So I’m cooling my heels in Oregon at Lori L. Lake’s Autumn Writing Retreat, Minions Edition! Today authors Judy Kerr, MB Panichi and I descended on Lori Lake’s house for a week of brainstorming and writing. And, of course, a visit to Powell’s.
Once everyone was gathered from PDX, we headed directly to the bookstore of all bookstores, Powell’s City of Books. The behemoth is only the largest (and coolest) indie in the world. Maybe even in the whole entire universe.
The very best part about taking a trip to Powell’s on this trip was the fact MB had never been to the store! It’s beyond delightful to watch the reaction of a poor, uninitiated book lover to this place of literary sin, and MB was no exception. You should’ve seen her mouth hit the floor when we first came through the main door. And then again when we found the incredibly massive Sci Fi section.
After our visit—which, of course, ended far too soon—on the way back to the car, I asked each of these troublemakers why they loved Powell’s.
Mary’s eyes were glazed, and the biggest permagrin was frozen on her face. “Oh, man,” she mumbled, “it smelled like books. Quite overwhelming. Like four floors jam packed full of Christmas!”
Lori, the lucky dachshund, lives in Portland, and and the little shite can visit Powell’s anytime she wants. With a smirk she jabbed me with her elbow and told the three of us, “That’s right, suckers. This is one place a book lover can have 365 days of Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Or the Solstice. Whatever. I’ve been going to Powell’s for forty-two years. It’s comfy and homey and monstrous. It took me five or six years to figure out where everything was stashed.” Then she pulled the spoiled brat, “Nah nuh nana nah nuh!” and followed that with, “Too bad you guys don’t live here.”
Some people’s children.
In the elevator, as we descended into the bowels of the parking ramp, I shoved my imaginary microphone into Judy’s face. “And what do you think?”
She dramatically threw her forearm to her forehead and pretended to swoon. “Powell’s is a happy place. My happy place. I love happy places. So many books, so little time.”
Off we toddled, books clenched in our grubby little mitts, back to Lori’s.
Supper was a joint, jolly affair, and afterward the Minnesota minions pitched in to clean up. The picture below is evidence the Powell’s Effect is irresistible and long lasting. Three hours later MB was still literarily stoned by the incredible high of living the City of Books experience.
She cleaned that up and wandered away, probably to investigate the treasures she’d scored. So what bookstore is is your favorite drug? What is it about the place that brings words to life and you coming back over and over again?