Confession:

I did something extraordinarily dorky in Portland a couple days ago.

Maybe you’ve heard of Powell’s City of Books – it’s certainly one of the largest bookstores in the United States, and in the opinion of many, the best. I love the idea of having the used and new books shelved together, and the fact that you need a map of the store to find your way around.

Anyway, we spent a couple hours in Powell’s, browsing, and bought a rather large bag full of books. With reverence we entered the Rare Book Room and I almost bought a first-edition, first-print-run Nancy Drew book (sadly, with the amount I’ve spent on typewriters in the last month, it wasn’t in the budget).

But that’s not the dorky part. Eventually I made my way into the fiction section, and I went and found the place on the shelf (two places actually, since I couldn’t decide if they’d put me in fantasy or paranormal romance) where my books will be someday. Even though it’s up to sheer alphabetical chance, the company of authors around that spot was pretty first-class. And I had this moment with the shelf and I told it that someday I’d come back and my book would be in Powell’s and that would mean that I’d accomplished what I’d wanted to.

And then I bought some shadow puppets for my kids and cried in a corner because I missed them.

I found my spot on the shelf. That spot is my spot. Maybe by the time I get back to Powell’s, it won’t be empty any more.

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4 Comments

  1. I live about two hours from Portland and have yet to visit Powell’s Books, though I certainly know I should. Funny enough, I’ve done the same exercise at other bookstores, though my results usually place me right at the beginning given my last name. I certainly hope you are able to find your book on that shelf someday soon!

  2. That would be such a rush to go into a really good second hand book store and find a copy of one of your early novels on the shelf. Keep that vision handy and look at it often and maybe it will happen.

  3. I was in Powell’s once on a layover of an Amtrak vacation, and it is definitely the ultimate in used/new bookstores. I love that you shared your private moment with your future shelf and look forward to you getting a snapshot of it with your book on it!

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