Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The largest bookstore in the world


The visit to Portland was fast but I managed to sketch a couple of spreads on my small moleskine.

On Sunday we went to check out Powell's Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It occupies an entire city block in the Pearl District and, according to Wikipedia, buys 3,000 used books a day.

A Portland institution like this one sure deserved a sketch. I'm glad I broke out from the pack after dinner at nearby McMenamins Ringlers Pub to do one. I sat on a ledge up against Rocco's Pizza and got to work. Michelle and the kids caught up with me about half an hour later as I was writing the captions on the drawing.

Tomorrow: last sketch in Portland from a street with a fish name.


La visita a Portland fue rápida pero aún así pude dibujar un par de páginas dobles en mi cuaderno moleskin pequeño.

El domingo fuimos a Powell's Books, la librería independiente de libros nuevos y usados mayor del mundo. Ocupa un bloque entero en el Pearl District y, según Wikipedia, compra 3.000 libros usados al día.

Una institución de Portland como ésta se merecía un apunte. Por suerte me escapé del pelotón después de cenar en McMenamins Ringlers Pub para hacer el dibujo. Me senté en una pequeña repisa de la pizzeria Rocco's y me puse manos a la obra. Michelle y los niños llegaron una media hora después cuando ya estaba escribiendo las anotaciones.

Mañana: último sketch en Portland desde una calle con nombre de pez.


  1. OMG, this store is huge!! It would take me loooong time to wander through it:)

    btw. I love your sketches and stories.

    Great work!

  2. thanks anetka. you can spend days inside this bookstore, it's amazing

  3. I'm glad you chose to sketch what I think of as the "classic Powell's" entrance on Burnside that I remember from growing up. They are going to do a renovation soon and I'm sure this gritty 70s entrance will become more like the fancy new one on the other side. It's needed but still a little sad.

    By the way, right behind Powell's is the Brewery Blocks, an amazingly successful redevelopment of the Blitz-Weinhard brewery complex into LEED-certified buildings. As you probably know the Pearl District is what Seattle dreams South Lake Union will become.

  4. Hi, Gabi and Michelle! (and children) --

    Wow, what a coincidence. I had an old email from Michelle that had this link in it, so I decided to check it out ... and I see Powell's Books right at the very top! I spent a **lot** of time at Powell's during my college days (I went to school in Portland; not sure if you guys ever knew that). Your sketch captures that corner nicely; I briefly felt like I was back on Burnsdie, waiting for that light to change.

    Hope all is well with you. Things are going well here -- Baby of Unknown Gender is due Oct. 25!

    Take care,

    -- Duke

  5. I did your mastery of perspectives, Gabi, as always.

  6. This is one of my favorite places. I sometimes sit in the coffee shop, (that row of windows along the street) and sketch.

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