Oct 26, 2020
Powell's Books is a chain of bookstores located in and around Portland, Oregon. It claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Powell's 'City of Books' store is located on the edge of downtown and occupies a full city block. It covers some 68,000 square feet or 1.6 acres of retail floor space. Emily Powell is a third generation owner of the bookstore. She made headlines this past August for dumping Amazon as a sales partner. To mark "Independent Bookstore Day" she announced that "we will no longer sell our books on Amazon’s marketplace. For too long, we have watched the detrimental impact of Amazon’s business on our communities and the independent bookselling world." "The vitality of our neighbors and neighborhoods depends on the ability of local businesses to thrive," she continued. "We will not participate in undermining that vitality."
I talked to her recently, via Zoom, about her stand against Amazon, her storied bookstore and the reasons for its successes and longevity.