I just got back from a much-needed vacation to Oregon, and it’s a great place to visit. I spent half of my time in Portland and the other half in Newport, a coastal town. Of course, it was hot and sunny in Portland and rained the entire time I was at the beach, but that’s the Pacific Northwest for you. While I declined my husband’s offer to visit the beautiful Central Library in downtown Portland — we were on an epicurean tour at the time, and the promise of drinkable chocolate is much sweeter than visiting somewhere that will make me feel like I’m at work — I couldn’t seem to distance myself from books or YALSA.
Apparently, it’s a sin to visit Portland without going to the ginormous Powell’s City of Books. This is perhaps the bookstore to end all bookstores. Not only does this four-story building, containing over a million books, take up an entire city block, it is so big that it has a separate building to house its computer, science, math, & technology books. Wandering around was fun, but I since I rarely buy books, I went over to the YA section to compare the selection to my library’s (I’d call it about even). Imagine my surprise when I saw a huge shelf marker for Franny Billingsley’s Chime‘ and others, advertising that they were on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.’ ‘ I was pleased; that’s not the kind of thing you usually see in bookstores (ahem, B&N, ahem). So, YALSA, you have been spotted out in the wild.
As a side note, if you want to take a vacation in a place that is all about books, stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, OR. Each room is themed with a different author: ‘ Seuss, Rowling, Tolkien, and so many others. It even has its own library for their guests on the top floor facing the ocean, though watch out — it may make your fingers itch with the need to alphabetize, and with all of the peace and quiet (no internet, TV, or phones) you may find yourself finishing all of the books you brought with you and have nothing left for the plane ride home!