Surprisingly, Powell’s still has a few things for sale

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Contrary to earlier Twitter and Facebook reports, I didn’t actually buy 61 books at Powell’s late last month. John got about five books, so that means I only got 56 books. A much more reasonable number. For those of you who don’t know, Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon is the largest bookstore in the U.S. and I think the best. One of my favorite parts is that they have used, new, and remainders all intermixed on their shelves. This makes for a very satisfying browsing experience. I also love that one will always find a hidden gem or two–even if you limit yourself to just one section.

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Opening up each of these flat packs was a bit of a discovery since I didn’t really remember everything that ended up in my two shopping baskets. I shouldn’t have opened one flat pack a day. But what kid can resist opening a package?

On our most recent visit to Powell’s I focused combing the fiction from A to Z. On other trips I have looked for specific titles or authors and then also browsed other sections of the store. I’m glad I did A to Z fiction this time. But next time I think I need to go Z to A. By the time I got to the Ds, I already had 14 books in my basket. I could have spent more time in the store, but after three hours on one of the most beautiful days Portland could offer I thought it was time to get out and about. There were a few other times over the weekend where I thought about going back but I was too busy eating.

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When you got to Powell’s try going on a weekday during the day. If you have to go on the weekend get there when they open to avoid most of the poseurs. You know the type, those that maybe buy one book that they are never going to read. Nothing bad about these folks, but do you really want them getting in the way? Having said that Powell’s is huge and never, ever feels cramped like Strands Books in NYC can.

You can scroll down to see the whole list of my haul, but I know that most of you appreciate a photo or two of book finds. So here it goes.

The dust jacket pulled me in but then I saw it was the story of an old English manor house. How could I not buy it.
The dust jacket pulled me in but then I saw it was the story of an old English manor house. How could I not buy it.
Absolutely no clue about this one, but I loved the cover.
Absolutely no clue about this one, but I loved the cover.
The 4:30 train at Victoria Station timed to meet up with the Arlberg-Orient Express. Yes please.
The 4:30 train at Victoria Station timed to meet up with the Arlberg-Orient Express. Yes please.
I've tried to figure out the exact relationship to Vita, but that is one confusing family.
I’ve tried to figure out the exact relationship to Vita, but that is one confusing family.
I was drawn to How the Light Gets In because it reminds me of the Leornard Cohen song. But think it may be interesting about a student who escapes her "emotionally crass" family in Sydney to study abroad in the USA. And The Men's Club: "Seven men, friends and strangers, gather in a house in Berkeley."
I was drawn to How the Light Gets In because it reminds me of the Leornard Cohen song. But think it may be interesting about a student who escapes her “emotionally crass” family in Sydney to study abroad in the USA. And The Men’s Club: “Seven men, friends and strangers, gather in a house in Berkeley.”
I've never read any of the novels of the man who revived Barbara Pym's career. I've never seen them anywhere before and Powell's had two.
I’ve never read any of the novels of the man who revived Barbara Pym’s career. I’ve never seen them anywhere before and Powell’s had two.
I thought I had at least heard of all of Lively's novels, but this one was a surprise.
I thought I had at least heard of all of Lively’s novels, but this one was a surprise.
I don't know if this will be any good, but how could I pass up a newly discovered Wilkie Collins.
I don’t know if this will be any good, but how could I pass up a newly discovered Wilkie Collins.

Acevedo, Chantel – The Distant Marvels
Ackerley, J.R. – My Father and Myself
Alcott, Louisa May – Behind a Mask (Her Unknown Thrillers)
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Allen, Walter – All in a Lifetime
Ashton, Helen – The Half-Crown House
Atherton, Gertrude – American Wives & English Husbands
Auchincloss, Louis – The Rector of Justin
Bailey, Paul – The Prince’s Boy

The hardcover is included in the paperback omnibus, but I couldn't resist the cover.
The hardcover is included in the paperback omnibus, but I couldn’t resist the cover.

