Apr 26, 2024 - Things to Do

How to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day in Portland

Two people hold hands and walk toward a building that has a sign that reads "Powell's Books"

Photo: Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Portlanders love nothing more than perusing tall stacks of books at their local neighborhood bookstores — and Saturday is the perfect day to visit your favorite.

The latest: The last Saturday in April marks Independent Bookstore Day, where a dozen Portland-area stores will be hosting parties with live music, open mics, giveaways and other exclusives.

Zoom in: Rose City isn't just home to the monolithic "City of Books" we're known for (Powell's is also participating in tomorrow's festivities with in-store exclusives and a treasure hunt).

  • There are ample bookstores here catering to a wide range of genres and niche interests.

A few of our favorites include:

🇺🇸 Chaparral Books has an expansive selection of biographies and hard-to-find non-fiction titles dedicated to American history, including Native American and Western Americana tales.

🦹🏼 Books with Pictures was named the best comic book store in the world in 2022 thanks to its diverse collection of stories about LGBTQ+ and BIPOC characters.

❤️ Grand Gesture Books is poised to be Portland's second Black-owned bookstore, and first dedicated solely to romance, once founder Katherine Morgan secures a brick-and-mortar space later this year.

🧑🏻‍🍳 Vivienne Culinary Books features every food lover's dream: rows and rows of cookbooks, plus a wine bar and kitchenware consignment shop.

🔮 Dark Star Magick contains everything newbies need to get acquainted with the occult, while veteran wizards and witches can indulge in owner Steve Kinchen's depth of rare grimoires.

💪 Belmont Books is as indie as it gets. At any moment the shop could be hosting a local author for a spontaneous reading, and, even if not, the used book section is always worth a browse.

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