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General Info
The world's largest book store.
BBB Rating
A+
BBB Rating and Accreditation information may be delayed up to a week.
Hours
Regular Hours
Mon - Sat:
Sun:
Extra Phones

Phone: (503) 228-4631

Phone: (503) 228-3906

Primary Phone: (503) 228-3906

Phone: (503) 228-0540

Fax: (503) 228-4631

TollFree: (800) 878-7323

Payment method
paypal
Neighborhoods
Pearl, Neighbors West-Northwest, Neighbors West - Northwest
AKA

Powells Books Building 2

Powells Books Bldg 2

Powell's Books Inc

Powell's City Of Books

Other Emails

Categories
Used & Rare Books, Book Stores
Other Information

Parking: Garage, Street, Validated, Lot, Private

Bike Parking: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Price Range : Above Average

Pets Allowed: No

Reviews

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MR
Matthew R.

09/04/2015

Overall

Visiting Powells is a must when I’m in Portland. I can spend hours perusing the art, sci fi/fantasy and children’s picture book sections. Plus, they have a great selection of cookbooks.

framewriter

06/06/2012

Overall
If you don't think they suck -...

If you don't think they suck - - try calling any of their stores after 7pm.....



Hellloooooo their OPEN.... but they could care less about customers calling about anything.... like picking up books that a message said were in - - even though I didn't order any...



And they think Amazon is the evil empire. I want my old Powell's back! The one where they hired people who even knew how to read. People who could not only look stuff up, but actually talk to you about great books while they walked you to that shelf, then pulled out three of the four books they had been talking about.

TK
Thomas K.

05/18/2012

Overall
The greatest book store in the...

The greatest book store in the world.



I get a smile on my face everytime I walk through the doors and fill my lungs with the beautiful smell of used books. True book lovers know what I am talking about!



Powells has the best staff of any book store, anywhere. They are polite and know their stuff. You never get that "better than you" vibe here and all are welcome to browse and enjoy their amazing selection or new, used and even rare books. If you visit Portland and do not stop here you are missing out on an experience of a lifetime. I come here everytime I am in town.

annabell d

01/16/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Truely a great bookstore!

Still hanging on to this uncomfortable encounter years later? Must have been a bad day for both of you. I have had so many wonderful experiences at Powells City of Books that I can't even count them. I have both bought and sold books over the years and have never experienced anything like what you have described above. Maybe everyone there does not walk around with a false smile on their face but once engaged I have found everyone to be helpful. At times they may not have known everything about the millions of books on their shelves but who in their right mind would expect them to? They must have hundreds of people working there and the odds of coming across someone who is also having a bad day is pretty good. Like energy attracts like energy I for one never expect a sales person to be responsible for how I feel after our encounter. I think Eleanor Roosevelt put it best when she said, ""No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."" Let it go.

chriszc

01/05/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
SNIDE, SNOTTY, DISRESPECTFUL AND NASTY

Say you clean out your house and decide to sell your books to Powells. Not a good idea unless you want to give away the only valuable books and take the rest home as well as endure a total lack of respect.

We gave away 75 boxes of books rather than put up with the stuff we had to endure a couple years ago, and in fact have never crossed Powells doors again.

Why? We had cleaned out a large number of books from our then vast collection of literary, language and unusual books. We took about 6 boxes down and were interested that they scanned every one and took approx. 1/6 of the group. We donated the rest to the Goodwill.

The next day we returned with more books, the rest of our downsizing and were accused of being book scouts. It was a very nasty encounter. We took all with us and never returned again.

I have heard that a lot of the big bookstores have closed. We used to be regular customers, averaging purchases of 5-8 books a month. Now we never go anywhere where people make you feel bad.

I agree totally with the review that tells about the anti-establishment attitude. Only thing is we are pretty anti-establishment, at least not wearing suits or expensive clothes, and they treat people like us just as badly as they did that person.

I give Powells a deserved one star.

Sam BrodyJenner

10/09/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Anti-Establishment- A dream come true for rebellious types

I adore people from all walks of life. People that are different and that can share their thoughts/opinions/life experiences.

However, when entering Powell's books you aren't greeted with a warm, friendly welcome. You instantly feel uneasy and sized up. If you don't fall into the anti-establishment, we loathe successful people, than this place isn't for you.

Clearly the employees are rejects from life itself. Instead of embracing others who may be different, they shun everything that is not like them. While this review is intended for the bookstore itself, we had to make a comment about the employees, since they are the ones that leave lasting impressions. They make no apology for rudeness, snide remarks, vulgar stares and glares, lack of store knowledge, and many other issues they seem to possess proudly.

When making a quick stop to the cafe, I soon realized they too have the trademark Powell's attitude. Four people were ""trying"" to do one person's job. The line was out the door and long. People were leaving in droves because the service was so poor. Why does it take four people to take an order, retrieve the order, ring the order up and move on to the next customer in line? It's insanity.

On to the actual book store, the review is empty. Powell's large rooms, cluttered book isles, poorly designed walk areas and inefficient customer service desks make this retailer that much more unbearable.. It's hot and stuffy throughout. The bathrooms make a gas station seem luxurious. That is how filthy they were.

Not Surprisingly we didn't have the mind set to leisurely browse the large square footage building. We had enough of the bad attitude and smell we encountered. I suppose if you aren't bothered by horrendous employees and their behaviour and the street beggars standing outside of the store, you'll do just fine.

I'll stick with Borders and go back to a more normal life. At least one where I don't feel ashamed of being a successful human.