Bates, H.E. – A Breath of French Air
Bates, H.E. – The Darling Buds of May

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Benson, E.F. – An Autumn Sowing
Benson, E.F. – David Blaize
Benson, E.F. – Desirable Residences (A new Miss Mapp story)
Benson, E.F. – Mrs. Ames
Chase, Ilka – New York 22
Collins, Wilkie – Iolani; or, Tahiti as it was.
Cresswell, Helen – Ordinary Jack
Dumas, Alexandre – Louise de la Valliere
Gissing, George – In the Year of Jubilee

This was my biggest gamble. I've never read Grumbach, but the 50 days of solitude drew me in and then the others just seemed to be equally interesting. We'll see.
This was my biggest gamble. I’ve never read Grumbach, but the 50 days of solitude drew me in and then the others just seemed to be equally interesting. We’ll see.

Grumbach, Doris – Chamber Music
Grumbach, Doris – Fifty Days of Solitude
Grumbach, Doris – The Ladies
Grumbach, Doris – The Pleasure of their Company
Hosain, Attia – Sunlight on a Broken Column
Hyland, M.J. – How the Light Gets In
Keyes, Frances Parkinson – Also the Hills
Larkin, Philip – A Girl in Winter
Larkin, Philip – Jill
Lively, Penelope – Spiderweb
Manning, Olivia – The Doves of Venus

I love Cheryl Mendelson's Morningside Heights Trilogy and first thought Charlotte's novels were by Cheryl. Still, it looked interesting enough to buy anyway.
I love Cheryl Mendelson’s Morningside Heights Trilogy and first thought Charlotte’s novels were by Cheryl. Still, it looked interesting enough to buy anyway.

Mendelson, Charlotte – When We Were Bad
Mendelson, Cheryl – Morningside Heights
McPherson, William – Testing the Current
Michaels, Leonard – The Men’s Club

Nancy Pearl got me interested in Merle Miller and his novels are pretty hard to find.
Nancy Pearl got me interested in Merle Miller and his novels are pretty hard to find.

Miller, Merle – A Day in Late September
Miller, Merle – That Winter
Monson, Ander – Letter to a Future Lover
O’Grady, Rohan – Let’s Kill Uncle
Priestley, J.B. – Bright Day
Roberts, Cecil – Victoria 4:30
Sackville-West, Edward – Simpson
Sackville-West, Vita – The Easter Party
Shute, Nevil – Beyond the Black Stump
Soseki, Natsume – The Gate
Spark, Muriel – Robinson

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040Trollope, Anthony – The American Senator
Trollope, Anthony – The Claverings
Trollope, Anthony – The Fixed Period
Trollope, Anthony – Kept in the Dark
Trollope, Anthony – Mr. Scarborough’s Family
Trollope, Anthony – Orley Farm
Trollope, Anthony – Ralph the Heir
Trollope, Anthony – The Tireless Traveller
Trollope, Anthony – Why Frau Frohmann Raised Her Prices and Other Stories
Waugh, Evelyn – The Complete Stories

 

26 thoughts on “Surprisingly, Powell’s still has a few things for sale

  1. MarinaSofia September 3, 2015 / 1:48 am

    Yes, the question did spring to mind: is there anything left in that poor store…?
    What a wonderful haul of books though – congratulations! How long are you planning to bury yourself somewhere to read all that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:18 pm

      The store is so big if would hard to make a dent.

      Like

  2. kaggsysbookishramblings September 3, 2015 / 2:18 am

    What an incredibly beautiful pile of books! Well done!

    Like

  3. Louise September 3, 2015 / 6:20 am

    Off to browse the titles on Goodreads 🙂 Any idea which one you’ll read first?

    Like

    • Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      Whichever one I pick up at any given time is the one I think I will read first. I have since interfiled them in my library so I am going to have to rely on this post to remind myself what I bought.

      Like

  4. Geoff W September 3, 2015 / 9:33 am

    Having seen your library on Other People’s Bookshelves, I’m less overwhelmed at how much you bought! It looks like a great haul, are the Trollope books with the numbers a series of all his or is it a broader series?

    Like

    • Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      Geoff, I didn’t notice those numbers until I got the package at home. I believe they represent the entirety of Trollpe’s fiction. This, of course, triggers my OCD and the desire to have all of them. But I think I will refrain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Geoff W September 3, 2015 / 3:27 pm

        I was hoping you were already filling blanks! Probably for the best as that orange can definitely be overwhelming in large doses.

