Friday, February 4, 2011

Booklover's Paradise

I spent the afternoon at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon this week. What a book lover's paradise: an entire city block of over one million new and used books, all color-coded and organized by readers' interest.

I sold several books that I'd already read, and brought some home that I'd been looking for.

Powell's uses the very cool concept of displaying new books right alongside their used counterparts, so you can pick and choose which edition you want.

So with all of these books to look at, a book worm like myself could get lost for hours (and I did.) But what sections really held my interest? Well, I browsed the entire Young Adult and Children's sections, spent some time amongst the books on Animals, went upstairs to the Literature section looking for certain authors, and of course perused the section of Writing books.

After I checked out all of the Newbery award winners (and they have an entire section devoted to these) where I found a few Marguerite Henry books, I asked where the rest of her books were kept. After a bit of snooping (and everything is organized and easily found on computer search monitors) I found an entire section devoted to - wait for it - Children's Books about Animals.

I was in seventh heaven. I promptly parked myself and gazed longingly at all the titles, many which I've already read. From vintage editions of Albert Payson Terhune's dog stories to brand new books like Ginny Rorby's The Outside of a Horse, I fingered the books gingerly and lovingly. Yes, this was my section, and my world - Kids and Animals.

In the end, I came home with three new books:

A book on writing: THE COURAGE TO WRITE, by Ralph Keyes

An adult novel: THE BLESSINGS OF THE ANIMALS, by Katrina Kittle

A 1971 children's book about a boy and dog: THE SUMMER OF RILEY, by Eve Bunting

Have you been to Powell's Books? Do you have a favorite bookstore where you could hang out for hours?


Unknown said...

YAY for reading books!
Sadly, there are no bookstores where I live... (I live in rural area.)
But I can stay looking at book on Amazon for hours! :D

Natalie Keller Reinert said...

I've always loved their website, and it looks like the real thing is another incarnation of my beloved Strand Books in Manhattan. You can't beat a great bookstore.

Danette said...

Yes, I finally got to Powell's last year but we didnt' have a lot of time to spend there. I so want to go back and this time with real money and lots of time!! It's a fabulous, busy, but lovely place.

Loretta Nyhan said...

We have a Powell's in Chicago and I LOVE it. I could set up camp and spend the weekend there.

Linda Benson said...

Monica - Thank goodness for online bookstores, huh? We live in a rural area too, with one good Indie bookstore about 15 miles away, and 35 miles to a bigger bookstore.

Natalie - I've always heard of The Strand. If I ever make it to NYC, I'll definitely go!

Danette - Yes, you've got to go with another booklover, and give yourself at least a couple of hours. We'll have to go!

Loretta - Wow, in Chicago, too? Awesome. Yes, I could camp there for the weekend, too ;)

Dreaming said...

Your post reminds me of traveling with my boys. Both of my sons turned out to be avid readers. We would often stop at used book stores in towns we visited, at my sons' request! Their idea of a great treat was to head out to Barnes and Noble... and just sit in the chairs looking at books.
I love Amazon and Prime shipping - love to hear about a book and have it without leaving my house! Now, with the Kindle, I don't even have to wait two days!!

Bobbie Pyron said...

LOVE Powell's and, like you, also love how they shelve the used books right along side the new ones! In the animal stories section, I found a pristine copy of a first edition Lassie Come-Home with COLOR illustrations!

Linda Benson said...

Dreaming - you have raised readers! Good for you!

Bobbie - what a find! I have to say that Eric Knight's Lassie-Come-Home (over 60 years old) is hands down one of the best dog stories ever. Agreed? And I am so looking forward to reading your new book A Dog's Way Home!!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Sounds like you had a great day. I've heard about the awesomeness of Powells--I wish we had one around here. Happy reading!