Powell’s Books in Portland

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Greeted by the musty smell of used books, the indescribable aroma of new ones, a man with a beard and a tattooed gal with Vegan printed in block lettering on her t shirt; I have found my home. It’s a city of books; a literal city block wide and four stories high. Located in Northwest Portland, Ebooks are not welcome here. Instead, shelves of leather, hardcover, paper back, and chap books line the walls and the aisles. Magazines, including literary magazines, rest just to the left of my entrance. Oh, the wonderful paper, glue, thread and ink.

I peruse the lit mags looking for something that might serve as a nice home for one of my stories or poems. Nothing seems promising today.

This is Powell’s Books, a Portland Institution, conveniently located downtown, just blocks from Portland State University.  The questions come. Do I want to escape in fantasy, seek enlightenment with religion and philosophy, explore the past, learn about Ghandi, or simply jump into a world of realism and poetry? Maybe I ought to continue to explore some literary magazines and sneak a peek at some erotica? Could I indulge in my secret Manga desires? Or do I just want to buy a journal and document the day?

A lesser reader would be overwhelmed by the choices, but not I. I walk to the elevator, look at my expanding waist line and decide to climb the three flights of stairs to the art floor. It’s easy to find. The sections are all separated by color: Purple, pink, red, white, black. Past an abstract sculpture and some modernistic paintings—both by local artists—a book featuring colored photographs of the brilliant Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous buildings beckons me. I grab it and begin to descend the staircase…


To be Continued. . .

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