Pops’s visit to Powell’s Books in Portland

Just wanted to share a few photos from my father’s trip to the famous Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon.

A quotation he thought we’d like, on one of their blackboards (I especially appreciate that the book’s location is noted!)

LOVE these bike racks with related book titles. (click to enlarge and read ‘em all)

“our room at the trendy Ace Hotel – old encyclopedia pages wallpapered to plaster walls!” (is this especially for Powell’s customers?)


And, well, this one is not so directly connected, but: you may recall that Pops and I both read and both raved about Fire Season, by Philip Connors. (My review… and his) So he snapped this fire lookout station for me “at the top of a volcanic butte south of Bend, with a view of the Cascade snow-caps as far north as Mt. Hood, and east into the Oregon desert.” Very nice, Pops.

On a related note: Pops has also been getting into Edward Abbey this summer. I’m not sure if I had a role in that or not; I did strongly (forcibly?) recommend Fire Season to him and cite Edward Abbey as a related recommendation. He may have gotten there on his own, but at any rate the two authors (Connors & Abbey) have a clear link. He actually approached Powell’s with an Edward Abbey need, and reported that, while he’s aware that Abbey is a somewhat obscure choice, they had a full shelf of it and were very happy to talk and help. He points out that this is unsurprising, for Portland and for Powell’s – should be a specialty of theirs – but no less gratifying. He bought three books, including one of Abbey’s novels. I’m not sure I even knew he wrote fiction!


So, I have only read his Desert Solitaire, which I believe is his best-known. It is the nonfiction account of his solitary experience as a park ranger at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. I read it many years ago, and I retain more of an impression than a distinct memory; what I do recall is that I found it very moving. I recently picked up another of his, The Journey Home, although I haven’t cracked it open yet.

And now Pops has three new books, including a novel. He mentioned that the novel is about a fire lookout, so I think that makes it Black Sun. I’m hoping that he’ll report back to us here on his continued reading, and maybe even loan me a book or two! Hm, Pops?

6 Responses

  1. Powell’s looks great!

  2. [...] Solitaire, and for his reputation (compounded of course by my love of Fire Season too). My Pops has gotten into him this year, and has brought me quite a few of his books, and I’ve been excited to pick them [...]

  3. [...] you can read my review; read my father’s review; or read about how Fire Season inspired my father and eventually me into some further [...]

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