One of the world's great meccas for book lovers, Powell's City of Books
(1005 W. Burnside St.
, 503-228-4651) takes up an entire city block on the edge of the Pearl District in downtown Portland. It's the largest bookstores on earth selling both used and new books (in fact, rather unusually, Powell's stacks new and used copies of the same title on its shelves). The store's GLBT section
is huge - larger than what you'll find at many small gay and lesbian bookstores. Inside you'll find numerous big rooms organized into myriad categories. There's also a very cool rare-book room on the top floor, with first editions of many classic works. And on the ground floor, there's a large World Cup Coffee & Tea House
, with plenty of seating - a great place to browse your purchases, work on your laptop, or meet locals.
Powell's is around the corner from the strip of gay-popular businesses along S.W. Stark Street, including the Ace Hotel. Other Powell's locations include a smaller outpost in the gay-popular Hawthorne neighborhood as well as a Powell's Books for Home and Garden (with amazing cookbook section) next door on Hawthorne, and there's a large branch in Beaverton and a smaller one at the airport. The website, which has been around since 1994, is well-designed and great for browsing and ordering online.