Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Powell's City of Books
Powell's City of Books is a bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and the largest independent bookstore in the United States. It is located on the edge of downtown and the Pearl District, occupying a full city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and Burnside and Couch Streets. The "City of Books" is headquarters for a local chain of bookstores which also maintains a growing business in online sales.
Powell's main store is open 365 days a year, and contains over 68,000 ft² of floor space. The inventory for its retail and online sales is over 1 ½ million books, with plans to grow to two million in 2004. 
Powell's sells new, used, and rare books; at its retail stores, it follows the somewhat unusual practice of shelving new and used books side-by-side. It buys thousands of used books a day in order to keep its shelves well-stocked.
Powell's has had an Internet presence dating back to email and ftp-based access for its technical bookstore. Their website was established in 1994, before Amazon.com, and as of 2004, 40% of Powell's business is conducted online.
The store was founded by Walter Powell, whose son, Michael Powell, had started a bookstore in Chicago, Illinois (a bookstore still in existence as of 2004, specializing in used, rare, and discounted books, primarily academic and scholarly). Michael Powell soon joined his father in Portland, leading the expansion business to what it is today.
Powell's is a member of the American Booksellers Association.
List of locations
In addition to its "City of Books" location, Powell's Books also has several smaller stores:
- a technical bookstore a few blocks east of the main store;
- a general bookstore in Beaverton;
- another in Portland's Hawthorne area
- a store with cooking and gardening materials two spaces east of the Hawthorne store;
- a travel bookstore located in Pioneer Courthouse Square (now closed), ; and
- a store at the Portland International Airport.
Books from Powell's can be accessed via Wikipedia's ISBN lookup.
Some of the store's actions have made big news in Portland. When the Oregon Citizens Alliance qualified Ballot Measure 9 in 1992, an anti-gay rights measure, the bookstore actively campaigned against the measure. However, a prolonged labor dispute between Powell's employees and Michael Powell over unionizing the employees tarnished Michael Powell's reputation as a champion of liberal causes.
- Tony Hawk: "It's the largest independent bookstore in the world, and it's pretty funky, like the town itself — about as far from Barnes & Noble as you can get!", USAWeekend, May 5, 2003 
- Ursula Le Guin, on Powell's: the mother monster of bookstores. 
- Ralph Nader, on walking Monday night through Mike Powell's bookstore: "This is what civilization should look like." The Oregonian, January 23, 2002 
- Susan Sontag, on Powell's: "the best bookstore in the English-speaking world." 
- Powell's website
- Powell's Bookstores Chicago
- A walking tour of the City of Books
- Powell's Newsletter
- Seattle Times article (registration required)
- March 2003 article
- Best of the Web summary from Forbes
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details