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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon

After lil' sis picked me up from the Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden), we headed to Powell's City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. Powell's takes up a whole city block. I've happily spent hours upon hours here through the years.

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The entrance area, in the Green Room, is where you can pick up a map. You'll need one to navigate the bookstore.

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Turn left to the Blue Room where you'll find literature, the classics, and poetry.

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I pass through this area to get to one of my favorite rooms.

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The Purple Room is non-fiction and I can usually be found in the Asia or ethnic studies aisles. I picked up a copy of "Twilight Over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess," by Inge Sargent. I read an excerpt long ago in Good Housekeeping magazine, only remembering that she married a foreign student and didn't find out he was a prince until they visited his country and were met by a parade.

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Blue and Green Rooms to return? Or Gold Room for romance, manga, and mysteries?

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I went into the Rose Room to look at children and young adult books.

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Specifically to look for a copy of L.M. Montgomery's "Jane of Lantern Hill," which has sadly been out of print and unavailable at my library.

I had jotted down this lovely excerpt back in my teen years and had forgotten everything else about the story,
"Today I tried to write a poem to you, but it is not finished because I could not find words fine enough, as a lover could not find raiment dainty enough for his bride. The old words that other men have used in singing to their loves seemed to [sic] worn and common for you. I wanted new words, crystal clear or coloured only by the iris of light. Not words that have been stamped and stained with all the hue's [sic] of other men's thoughts."

No wonder I still remember that passage.

Do you like how I'm so anal that I had to quote the book exactly, but didn't want you to think the grammatical errors were mine? :P

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What I've always liked about Powell's is that used and new books are sold side by side. It's nice to have the option of buying a cheaper copy or of finding out-of-print books of an author's backlog. Which, if you're a glommer like I am, comes in pretty handy at times.

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Then I met up with lil' sis in the Orange Room, cooking, gardening, and other home improvement topics. Also, it's the room closest to the parking garage. Powell's validates with purchase. Otherwise, you pay the whopping price of 95 cents an hour, or something like that.

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Lil' sis decided to get Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," which she finished that night, so we were back again the next day so she could pick up "New Moon" to read on the plane. Ack! Gag! Teenage vampires full of angst who sparkle? Eh, not my thing.

I bought Amy Tan's "The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life."

All Oregon posts can be found in the tag, Series: Oregon. I suggest reading this particular trip in this order:
I-5 From LA to Portland
Mom and Dad's Garden
Burgerville - Portland - Oregon
Hakatamon - Beaverton - Oregon
I Think I'll Go For a Walk Outside Now...
Vista Point - Oregon City
End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon City
Stevens-Crawford Heritage House - Oregon City
Museum of the Oregon Territory - Oregon City
Mom's Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)
Blackberry Cobbler
Bonneville Lock and Dam - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Bonneville Hatchery - Cascade Locks - Oregon
Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Horsetail Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Bridal Veil Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Historic Columbia River Highway - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Latourell Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Crown Point Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon
Banh Cuon Tan Dinh - Portland - Oregon (Closed)
Downtown Portland - Oregon
Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland Classical Chinese Garden) - Portland - Oregon
Powell's City of Books - Portland - Oregon
Mom's Geoduck, Dynamite-Style and Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)

How to Prepare Geoduck and Razor Clams
Geoduck, Japanese Dynamite-style
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)
Le Bistro Montage - Portland - Oregon
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen - Portland - Oregon

Powell's City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209
9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

1 year ago today, Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup).
2 years ago today, Goi Xoai Xanh (Vietnamese Green Mango Salad).


  1. Whoa, that place is huge! Though, perhaps too big. I'd be overwhelmed. I seem to remember a time when I had time to while away at the library (we don't have big bookstores here; not really). Those were the days.

    I haven't read _Twilight_, though I did make the mistake of watching the movie. So, so bad. The two of them looked constipated the whole time.

  2. hi wc - powell's is huge! i love their selection though and the fact that they mix old and new books together.

    is your sis done with the twilight saga yet? i absolutely hated the 4th and last book. one of the worst thing's i've read.

  3. TS,
    If you just stick to favorite rooms, it's not too overwhelming. I don't use the library as much as I used to since a lot of the books I read aren't available. For some reason, my library doesn't catalogue mass market paperbacks so I can't look it up and it's just luck if the book I want is in stock.

    I refuse to read Twilight!

    That mix of old and new was quite revolutionary when they started doing it. Yup, I think she's read it all. Ugh!

    It's my version of heaven for sure. :)


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