on February 19, 2001
Powell's City of Books is exactly that - like visiting another city entirely, one entirely made up of the written word. They have nine different rooms full of books, and also an Arts and Crafts annex just across the street. All told, the downtown branch of this local chain has become the largest bookstore in the United States. Not only do they carry all the books that you might be looking for, but they almost alway have a used copy as well - which can usually be bought for about half the price of a new one. Looking for something old and ancient? Their Rare Book Room is one of the most complete in the nation, featuring an excellent selection of hard-to-find children's books, such as the Wizard of Oz books, or early Disney pop-ups. If you are looking for Literature and Poetry, visit the Blue Room. If you want Fantasy/Science Fiction, browse through the Gold. And if you need to know how to do something, find the informational books in the Pink Room. When you have located a book that interests you, wander down to their coffee shop - you are more than welcome to bring in the books and browse while sipping a cup of Portland's best java. Being so near to Seattle, Portlanders know how to order a cup of coffee, and Powell's can make the most complex latte you can think to order. The cafe is almost always crowded - but that is a nice change for a bookstore. The store is often overlooked as a tourist attraction, but considering the fact that it brings back hundreds of repeat customers every day, it is well worth the time to stop by on your trip. I stop in almost once a week, and I never fail to find something.
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