Imagine yourself sitting on a bench at Pittock Mansion — the Portland skyline before you — as you read your new favorite book. Even better? It’s already broken in and you got a great deal because you bought it secondhand.
Take this story off the fiction shelf and make it a reality by visiting one of Portland’s many used bookstores. Here are five small, locally owned shops that are full of pre-loved page-turners.
Arches Bookhouse, Portsmouth
Pursuers of scholarly subjects — think: philosophy, history, theology, literature, and poetry — will find plenty to bury their noses in at this shop formerly known as Windows Booksellers. Staff regularly travel the region, picking up special, rare, and antiquarian titles. Things you won’t find here? Moldering piles of paperback pulp.
The Booktique, Lake Oswego
The Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library group runs this nonprofit, which has two locations. All of the books are donated, with something for everyone — from children’s classics and graphic novels to rare books and Westerns.
Daedalus Books, Northwest District
Tucked behind the corner of busy Northwest 21st Avenue, this shop specializes in titles covering literary studies, history, philosophy, LGBTQ+, poetry, music, and art. It also hosts various community events throughout the year, like tarot workshops and book signings.
Green Bean Books, Vernon
Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they explore the used book section at this shop established by a former elementary school teacher. With plenty of special toys and events like reading to therapy dogs, children will beg to return over and over.
Wallace Books, Sellwood-Moreland
Readers have found literary treasures among the floor-to-ceiling storage crates and shelves in this converted 1930s home for decades. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of volumes, just ask an employee for a nudge in the right direction.