Friday, August 12, 2011

I Heart Powell's Books

Welcome to the second installment of I Y Fridays!
While in Portland, OR this summer I stumbled upon a new life-long friend: Powell’s Books.  It’s a multi-level book-lover’s dream that takes up a whole city block. 

The feature that sets Powell’s apart from most other bookstores is that they carry new and used books – and shelve them together.  For instance, if you are looking for The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, you would find both the new and used copies in the same section on the same shelf – used copies on top.  So fantastic!  In my experience used bookstores are unforgivably disorganized.  In Powell’s I found the logical layout and user-friendliness of a new bookstore with the options and affordability of a used bookstore.  (Disclaimer: I am not getting paid by Powell's for the post.)
Added to the pros column would have to be their apparent inattention to the inside of the used books.  Here is what I found inside the copies of Water for Elephants and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues that I ended up buying…

{ An espresso maker manual and a Victoria's Secret tag.  Size? Small. }

{ A big, old, rusty paperclip.  That thing has been there for decades. }
I have to say, despite my germaphobia, I find these little pieces of the readers who enjoyed the book before me quite charming.
I had so much fun wandering through the aisles appreciating not just the titles, but the interior.  It is housed in an old car dealership.

When I got home I was thrilled to find that not only are they hip, they ship!  (Don't worry, I am rolling my eyes at myself for that one.) The shipping cost is $3.99 no matter how many books you buy.  If you look for the best deals or want to mix new and used books on Amazon, you may end up having to pay shipping to several different booksellers.  Powell’s definitely beats Amazon on that account. Plus, they are independent.  And that makes me feel like I'm a good person for, you know, supporting the little guy against the big, bad corporate... wait, am I hating on Amazon right now?  I'll have to think on this and get back to you.
In the meantime, check out Powell's here.

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