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Suit Yourself in Portland

Powell’s City of Books

At Powell’s City of Books, visitors will find a collection that matches even the most magnificent library seen in the world of film. With 68,000 square feet, nine rooms, three floors and 3,500 sections, Powell’s hands out detailed, color-coded maps as a necessity.

“Powell’s bookstore is an icon in the city,” said Hibdon. “For anyone who’s a reader or who wants to see a key part of Portland culture, Powell’s is a place they should go visit.”

Staff offer 45-minute tours of the world’s largest independent bookstore. The tours explain how Walter Powell founded the store in 1971 and give guests tips on how to navigate it.

Originally opened in a former car dealership in a nearly deserted part of town, this Portland landmark offered a revolutionary way to buy books with new and used copies sold together. The business model took off, which led to rapid growth. Today, the store has more than 1 million books for sale.

The Rare Book Room showcases autographed first editions and other collectible volumes. The bookstore also boasts its own coffee shop, gift shop and in-store events.