Portland has a higher percentage of literate people on record than any other major city in America, maybe thanks to the excellent bookstores they have dotted all over the city. I’m a huge fan of bookstores and I can easily spend hours in them. From vintage and rare finds to children’s books and everything in between, here are my favorite bookstores in Portland, Oregon…
Powell’s City of Books
Located in Portland’s Pearl District, Powell’s City of Books is the largest bookstore in the world that houses both new and used books. With nine color-coded rooms and 3,500 different sections, Powell’s City of Books has to offer something for every interest.
Powell’s City of Books is home to approximately one million books from different genres, including literature, history, politics, romance, mystery, science fiction and fantasy, philosophy, gardening, and cooking, among many others.
I seriously love this place, with such a massive collection of books, you can quickly quench your reading appetite regardless of your taste. I’d recommend staying for a while to really soak up the atmosphere.
If you’re planning a visit by car there are plenty of parking spaces. The bookstore stays open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Hosts vast selection of books
Unique and rare books available
Large parking spaces
A wide range of genres is available
The large size can be overwhelming
The seating areas are limited
Afuri Ramen and Dumplings
Domain Wine Lounge
Classic Control Arcade and Bar
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble is one of the largest national bookstore chains in the United States. It has two retail outlets in Portland, one in Lloyd Center and one at Clackamas Town Center Mall.
The Lloyd Center outlet houses a massive selection of current bestsellers and still-in-print titles belonging to a wide range of genres and I’m a big fan of this place.
Barnes & Noble also sells eReaders and tablets with over 3.6 million eBooks, newspapers, magazines, and digital comics. With Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Tablet, you can enjoy your favorite novel, exciting games, and the latest news from anywhere, anytime, without straining your eyes.
The bookstore also has a B&N cafe that serves ‘Starbucks style’ coffee and many other treats you don’t see at Starbucks itself.
Barnes & Noble, Lloyd Center, open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, the store closes an hour early on Sundays.
B&N Cafe for coffee and unique treats
Offers e-readers for digital reading
A vast selection of e-books
Extensive book collection
Closes early on Sundays
It might lack some rarer titles
Holladay Park Plaza
Lloyd Athletic Club
McMenamins Broadway Pub
Located in Northeast Portland, Broadway Books is an ideal destination for book lovers and avid readers. This independently run bookstore houses a conglomerate of book selections, from non-fiction and informative books to literary gems and bestsellers.
Broadway Books also features an exciting selection of magazines and creative cards. Broadway Books has a policy to support local authors. Many Portland-based writers have made special appearances at the bookstore, including Lidia Yuknavitch, Cheryl Strayed, and Chelsea Cain.
Broadway Books stays open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The store is closed on Mondays.
Closed on Mondays
Only has a single location
Steeplejack Brewing Company
Koji Osakaya Restaurant
Wallace Books features a diverse collection of vintage literature. Wallace Books has a treasure of hot classics, current bestsellers, and rare pieces of literature that are hard to find in other bookstores. The bookstore is located inside a 1930s house and has been in existence for 21 years.
It has floor-to-ceiling book storage cases and shelves with hundreds of books stuffed inside them, making it a perfect place for people who enjoy browsing for books.
I’d suggest asking the friendly staff for book recommendations as they’re very happy to help you out. Wallace Books stays open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
A cozy vintage-chic ambiance
A diverse collection of rare literature
Welcoming and helpful staff
Charming 1930’s house setting
Vibe might not suit everyone
No inside cafe
Awake Coffee & Art
Poke Box Sushi
Backstory Books & Yarn
Backstory Books & Yarn is a women-owned book and yarn store. This independently run store is an amalgamation of crafters and readers. At Backstory Books & Yarn, you’ll find exquisite pieces of fine craftsmanship.
They specialize in Nautical and African-American crafting/making. Backstory hosts art shows, classes, crafts nights, and poetry readings.
The backstory also has an e-store featuring a vast array of books belonging to various genres, including travel, sports, religion, theatre, humor, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, and mystery, among others. The e-store gives you access to every book found in the retail outlet of Backstory.
The Backstory is open for in-store shopping from Wednesday to Monday between 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Unique craft and book fusion
Specializes in niche crafting
Engaging in arts and crafts events
Diverse book genres and e-store access
Doesn’t cater to all interests
Closed on Tuesdays
Tov Coffee & Tea
Located in Southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village, Annie Bloom’s is a perfect place to indulge in hot bestsellers and quirky classics.
