Portland is a Hotbed of Small Bookstores

Reason no. 14 to love Portland right now.

Powell's City of Books shelves (Kenny Louie / Flickr)

"I'm a writer, which is a fancy way of saying I have no social life. When I do venture outside, more often than not it's to go to a bookstore. Everyone knows about Powell's, but this city offers so much more. Broadway Books is, by virtue of the people who run it, one of the finest small bookshops in the country. There's the delicious chaos of Longfellow's, a serendipity engine where you won't find what you're looking for but will leave with a dozen other books anyway. There's Title Wave, a place where you can stock up on a year's worth of used books for the price of a single new hardcover. There's the connoisseur-ish, old-school vibe at Mother Foucault's. There's In Other Words, a world-class bookshop and community center that does a lot of important civic work in a town that sorely needs it. There's Street Books, a bicycle-powered mobile library that is one of the single best ideas I've seen in this town. In a country where so many neighborhoods are effectively storytelling deserts, Portland punches above its weight."

—Omar El Akkad, former Globe and Mail reporter and author of the 2017 novel American War

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