We love books and live in Portland, so of course we’re familiar with Powell’s. But the “City of Books” isn’t the only shop that makes Portland a bibliophile’s paradise. We are blessed with many choices of independent bookstores, each with its own personality. Here are seven less-tourist-clogged stores worth exploring and supporting.
7241 SE Milwaukie Ave
This unassuming little house is literally overflowing with books; they spread the selection outdoors whenever the rain lets up. Inside, the floor-to-ceiling shelves and narrow aisles embody the delightful chaos of book hunting.
Cameron’s Books and Magazines
336 SW 3rd Ave
Established in 1938 and in its current location since the early sixties, Cameron’s is a cave of buried treasure. Their huge collection of vintage magazines dominates the main room, and the rest of the shop is crowded with loosely organized paperbacks.
3415 SE Belmont St
This is a classic independent used bookstore with a wide selection and some of the best prices in the city.
2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Between their deep archive of old comics and their precisely organized new releases, Excalibur is the quintessential shop for comics and graphic novels.
Backstory Books & Yarn
3129 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Used books and upcycled yarn hidden in a little blue house makes for a cozy way to spend an afternoon. This is another treasure-hunt shop with stacks and boxes along the aisles.
Rose City Book Pub
1329 NE Fremont St
This is the number one choice for a long browsing session. Come for the beer, stay for the wide variety of surprise finds. Curl up in a comfy alcove with a new novel and a cheese plate.
Secret Forest Books
3561 SE Division St
A metaphysics and occult specialty shop with a sprawling book collection in addition to their stock of tools and gifts. The enchanting atmosphere alone makes this shop worth a visit.