The brand, spanking new Powell's location is nestled between Ross Dress for Less and G.I. Joe's Sports and Auto at the Cedar Hills Crossing mall in Beaverton.

The 32,500-square-foot store was brightly lit and well-stocked for Friday's grand opening. Smells of fresh paint and new wood wafted over the bustling emporium as Beaverton residents grazed on a selection of cheeses, meats, crackers and olives. Martinelli's and other sparkling fruit juices added to the festive, yet wholesome atmosphere.

"It's not quite done, but it's done enough," said Michael Powell. He graciously thanked the staff who made the event possible, explaining that just 5 days before there had been no books on the shelves.

"Bonsoir and Merci to Monsieur Powell," began featured author Mireille Guiliano in her charming, French accent. She read brief passages from her book, French Women for All Seasons, a follow-up to French Women Don't Get Fat, which includes more recipes for creative, healthy food and personal anecdotes from Guiliano's kitchen.

The store stayed busy during the reading, but all the chairs in front of the podium were filled with attentive listeners. Events coordinator Emily Mattson said she hopes this is the beginning of a trend. "I hope that people in Portland are going to be galvanized to come out here with some fun author events and stuff because we do have a bigger space than Burnside."

Sandra Cunningham said she was glad to see a bigger Powell's location than the recently defunct Cascade Plaza store. But, she added, "There's not enough parking. No sane person would come down Cedar Hills Blvd after Thanksgiving and this just adds to it."

For those who want to brave the traffic, medical journalist Andrew Holtz will be reading from The Medical Science of House, M.D. November 22 at 7 pm and Nick Bantock, author of the famed Griffin & Sabine saga, will present his new illustrated novel Windflower on November 28.