Annie Bloom’s is an independent bookstore that houses a broad range of books for people of all ages. It has a dedicated area for children’s books filled with easy readers, coloring books, and pictorial novels. The bookstore also features a mesmerizing selection of adult books.
At Annie Bloom’s, you get to enjoy a cup of complimentary coffee as you browse around the bookstore. The store is open between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
Complimentary coffee while browsing
A dedicated section for children's books
A diverse collection of books
A long history of forty years
The parking is compact
Closes early on the weekends
Down to Earth Cafe
Green Bean Books
Green Bean Books is the ultimate bookstore for kids in Portland. The bookstore offers everything kids want, from picture books to educational toys.
At Green Bean Books, kids can hear stories, meet authors, and browse through books by theme, such as ‘sports, ‘bedtime’, ‘animals, ‘fa,’ is,’ etc. Green Be’ Books allows children to indulge in reading while lying in a comfortable squashy chair.
The bookstore also has a beautiful garden and a back deck.
Green Bean Books serves as a community center as it is a significant participant in Alberta Main Street activities. The bookstore is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Interactive story hours captivate children
Garden and back deck for relaxation
Educational toys for children
Comfortable squashy chairs for reading
Garden and deck usability tied to weather
Offers only children’s books
Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
Located in inner Southeast Portland, Mother Foucault’s Bookshop is a sanctuary of severe readers. It has a curated collection of rare, used, and vintage books.
The bookstore also hosts several events, including poetry readings, readers’ panels, art performances, and literary talks.
Mother Foucault’s Bookshop is a browsable repository of philosophy, literary criticism, fiction, foreign language, and poetry books. They are open Tuesday through Saturday between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Unique selection of literature
Hosts engaging literary events
Collection of rare and vintage Books
Convenient location in Central Portland
Crowded during events
Parking challenges in the area
Kinokuniya Bookstore is a Japanese-based book retailer. The bookstore has a giant collection of Manga, Gundama, and other Japanese comic books.
At Kinokuniya Bookstore, you’ll also find a decent selection of DVDs, Gundama tools, anime statues, Studio Ghibli goods, stationery items, and home goods.
The refund policy of Kinokuniya Bookstore extends to books and unopened comics. They are open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Extensive collection of manga and comics
Housed in a historic cinema
A diverse range of anime and goods
Refunds only for books and unopened comics
It might not appeal to traditional readers
The Paramount Hotel Portland
Case Study Coffee Roasters
Bingo Used Books
Bingo Used Books has a vast inventory of both new and used books. The bookstore also sells movies, sports cards, and music.
Bingo Used Books has a good selection of non-fiction books of different types, including engineering, mathematics, business, stock market, technical, psychology, and other textbooks.
Bingo Used Books also houses many remaining books at meager prices. They are open Monday through Saturday between 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sunday, the store stays open between 11.30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wide range of non-fiction books
Music and movies available
Remainder books at an affordable price
A diverse collection of music
No cafe or refreshments
Closes early on the weekends
Bearly Read Books
Bearly Read Books is a small bookstore that houses hundreds of books. The bookstore has an extensive collection of romantic novels, cookbooks, memoirs, and gardening books,
Bearly Read Books has a super-friendly and knowledgeable staff to show you around the place. It’s easy to browse books at Bearly Read Books as all books are very well-organized.
On weekdays, the store is open between 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, they are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sundays, they open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.
Home to two adorable store cats
Extensive selection of books
Easy and well-organized book browsing
Knowledgeable and welcoming team
The store is small
Not suitable for people with cat allergies
Chili Basil Thai
Monograph Bookwerks is a rare bookstore that features a giant collection of well-chosen books.
It is an ephemera, art, and object bookstore that houses hundreds of books belonging to unique genres, such as architecture, graphic design, artist memoirs, photography, countercultures, fashion, art criticism, contemporary art, and theory,
They are only open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Diverse selection of books
Unique art and collection of objects
Contemporary art selection
Short opening hours
Crowded when events are on.
Thai Noon Restaurant
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Gaby Maia – writer and photographer
Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After traveling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her traveling ardor. Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations in her spare time and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and then writing about her favourite places. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. The places she loves the most include Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Turkey, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall. Find Gaby on Linkedin or Twitter.