Powell's Books

Powell's Books is an absolute must see if you are a book lover. Powell's City of Books claims to be the largest used and new bookstore in the world. You will believe it once you have been there.

This is not a bookstore that you will go into and browse for a few minutes until it is time to do another activity. This bookstore is the activity. It covers an entire city block with room after room and row after row of floor to ceiling bookcases crammed full of both used and new books. New books are not kept in one location with used books in another area. They are all shelved together. You need a map to navigate the place and fortunately, Powells provides one. The rooms have names like the pink room, the pearl room, the rare books room and so on.

Adam Jones

Don't walk in without money.  Go in with at least a credit/debit card. You may think you are just going in to look and you don't plan on buying anything. Ha!  

When you have been in there for two hours and you suddenly realize your stomach is making embarrassing noises, they've thought of that and help is there. You can sit down at a table and leaf through the books you have put in your basket and have a cup of coffee and a pastry or a sandwich.

Are you looking for an out-of-print book? You have an excellent chance of finding it here.

Powell's Books was online before Amazon. Who do you think is Powell's best customer? Yes, it is Amazon.com.

Powell's opened in 1971 in its downtown Portland site West Burnside. It is just on the edge of the fashionable Pearl District. They now have six more stores in the Portland area. Three of them are at Portland International Airport. Powell's Technical Books is nearby the big store on NW Park Avenue.

Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton has the largest children's book section on the west coast. The Powell's Bookstore on Hawthorne specializes in books on cooking and home and garden.

Another great thing about Powell's is that the people who work there are actually knowledgable about the books they are selling. If you haven't found what you want, they can help.  Just like in a small neighbourhood book store.


The stores are open 365 days a year from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm. On July 4th they close at 9:00 pm. The Rare Book Room is open 11:00 am to 7:00 pm or by appointment.

Powell's Books Locations

Powell's City of Books (Burnside)
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209

Powell's Technical Books
33 NW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97209

Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Powell's on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214

Powell's for Home and Garden
3747 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214

Powell's at PDX
7000 NE Airport Way
Suite 2250
Portland OR 97218