When I go to Portland Oregon one of my favorite places to spend time is one of the several Powell's Books stores.
Whether it is the Powell's Books Main Store on Burnside downtown, Powell's Technical Books a couple of blocks from the Main
Store, Powell's Books - Hawthorne in Hippy Haven, or Powell's Garden and Cook Books which is
down the street from Powell's Books - Hawthorne. The pictures LINKED below are from a trips in 1998 and 2000.
Powell's Books - 1998
- MAIN/BURNSIDE STORE:
This is the front of the Powell's Books' Main Store on Burnside Downtown. I had already spent hours-and-hours durng the afternoon.
Later I would learn the benefits of spending some time in their Coffee/Soup/Sandwich Shop contained within the store which is also
where they keep their selections of magazines. Powell's Books sells New-And-Used Books and places them on the same shelves right next
to each other. I think their philosophy is that if a person doesn't have the money to buy a New Book then they can possibly sell them
a USED copy of the same book for a discounted price. Interestingly enough they seem to figure that if you don't have the financing to buy
a book today if they let you graze enough you might come back and buy a book when you have the money to do so; No ONE ever comes around
and gets onto a a customer for reading a book, or magazine while in the store. This apparently works for Powell's as they keep right on
growing; the Main store takes up a city block with more than one floor of books. Recently, 1999, Powell's added a four floor building
to one quarter of the building, and their ONLINE SERVICE
is just across the street.
- TIMOTHY FERRIS:
I noticed on the Sign at the main store that Physicist/Author Timothy Ferris was giving a talk and signing books at 1900hrs the evening
that I had spent most of the day grazing so I just made plans to spend the rest of the evening there. It was well worth the change in
plans and I found Tim to be both brillant and personable, a combination that all too often don't accompany each other..
CLICK HERE for another picture of Timothy Ferris
at the book signing in July of 1998.
- WHO WAS THERE:
Just who comes to book signing at Powell's Books? Well, as the picture shows a diverse crowd came to Tim Ferris' book signing and there was some
great discussion that went on between Tim Ferris and the attendees.Tim asserted that if the history of the Universe were on a Scale that was a Mile long
then human history would be about a Quarter of an Inch, or less, on that same Scale. The question came from the audience as to whether Time existed.
Tim quipped that if Time didn't exist everything would have to happen at once. After the reading was over I spoke with Tim and suggested that I didn't think it
mattered whether Time Existed or Not, but the Concept of time made it possible for humans to communicate things about events, and this seems to be
important to much of humanity.
- TECHIE HEAVEN:
Powell's Technical Books is down a block and over a block from the Main/Burnside Store. It has technical books galore, and I have spent quite a
few hours there trying to resolve some particular problem and, yet, I have NEVER had any employee say, "Buy Something Or Leave". Since that has never been the
situation I have spent hundreds of dollars on books there, both NEW and USED. A closer look at the technical bookstores store front
Powell's Books - 2000
- COFFEE SHOP:
I arranged to meet with Doug Yelman, fellow participant with NAMVETS-L, in the coffee shop at Powell's Books' Burnside Store.
When he walked in I recognised him even though I had never seen him before. (We had been communicating on NAMVETS-L for quite a while before this meeting.) We had coffee, soup, and conversation for a couple
of hours. Doug and I both are Vietnam Veterans; we have many similar problems and characteristics. Plus we both have been participating with NAMVETS-L since a friend,
Dan Mouer, put it online. (Dan Mouer is a professor at VCU and a Vietnam Veteran too.)
- ANOTHER BOOK SIGNING:
Ben Kaplan had a book signing for his book HOW TO GO TO COLLEGE FOR ALMOST FREE. He worked the SRO audience well talking about his background
and how he had won scholarships enough to put himself thru Harvard, with enough left over to do his Graduate Degree where ever he wanted to when he is ready. Ben
answered questions on into the night. He emphasised that the main reason for failing to get scholarships is not applying for them.
CLICK HERE for a look at the cover of Benjamin Kaplan's book.
- WORKING THE AUDIENCE:
Benjamin worked the audience as he read from his book and spoke of his experiences in applying and competing for scholarships and grants.
For another picture of Benjamin working the audience CLICK HERE.
As I mentioned above there was quite a crowd at Ben Kaplan's reading and signing. Besides the main sitting area, there were those
of us sitting in little peoples seats off to the sides of where the reading was being held, not to mention those who stood for
well over an hour to hear what Benjamin had to say. Powell's Books - Hawthorne sold out of Benjamin's book that evening and took
orders for more. Other shots of the audience that night; 1,
2, and 3.
- CAFE' or STOUT:
I forget what benjamin's drink of choice was , but he was letting down his hair, so to speak, during the Q&A session at the end of the reading. Those
who attended gained a lot of valueable, in more ways than one, information from Benjamin's experiences
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This page was Updated 00/08/15