Saturday, July 28, 2012

Books Are Not Dead

December, they say, is a tough month for noveling. That makes sense. But July is a tough month for blogging.  It's summer, for Pete's sake. No one wants to waste the daylight by staying indoors, especially not in Portland. 

I'm feeling a little rusty. Words have been slow to come lately. I haven't been reading much fiction either, but I still take time via email to look at several feeds about books and book selling. The latest news is that ebooks made huge gains in the last year. Sales for adult fiction jumped by a double-digit percentage. And writers are fighting for their digital royalties. Maybe I'll weigh in on the fight when I actually have digital royalties (chortle, snort).

Every writer seems to have an opinion about whether the book is dead. It's not. Won't be. Not in hardcopy or electronic form. People are reading. Am I blowing you away with my intellect? I'm basically a realist and not a futurist or naysayer. People want to be entertained, and increasingly, books are about the cheapest way to break away from bills and bad headlines. When an ebook is 99 cents or zero (granted, you have to own a pricey ereader first) or a nice paperback in a used bookstore is priced at a couple of bucks, people are still going to read.

I happened into a used bookstore recently with my daughter in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland and was happy to find a 2012 Portland Area Booksellers Directory. I snapped it up. I've been to several nice bookstores in the city, and here, by golly, was my ticket to more. I thought it would be nice to share the list online, and you can also check out the Portland Area Used Booksellers Association listing by browsing to

Carmon's Books & Magazines on Third Ave.,
CounterMedia on Oak St., on Twitter @CounterMedia
Daedalus Books on Flanders St.,
Old Oregon Bookstore on Morrison
Powell's City of Books on Burnside,

SE Portland
Bingo Used Books on Powell,
Future Dreams on East Burnside
Hawthorne Boulevard Books on Hawthorne
Longfello's Bookstore on Division,
Mother Foucault's Bookshop on SE Morrison
Murder by the Book on SE Hawthorne,
Paper Moon Books on Belmont
Powell's on Hawthorne,
Wallace Books on SE Milwaukie

North and NE Portland
Monograph Bookwerks near Alberta,
Second Glance Books on Sandy,
St. Johns Booksellers on Lombard
The Title Wave Used Bookstore on Knott,

Book Corner on 5th,
Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing

Vancouver, WA
Cover to Cover Books on St. James Road,
Vintage Books on Mill Plain Blvd,
Zephyr Used & Rare Books on Main St.,

Lake Oswego
Booktique on Mercantile Dr.

Several booksellers associated with PAUBA operate without a storefront. And this obviously isn't a comprehensive list. Portland is jammed with books and readers. If you'd like me to add your bookstore to the list, just ask. Happy browsing.