Portland Literary Attractions for Book Lovers

Powells Bookstore

Portland has a lot of interesting things going for it — craft beers, nature scenery, bike-friendly infrastructures, theatre pubs, and vibrant film scene to name a few. But what may come as a surprise for many who are still unfamiliar with the city is that it also boasts of bookish attractions. It has even produced authors like Beverly Cleary and Jean M. Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear) as well as poet and novelist Walt Curtis. From bookstores to literary-inspired public art, here are some of the city’s top literary attractions for book lovers.

Central Library
The Central Library is part of the extensive Multnomah County Library system. It is housed in a beautiful building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts of an impressive collection of works and provides an excellent place for book lovers and the curious alike to browse and read. The tree sculpture in the children’s room is an eye-catching and stunning piece of work that features literary-inspired messages from well-loved books like The Wizard of Oz and many others.

Heathman Hotel
While technically not a tourist attraction, guests of the Heathman Hotel can take at its library that contains a wide selection of books. The library’s impressive collection includes signed copies from authors who have previously stayed at the hotel.

Powell’s City of Books
Powell’s City of Books is Portland’s iconic bookstore and a tourist attraction in its own right. The bookstore is a bibliophile’s haven with hundreds of thousands of books arranged and displayed on its numerous shelves. It features a Rare Books Room and an Espresso Book Machine.

As its name suggests, The TARDIS Room is Doctor Who-inspired bar where guests can enjoy food selections from the restaurant which houses it or grab a drink at the bar itself.

Tin House Summer Workshop
If you want to learn or polish your writing skills, you can sign up for the Tin House Summer Workshop at Reed College. Its “Craft Intensives” include a wide array of activities like reading and writing activities among others.

Title Wave Used Bookstore
Run by the Multnomah County Library, Title Wave Used Bookstore is a great place to find a wide array of books at bargain prices. You can take your pick of titles from the used books and other items like CD’s and DVD’s from the MCL system.

Tugboat Brewing Company
Beer and books may not be the usual pairings you hear about, but there is a place in Portland where you can enjoy both. Tugboat Brewing offers brews like Cask Stout, Czech bitter, Extra Special Bitter, Hop Red, and India Pale Al in a pub with cozy interiors complete with books stacked neatly on its wood-paneled walls.

Wordstock Festival
This literary event draws hundreds of writers not to mention the thousands of readers who can enjoy the wide array of activities that include writing workshops.