Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › 7 Best Bookstores in Portland

Portland is known to many as home of the creative, the gypsy, the wandering artist and especially those bookworms who like to curl up with a cup of tea, a warm blanket and a book on rainy days. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that Portland would have a collection of bookstores that are as creative and original as their clientele. When you’re looking for your next favorite book, the rare type you can find nowhere else or a cozy reading place to enjoy your new literary discovery, you should visit these independent shops — famous for being the best bookstores in Portland.

Annie Bloom’s Books
Every reader knows there’s nothing quite as fun as a cozy neighborhood bookstore full of readers just like you. Annie Bloom’s Books is known for its vast selection, its friendly customer service and its opinionated store cat to top off the charm. You can find all the latest bestsellers and even a few from local authors here; and to make it even better, employees tuck their own reviews within the book covers, so you can get an honest opinion and even spark a few enthusiastic rants among fans.

Broadway Books
A locally-owned bookstore with a lot of charm and class, Broadway Books is perfect for the reader seeking out not only big-name authors but many lesser-known and emerging local authors. With community and conversation at heart, the store hosts several book club meetings, especially for members of Oprah’s Book Club, so you can enjoy the privacy of a rare read or get out and hang with other fans. The warm lighting and rows upon rows of shelves full of contemporary classics makes it a favorite of the community.

Cosmic Monkey Comics
Let’s not forget the comic book lovers! Graphic novels are a favorite among bookworms and longtime superhero fanatics, and Cosmic Monkey Comics doesn’t let anyone go without their favorite addition to a series or a long-lost saga. Catering to a wide range of styles and genres, the rows of shelves are packed with everything from manga to adult graphic novels to classics for the kids, with a few rare series as well. If you’re looking for the newest release or trying to track down an old favorite, Cosmic Monkey Comics will have you covered.

Floating World Comics
This comic book store treats its collection more like an art gallery than a bookstore, showcasing modern design to match a modern variety of art — from comics to music to graphic design. However, comics being its #1 priority, Floating World is known for always having the latest installments on the shelves in record time. The open and colorful style of the place makes it ideal for hanging out with friends or wandering for hours, picking out your favorites or finding new obsessions.

Powell’s City of Books
Blending that charming creativity and a collection to knock any bookworm off his or her feet, Powell’s City of Books is a favorite among all book lovers in Portland — and those who live outside the city but travel in to browse its shelves. With several floors to choose from, even the stairs themselves indict the section’s genre, giving it that friendly neighborhood feel with a nearly unlimited selection of rare, new and used books. Each floor is color coded, and the store even offers a map to visitors so they can navigate the wonderland of stories available to them.

Wallace Books
A local gem that is one of the best-kept secrets of Portland’s historic neighborhood, Wallace Books is known especially for its slightly off-beat and unique vibes, where visitors will find themselves in a self-imposed treasure hunt for the rarest, most unusual and even collectable books. The warm lighting and arrangement of shelves will make you feel like you stepped into a second home, with friendly employees just as passionate about books as you are. And let’s never forget the store cat, tasked with making the at-home reader experience even more vivid.

New Renaissance Bookshop
A bookstore that’s all eclectic charm — you won’t find a shop that’s more unique than New Renaissance Bookshop, which boasts of not only other trinkets and charms but a wide selection of rare and new books. Organized in circular shelves or great rows, it’s decorated to look more like a treasure trove than a bookshop. This bohemian-style shop has great statues topping its shelves, a collection of lights hanging on almost every wall and a few off-beat genres for you to explore.

With your books in hand and your mind open for an adventure, it’s the perfect time to grab a car with Uber and explore the rest of the city — and even the cities beyond. Here are the “Top Five Cities for Using Uber in the U.S.” so you can find out which to explore first! If you’re considering moving, check out this list of apartments for rent in Portland, OR.

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Hi! I’m Maria, formerly the Social Media & Content Marketing Manager for ForRent.com. I was part of a dream team that is dedicated to running this awesome blog along with ForRent.com's social channels. If I am not busy writing blogs and socially sharing, you can find me working out, drinking cappuccinos, stylizing my apartment and doing DIY projects!


  1. Thank you for including New Renaissance on this list. We appreciate that.

    ~Nate at New Renaissance

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