Powell's Books on Hawthorne
Credit: Christopher Onstott

Powell's has become a thing of legend and source of pride for Portlanders. Its massive flagship store, in the Pearl District, claims to be the world's largest independent new and used bookstore. While its Hawthorne location isn't as big, it's just as impressive. First, there's the Hawthorne branch's physical space: Though fairly narrow at roughly 30 feet wide, the shop is still massive because its long, stretching back a few end zones short of a football field. Such proportions might normally feel unnverving, yet this long literary corridor is ultimately inviting. Bright, handcrafted pine shelves (designed and built by Powell's employees) offset any of the space's structural quirks, creating a welcoming space that compliments its extensive selection and prices.