I’ve always wanted to live in Portland. Even before I visited. I loved the idea of a biker’s city with coffee shops and the mountains and the ocean just around the corner. My family heard this and shook their head. You say you want to live in San Francisco. Asheville. Hawaii. OFCOURSE you want to live in Portland too. I stand by my statements. I do love SF, Asheville and Hawaii, and to live in any is a dream come true. However, Oregon is special, and visiting did not disappoint from the delicious oatmeal pancakes at Bijou Cafe (Thanks Baraka!) to the delicious coffee and lovely waterfalls. Portland is awesome just for these things alone but what takes it to the top of the charts, what makes Portland the rockstar of all cities is Powell’s Book Store: the largest bookstore in the world.
If you read this blog, you know I love books. Growing up, my quiet thrill each week was going to the library and choosing the books that would be mine to treasure for the week they lived in my home. While my brothers groaned over reading assignments, I devoured their novels entirely in the time it took them to organize their desk space. My point: I love them books.
Powell’s is a magical place for a bookworm. It covers a city block and the store feels much like a maze. Each section has a different color. There is the purple room, the red room, the pearl room, and so on. Used books and new books sit side by side. They even have food in the coffee shop. Seriously, what need does one have to leave save for a spouse who might want to see more of the city than just a bookstore?
I’m a writer. I know the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating a manuscript. When I stood before all those books, row after row towering over me, so many books it would surpass my lifetime to get through each of them, I felt moved. There is something powerful about being amongst so many words. Words that writers pored over. Chapters they revised. Sacrifices they made. Each book, a dream realized. Perseverance paid off.
I dream of returning to Portland on a sunny summery day much like the day I came. I dream of oatmeal pancakes, and Mio’s gelato but my heart skips a beat when one day I may return to a certain store in the Pearl District by the name of Powell’s. I hope when I return, my book will be amongst those on its lustruous shelves.