Portland >Media Services > Powell's City Of Books
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.523070 -122.681297
Monday To Sunday From 09:00 AM To 08:30 PM
Neighborhoods: Pearl, Neighbors West - Northwest
Powell's is like Bookman's (AZ) and the late oxford Books (GA) but so much more! This bookstore is like The Home Depot of books!
Allow yourself a few hours to get lost in this truly mind-boggling bastion of books, where various staircases appear as if out of an Escher drawing to lead you through the four stories of color coded rooms filled with over a million tomes on literally every subject. You may emerge days later with a dazed expression and the beginnings of a beard, but that just means you’ll fit in all the better in Portland.
Get lost between tall stacks of new and affordable used titles in just about every category imaginable--and grab a few to leaf through with a cup of tea in the cafe.
Always make a trip to the top floor (the silver room) and check out the art and strange books. And there's minimal parking so take public transport or walk.
I love this bookstore. So fun to walk around and pretty good deals on used books! Very, Portland!
This legendary indie bookstore boasts 68,000 sq ft of bookshelves. There's even a free map to help you navigate it. Lots of in-store events.
As the other 112 reviews state this place is a book lovers dream. Lots of shelves to brows and a passionate staff. I like the number of book signings they have with local authors. They get the more famous ones in, but they make an effort with the locals too. And Portland has a surprising number of local authors.
Truely a great bookstore! – Still hanging on to this uncomfortable encounter years later? Must have been a bad day for both of you. I have had so many wonderful experiences at Powells City of Books that I can't even count them. I have both bought and sold books over the years and have never experienced anything like what you have described above. Maybe everyone there does not walk around with a false smile on their face but once engaged I have found everyone to be helpful. At times they may not have known everything about the millions of books on their shelves but who in their right mind would expect them to? They must have hundreds of people working there and the odds of coming across someone who is also having a bad day is pretty good. Like energy attracts like energy I for one never expect a sales person to be responsible for how I feel after our encounter. I think Eleanor Roosevelt put it best when she said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Let it go.
SNIDE, SNOTTY, DISRESPECTFUL AND NASTY – Say you clean out your house and decide to sell your books to Powells. Not a good idea unless you want to give away the only valuable books and take the rest home as well as endure a total lack of respect.
We gave away 75 boxes of books rather than put up with the stuff we had to endure a couple years ago, and in fact have never crossed Powells doors again.
Why? We had cleaned out a large number of books from our then vast collection of literary, language and unusual books. We took about 6 boxes down and were interested that they scanned every one and took approx. 1/6 of the group. We donated the rest to the Goodwill.
The next day we returned with more books, the rest of our downsizing and were accused of being book scouts. It was a very nasty encounter. We took all with us and never returned again.
I have heard that a lot of the big bookstores have closed. We used to be regular customers, averaging purchases of 5-8 books a month. Now we never go anywhere where people make you feel bad.
I agree totally with the review that tells about the anti-establishment attitude. Only thing is we are pretty anti-establishment, at least not wearing suits or expensive clothes, and they treat people like us just as badly as they did that person.
I give Powells a deserved one star.
Anti-Establishment- A dream come true for rebellious types – I adore people from all walks of life. People that are different and that can share their thoughts/opinions/life experiences.
However, when entering Powell's books you aren't greeted with a warm, friendly welcome. You instantly feel uneasy and sized up. If you don't fall into the anti-establishment, we loathe successful people, than this place isn't for you.
Clearly the employees are rejects from life itself. Instead of embracing others who may be different, they shun everything that is not like them. While this review is intended for the bookstore itself, we had to make a comment about the employees, since they are the ones that leave lasting impressions. They make no apology for rudeness, snide remarks, vulgar stares and glares, lack of store knowledge, and many other issues they seem to possess proudly.
When making a quick stop to the cafe, I soon realized they too have the trademark Powell's attitude. Four people were "trying" to do one person's job. The line was out the door and long. People were leaving in droves because the service was so poor. Why does it take four people to take an order, retrieve the order, ring the order up and move on to the next customer in line? It's insanity.
On to the actual book store, the review is empty. Powell's large rooms, cluttered book isles, poorly designed walk areas and inefficient customer service desks make this retailer that much more unbearable.. It's hot and stuffy throughout. The bathrooms make a gas station seem luxurious. That is how filthy they were.
Not Surprisingly we didn't have the mind set to leisurely browse the large square footage building. We had enough of the bad attitude and smell we encountered. I suppose if you aren't bothered by horrendous employees and their behaviour and the street beggars standing outside of the store, you'll do just fine.
I'll stick with Borders and go back to a more normal life. At least one where I don't feel ashamed of being a successful human.
Consider what you are looking for – Here’s the deal I love Powel’s but I can always afford to get my books there. I would not order because they have lost my orders before. I also have a hard time dealing with the employees. When you ask them for help looking for a book you find they really don’t read much. They are also rude. I read a lot. My daughter loves to pull books of the bookshelves, so when the bottom shelf is full I sell them. Powel’s is not the place to do this. $2 for a $25 dollar book and they are rude. I went up to the counter to exchange and the buy was aggressive verging on hostile. I end up for 15 books with $7 cash or $15 in store credits. He treated me like I was desperate for the money instead of desperate to keep my house to be clean. Minus the prices, lost orders, and employees you can spend days there looking at the books. It is great if you know what you want and can do a one stop shop.
Don't order your school books at Powell's! – You can't trust Powell's online orders! If you are a student, or ordering a book for a present, don't use Powell's online. Even if they confirm your order, if the book runner discovers the book has already been sold , THEY DON'T TELL YOU! Powell's instead waits for days and days until the rest of your order has arrived before sending you anything at all. This is apparently a matter of policy. This means those textbooks you're waiting for, may very well not be coming, despite you're getting a confirmation order. According to the employee I spoke with, this happens at least once out of every 20 online orders. That is ridiculous!
You could spend an entire day in Powell's! – What a fabulous bookstore. You can find virtually any book you've been looking for and more.
I never leave Powell's without overspending.
Paradise! – I'm a book lover and I love this place. Best selection of anything and everything I could ever want! Great place to grab a book, some coffee and hang out. Perfect if you're checking out downtown and want to walk there. Driving is a little less wonderful, but any traffic or parking issues are worth it. I love that place!!!
Coolest bookstore ever – Powell's is the best. It's four stories, and has every book you could ever want. We could spend hours looking around in there. They also have a "rare book room" with books from the 1500s and earlier, rare books, etc. Very neat. Highly recommended to pop in there with out of town guests and check it out.
Selection! – Insanely huge selection....I can get lost in this place for hours, and I do. Prices are retail...sometimes discounted. Have always had a good experience. Sometimes it can get hectic at choke points where it gets crowded...and I think a lot of people just come in to use the bathroom because I have seen some LONG lines there. Best overall bookstore in town.
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