stretch further.

I love bookstores especially the independent ones because they have more variety of books. They are not pushing the same books but have many that are put on the shelf for the reader to consider. I am an avid reader. I also like the older books too. I heard a author reading at Powell's recently by Ursula LeGuin and she was saying that she loved reading Jose de Sousa Saramamago especially his earlier books. He was more difficult to read but well worth staying with his books. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. You need a bookstore like Powell's to find his earlier titles.

When I was in the Powell bookstore yesterday, the place was buzzing with activity and there were plenty of people looking for books, sitting in the over-stuffed chairs reading and the cashiers were busy ringing up purchases. It felt good to be there. My friend who is also an avid reader bought some art books that he found. I am just glad I found a Powells that will not cost five or more dollars to visit.

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