Yesterday, I was here.
I was a Powell’s patron from dawn until dusk and let me tell you…
It ruined me forever.
I will never again be able to enter another bookstore, even the Pittsford Barnes and Noble!, and bask in the presence of literary volumes unknown. Its offerings will pale in comparison. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Powell’s, it is the world’s largest new and used bookstore. You can literally find any book you’ve ever wanted and plenty more that you didn’t initially know that you wanted but are undeniably in need of now.
I know this to be true because yesterday it was tested and verified. Within two hours I had a list of twelve books I absolutely could not leave without. I then forcibly removed myself to Whole Foods so I could clear my head and make a list of books I could not leave with.
And then I returned and added seven more books to the former list.
People, this place is unbelievable. If you think you can believe it then chew on this and think again:
- Powell’s has nine rooms contained on four floors, a space that covers an entire city block.
- The store is color coded according to genre: i.e. the Blue Room is for literature, the Pearl Room is for the arts, the Orange Room is for home and food, etc. (Let the record show that I spent a whopping 75% of the day in the Orange Room, consequently marking a new era in my lit-loving career.)
- They have an inventory of over one million new and used books. MILLION.
- Powell’s adds to this inventory by purchasing used books from customers, between 4,000 – 6,000 per day.
At the end of the day, I had to admit that having food for the next two months might be more important than having reading material for the next two months (which, as we know, I have in droves to begin with). So I only purchased one book. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. It was on the original list of books to bring but I never ended up buying it, so when I saw it at Powell’s for $5 I knew it was the one.
To congratulate myself on having such exemplary self-control, I went to Voodoo Doughnuts and purchased a Bacon Maple Bar.
And then took back all former accolades of self-control and apologized to pigs everywhere.