National Independent Bookstore Day honors the amazing shops that have made it possible for us to aimlessly peruse their shelves in a peaceful space. More often than not, these delightful and unique shops have been started by passionate readers or authors who want to share their love of the written word with the world around them.
Today, in keeping with the holiday spirit, I would like to highlight some of the independent shops that bring together the Portland literary community and inspire us to read and write.
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 SW Capital Hwy
Portland, Oregon 97219
Nestled in the midst of Multnomah Village, Annie Bloom’s has been drawing in readers and authors alike for years. I first discovered this indie bookstore while exploring the neighboring shops throughout the village. I immediately fell in love with the very friendly staff who were eager to invite me into their space. Full of the most popular and trending novels, this shop has a little something in every genre. But, they’re best known for the family friendly atmosphere and the children’s book section that makes up the majority of the back half of the store. And if this isn’t enough to prompt readers to come back, Molly, the all-black cat who wanders the aisles looking for some extra love, will. Keep an eye out for her on your next visit–she can usually be found on the counter of the register or sleeping in the children’s stacks.
Today, Annie Bloom’s will be joining the literary community in the festivities of National Independent Bookstore Day. There will be activities for children and adults, including a surprise, Harry Potter-themed prize for lucky winners. Throughout the day, Annie Bloom’s will be hosting author readings, as well as selling specific items in honor of the holiday!
Another Read Through
3932 N Mississippi Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97227
Another Read Through sits on Mississippi Avenue, one of Portland’s blocks-long shopping centers. The store makes a point to stock their shelves with new editions of novels from local authors. Customers can grab the latest reads and participate in the many different hosted events, including poetry nights, book club meetings, and group readings.
For National Independent Bookstore Day, this shop will be working with a local publisher (which one is a surprise!) in order to have special sales throughout the day in celebration of the holiday. In addition, they will have a tea party with outdoor seating set up in the front, and customers will have the chance to partake in their raffle and win some amazing prizes! There is even an opportunity to get free subscriptions for audio book packages published by Macmillan and Penguin Random House.
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
Broadway Books is women-owned and located in the depths of the Hollywood District. Since opening in the early ’90s, the shop has been an active participant in the community and works to create an interactive environment. The first time I visited Broadway Books, I went in search of an engaging and exciting author reading. Not only did I find what I was looking for in Keith Rosson’s reading of his novel Smoke City, but I also found a shop that strives to build close knit relationships with its customers and authors. Broadway Books, although small in size, has a lot to offer its visitors, whether that be through author readings, book award ceremonies, or simply a chat with the welcoming staff.
It just so happens that this year’s National Independent Bookstore Day is also Broadway Books’ 26th anniversary. To celebrate both, Broadway Books is hosting their own little party, or hoorah, with special sales throughout the day, fun prizes, and cupcakes galore.
Mother Foucault’s Bookshop
523 SE Morrison Street
Portland, Oregon 97214
Among the many nifty and obscure shops that reside in Portland’s industrial district is Mother Foucault’s Bookshop. Perfect for both the everyday reader and the antique book shopper, this store has its own distinct and unique blend of offerings, including vintage books, collectible items, and novelty texts that focus primarily on philosophy and foreign language. Author readings are held weekly, Thursday to Saturday, and if you’re lucky, you might catch one of the rare live acoustic shows that pop up from time to time.
On National Independent Bookstore Day, Mother Foucault’s will be hosting writers from the Lie Factory for a 7:00 pm reading.
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W Burnside Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
Powell’s City of Books lives up to its name as truly, what seems to be, a city of books. Situated on the edge of downtown, this large, indie store has become a Portland destination for both tourists and residents. As you walk in, don’t be overwhelmed by the stacks and stacks of best-selling novels. Powell’s has color coordinated their sections and levels, and if you’re still feeling a bit lost, they have maps available that show the layout of the entire store, including what you’ll find on each level. For those visitors looking for a longer stay in this world of books, there is a coffee shop hidden in the back. It’s the perfect place to grab a cup of joe and relax with your newest buy.
This year, Powell’s will be combining National Independent Bookstore Day with National Tabletop Day, which celebrates tabletop gaming. As Portland’s official host of Tabletop Day, Powell’s stores will be offering a complete day of gaming, new game demos, and surprise giveaways.
Don’t have time to check out your local indie bookstore, but still want to participate in National Independent Bookstore Day? Join the celebration online through social media! Use the hashtag #BookstoreDay on April 28th to join the fun and see what others are talking about.
– Brennah Hale