        Like

  5. Tom Perkins September 3, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Can’t believe the first book pictured was “Half Crown House.” I purchased that book when I was about 13 years old (and that was a LONG time ago) at a used book store, also drawn in by the cover. Can’t remember if I ever read it!

    Like

    • Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      How funny is that. I probably would have wanted it at 13 as well. I will let you know how it is.

      Like

  6. quinn September 3, 2015 / 11:23 am

    Thanks so much for taking the time to present this most faaabulous book porn!
    You scored some beautiful covers. I may have to forgo my London bkstore dream to Portland dream for a few days….many thanks…quinn

    Like

    • Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:23 pm

      The choices won’t be the same for sure, but Powell’s will be a lot cheaper than anywhere in London.

      Like

  7. Heather Bond September 3, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    Oh Powell’s, how I love you. On my last trip I got $164 in trade and spent $180 so a BUNCH of books for only $16! Great haul and how brilliant to have them shipped home. Oh, and, that just may be my former copy of Chamber Music. Hope you enjoy it!

    Like

    • Thomas September 10, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      I am over halfway through Chamber Music and I am loving it. Such a lucky find.

      Like

  8. Thomas September 3, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Any distinguishing marks in Chamber Music that might confirm your suspicion?

    Like

  9. Susan in TX September 3, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    A wonderful haul. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures.

    Like

  10. Karen K. September 3, 2015 / 10:35 pm

    Wow, great haul! You have so many books that I own or want to read — I just checked out the complete Mapp & Lucia from the library, plus I own Desirable Residences, and two other books by Helen Ashton.

    And nice Trollopes!! I loved The American Senator and you have some that I’ve never even heard of.

    I really think I need an excuse to go to Portland!!!!

    Like

  11. Lyn September 4, 2015 / 12:34 am

    What a great haul. Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow reviewed the Helen Ashton just a couple of weeks ago & it sounds wonderful.

    http://tinyurl.com/okyw9xr

    Ilka Chase was a great actress, she’s in one of my favourite movies, Now, Voyager. Didn’t know she wrote novels. I love Trollope so I’m envious of all those Penguins.

    Like

  12. Claire (The Captive Reader) September 4, 2015 / 1:10 am

    This makes me want to pop down to Portland for the weekend – thank goodness it’s just a bit too far away to be that accessible! Powell’s is amazing and you certainly did it justice!

    Like

  13. Jinny September 4, 2015 / 4:44 am

    At least you do not rave on about obscure books that only KINDLE owners can read.Thank you.

    Like

  14. M Denise C September 4, 2015 / 9:19 am

    What a great post, Thomas. As only you can do . . .

    Like

  15. Simon T September 4, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing your spoils with us, Thomas! It makes me wish I were book shopping with you again… And you found such gems. I’ve not read many of them, but The Easter Party was great fun.

    Like

  16. Sarah Faragher September 8, 2015 / 11:02 am

    I really like Doris Grumbach’s nonfiction. As you will discover when you start to read it, her partner Sibyl Pike had a used book shop here in Maine, some years back. It was right next to their house and was truly wonderful. Large. Deeply literary. When she closed and moved we bought many bookcases from her, and the sign that was on the outside of her shop, to boot. I had it in my own bookshop for several years – “Wayward Books” – in the shape of an open book. (Still have it, in fact.) I am book-jealous of your visit to Powell’s. On my “someday” list!

    Like

    • Thomas September 13, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Sarah, now that I have finished and loved her novel Chamber Music, I reallllly wish Wayward Books still existed and am envious that you own the sign.

      Like

  17. Rob September 13, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    I have to make it to Powell’s next summer. This has to happen.

    It must be a hilarious sight to see someone stumble out of the store with those boxes piled up in front of their face!

    Like

  18. Liz Dexter September 17, 2015 / 3:35 am

    A lovely haul. The Larkin novels are fabulous and I love Charlotte Mendelson’s novels, too, in a different way. Happy reading!

    Like

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