The Worlds Largest Book Store

I spent some time in Portland, OR this week and instantly fell in love with the city. A big part of that was my visit to Powell’s City of Books. It claims to be the largest book store in the world and considering the fact that it takes up an entire city block I believe it might be possible. Powell’s has so many books that entire rooms are dedicated to different genres and patrons use a color-coded map to navigate the store.

Besides just being a cool place to hang-out, the shop also contains some awesome books. They have featured selections broken out by store best-sellers, buzz-worthy, and autographed copies just to name a few. If you find yourself in the Portland, OR area, stop by and check em out!

Here is some information on Powell’s city books from their website:

Powell’s City of Books is a book lover’s paradise, the largest used and new bookstore in the world. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.

Each month, the Basil Hallward Gallery (located upstairs in the Pearl Room) hosts a new art exhibit, as well as dozens of author events featuring acclaimed writers, artists, and thinkers such as Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Chabon, Annie Leibovitz, and President Jimmy Carter.

The City’s Rare Book Room gathers autographed first editions and other collectible volumes for readers in search of a one-of-a-kind treasure.

Every day at our buyers’ counter in the Orange Room we purchase thousands of used books from the public. Powell’s purchases special collections, libraries, and bookstore inventories as well.

A few facts about the City of Books:

• 68,000 square feet packed with books.
• We buy 3,000 used books over the counter every day.
• Approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day.
• Another 3,000 people just browse and drink coffee.
• We stock 122 major subject areas and more than 3,500 subsections.
• You’ll find more than 1,000,000 volumes on our shelves.
• Approximately 80,000 book lovers browse the City’s shelves every day in Portland and via the Internet.

So is our mother ship the world’s largest bookstore? Heck, it may be bigger than your whole town.

The Washington Post called Powell’s “perhaps the best bookstore in the world”


Daily: 9am – 11pm

Book buying hours:
Daily: 9am – 8:30pm

Rare Book Room:
Daily: 11am – 7pm or by appointment


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