Fuse #8

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ode To Powell's

You may wonder why I tend to link many of the books I mention to their online listings off the Powell's website rather than Amazon and the like. The reason dates back to the months I spent right after graduating from college. I arrived in Portland, OR with a car full of everything I owned, no place to stay, no job prospects, and not much money of which to speak. I spent most of my days hanging out in the downtown library, but that's another story. Eventually I found shelter, food, and other staples and began to explore the city a little more thoroughly. And Powell's, sweet sweet Powell's, was one of my favorite places to go. I'd camp out in their cafe with a big old cookie and read the His Dark Materials books, one after another after another. Probably a very big factor in why I became a children's librarian later.

It is difficult to live in Portland and not love Powell's. Now my love has been paid back to me. The Powell's blog, which I check faithfully, has added me to their listing of literary bloggers. I couldn't be prouder. Thank you, you big ole beautiful bookstore. If I ever move back to the Pacific Northwest, you will be the first place I go.

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At 5:57 PM , Blogger Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Ah! Did you ever go to that Irish tea shop that was a block away from the Downtown public library? It's no longer there, and I miss it.

At 6:03 PM , Anonymous elizabeth fama said...

Ahem, Powell's started in Chicago -- the original, ORIGINAL branch (1970) is just a couple of blocks away from me on 57th Street. So keep that in mind when you visit Chicago!

At 7:03 PM , Anonymous dot dot dot said...

Aw, shucks.

Well, your spirit lives on at Powell's, for sure, every single day when I read and then order books like mad for the Middle Reader section over here at our S.E. Portland store.

Best. Wealth. Of.Information. Ever.

At 9:39 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Really? Chicago? Really really?

In answer to your question Alkelda I DID go to that Scottish tea shop, but only one. I'm not much for the tea, it seems. Coffee either. If it weren't for cold chai I don't think I'd ever find a beverage worth drinking in your average everyday coffee shop.

And you, oh dot dot dot, are the person who orders the Middle Reader section? Dude, if you were working in 2001 then you are the person who second only to Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling can be credited with my current MLIS degree. I miss seeing the starched aprons hanging on the coffee shop walls and the color coded maps of where to go.

Don't suppose you guys have added any additional seating since I was last there, eh?

At 1:06 PM , Anonymous elizabeth fama said...

Yes, Chicago. Really, really.
Take a gander:

At 1:43 PM , Anonymous dot dot dot said...

I wish I could take credit for birthing a librarian, but I am still a relative newcomer to the children's sales floor here. I did some behind-the-scenes work for the company for a while, and when I moved to the store and inherited the section I was wholly thrilled, but partially overwhelmed, which is why I rely on resources such as you all.

Seating? Not really. Especially not at this location, as we are a smidge on the brimful side already. I mean, if we wanted more seating, we wouldn't have as much room for books, and no one wants that, now, do they?

At 6:06 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I wondered what your Powell's connection was. I lived in Portland for 3 years and still miss that place. The Burnside location was my usual haunt.

Do you find the Strand in NYC to be any sort of similar substitute? We are in CT and get into NYC four or five times a year.

They don't have the book-love mentality of Powell's, but I've come across some great finds, and I love their kids' department.


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