Lunas Mom

05/01/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Consider what you are looking for

Here’s the deal I love Powel’s but I can always afford to get my books there. I would not order because they have lost my orders before. I also have a hard time dealing with the employees. When you ask them for help looking for a book you find they really don’t read much. They are also rude. I read a lot. My daughter loves to pull books of the bookshelves, so when the bottom shelf is full I sell them. Powel’s is not the place to do this. $2 for a $25 dollar book and they are rude. I went up to the counter to exchange and the buy was aggressive verging on hostile. I end up for 15 books with $7 cash or $15 in store credits. He treated me like I was desperate for the money instead of desperate to keep my house to be clean. Minus the prices, lost orders, and employees you can spend days there looking at the books. It is great if you know what you want and can do a one stop shop.

tibelt

01/17/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Don't order your school books at Powell's!

You can't trust Powell's online orders! If you are a student, or ordering a book for a present, don't use Powell's online. Even if they confirm your order, if the book runner discovers the book has already been sold , THEY DON'T TELL YOU! Powell's instead waits for days and days until the rest of your order has arrived before sending you anything at all. This is apparently a matter of policy. This means those textbooks you're waiting for, may very well not be coming, despite you're getting a confirmation order. According to the employee I spoke with, this happens at least once out of every 20 online orders. That is ridiculous!

HauteShopper

10/23/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
You could spend an entire day in Powell's!

What a fabulous bookstore. You can find virtually any book you've been looking for and more.

I never leave Powell's without overspending.

Patter

09/23/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Paradise!

I'm a book lover and I love this place. Best selection of anything and everything I could ever want! Great place to grab a book, some coffee and hang out. Perfect if you're checking out downtown and want to walk there. Driving is a little less wonderful, but any traffic or parking issues are worth it. I love that place!!!

PDXCHICK

05/07/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Coolest bookstore ever

Powell's is the best. It's four stories, and has every book you could ever want. We could spend hours looking around in there. They also have a ""rare book room"" with books from the 1500s and earlier, rare books, etc. Very neat. Highly recommended to pop in there with out of town guests and check it out.

adam251

08/28/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Selection!

Insanely huge selection....I can get lost in this place for hours, and I do. Prices are retail...sometimes discounted. Have always had a good experience. Sometimes it can get hectic at choke points where it gets crowded...and I think a lot of people just come in to use the bathroom because I have seen some LONG lines there. Best overall bookstore in town.

j2stinwill

08/06/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Independent Bookstore. Whose prices are twice as expensive as anywhere. 1 in a 1000 are used.

great selection, but might as well go to amazon and pay a 1/4th the price.
hardly any used books, and they might only save $2 over the new price.
Great selection though.

Trent0090

05/31/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A really fun place and a great slection

OK, so I have been reading the reviews about how the staff is rude; to be honest I have been going there for years. I have only come across friendly people there.
Though as someone who does work retail I have noticed over the years their is a growing trend that customers think they should be treated like royalty. Before you think it no I do not work at Powell's. To me, as long as someone is not rude to my face I have never cared. I don't know maybe I'm weird I go to a store to buy something not bond with wage slaves. Sorry for the long rant, I just can't stand people who think that a store should think it's such a great honor that you spend your money there.

AlexSmart

05/18/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Arrogant, Nasty Employees

This place is a haven for haughty, hateful hipsters... they work here. You know: the arrogant, mean-spirited overflow from Reed College in the southest quadrant of the city.

If you like books, this is a great place to visit. But the problem is the attitude of the employees... it completely overshadows the rest of the experience and makes it completely uncomfortable. They do everything they can to make you feel inferior, all so they can feed their insatiable, wanna-be-French-sophisticates, egos.

If you like the experience of sneering, pretentious nastiness AND books, all in the same store, shop here. But if you're an actual, self-respecting human being who just wants books AND to come away still feeling halfway decent about yourself, go visit Borders or Barnes & Noble instead.

shhambo

02/24/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great selection, Overpriced

Powell's touts itself as a used bookstore. In reality, maybe 1 in 50 books are used and the used books cost the same as the new books. The selection is great, and it is a blast to peruse the shelves for hours on end. But if you want to find a bargain, find it elsewhere. I usually find the books I want by going to Powell's then go online to buy them. In short this place is priced for tourists with fat wallets.

I have to say, I miss musty used bookstores with shelves and shelves of roughly organized books for a good bargain. If you're ever in Eugene, go to Smith Family Bookstore. That place is book love.

kerrilyn

12/08/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Highly recommend!

Although I hate driving downtown I love the Powell's on Burnside. They have their own parking garage and have the largest selection of books I have ever seen. Also, every year around the holidays I trade in my used books for Christmas presents (books, gift cards, gifts). They really do have something for everyone. I have found the staff very helpful.

enkaybee

11/25/2007

Overall
Powell's

Best bookstore in Oregon, and probably the nation. Great selection of used and new books, all laid out in a rambling multiple-story space that takes up a whole city block. Book lovers' dream.

dianemarie63

11/16/2007

Overall
Spend the day

Since there are many, many rainy days in Portland, keep yourself entertained and out of the weather by browsing the aisles of Powell's. The selection of books is hard to beat. Don't forget to check out the coffee shop while you're there.

rutdog

09/25/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Not everyone in Portland loves Powell's

Sure, I love the selection, but at the main store they are have always been rude and obnoxious. This is NOT representative of PDX. The Hawthorne store employees are much friendlier and helfpul than those at the main Burnside City of Books. So, leave Burnside for the tourists and locals stick with Hawthorne.