If you need a list of independent bookstores in Oregon, here are 10 you should check out!
Annie Bloom’s has been the independent bookstore for the Multnomah Village area of Portland, OR since 1978. All of the books at Annie Bloom’s are new (they do not buy, trade, or sell used books) and cover a range of genres and topics. They offer a book consignment contract for local authors who are looking to get their self- or independently published books on the shelves.
Annie Bloom’s also hosts author events, such as live readings and book signings, as well as a summer ‘Book Bingo’ (an adult reading contest). There’s so much more than books at Annie Bloom’s, so contact them to find out how to stop by and check them out!
If you find yourself on Broadway Street in Portland, OR, check out a local treasure since 1992: Broadway Books. Opened by two friends, Gloria and Roberta, Broadway Books has slowly built itself over the years, originally carrying some 1,000 books to now carrying over 200,000 books on nearly every topic imaginable. They can even order any book they don’t carry that you are looking to purchase.
Events at Broadway Books include poetry reading, open conversations with authors, and book club meetings. New authors can arrange for them to host a book launch and even sell their books on consignment. You can contact them using the information on their main webpage.
South of Portland, in Salem, OR, is the Salem’s best independent bookstore: Escape Fiction. Opened in 1994 by Scott and Maria Conover, Escape Fiction is the premier independent bookstore specializing in new and used genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance), with smaller sections devoted to the more popular fiction and nonfiction titles, including nonfiction and hobby-related titles.
Escape Fiction also takes special orders and out-of-print orders, for that book you can’t find but are just dying to own. Have books you want to get rid of? Drop by Escape Fiction to trade them in for store credit. You can even take a video tour of their shop before you visit. Contact them online or via their Facebook page.
In 1996, Scott Landfield opened Tsunami Books in Eugene, OR, after twenty years planting trees in the Northwest. The ethos behind Tsunami Books is sustainability and has been since opening. The entire shop is fitted with recycled seats or bookshelves salvaged from community businesses and buildings. These shelves are stocked with thousands of fresh books of nearly every genre with a selection of used books available.
Tsunami Books hosts events of all kinds, from local musician concerts to author readings and book-signings. Stop by to see the beautiful mural storefront, painted by one of the booksellers of the shop: Emily Poole or contact them for more details about what they offer.
In downtown Eugene, OR, you’ll find J. Michaels Books. J. Michaels opened in 1975 as a tiny bookshop with a few shelves of books and has grown into one of the “Best Indie Bookstores in America,” according to the Huffington Post in 2017. J. Michaels carries new and used books on anything you can imagine, including rare and out-of-print titles.
Being such a long-running mainstay of the Williamette region of Oregon, J. Michaels is known for its events, such as author-readings and book signings, as well as local author book launches and community events. Contact them to find out more about their shop.
If you head east of Portland to the suburb of Gresham, OR, you’ll find Books Around the Corner, a now Halloween-themed book shop. Stephanie Rose opened the shop in late 2018 as a general indie bookstore carrying the more popular book genres. After the COVID pandemic closed the bookstore for 18 months in 2020 and 2021, she reopened in October 2021 as a Halloween-themed shop, specializing in the more shocking genre fictions (mostly mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy).
The shop also carries Halloween-themed non-book items, such as cards, candles, and decorations. There are monthly book clubs for each of the genres highlighted at Books Around the Corner, as well as some author-related events. Find out more about how to get there and what they offer by contacting them online.
On the Pacific coast, in Lincoln City, OR, you’ll find family-owned bookstore, Bob’s Beach Books. Opened in 1998, Bob’s Beach Books carries new and used books of ‘beach books,’ genres of books that are easy to read while hanging out on the local beach. They also buy and trade books, depending on the titles and genres.
While there are no events hosted at Bob’s Beach Books, you can find them at local hospital fundraisers and library author signings. Stop by to check them out or contact them online.
8. Cloud & Leaf
If you travel north along the Pacific Coast, you’ll come to the city of Manzanita and discover its secret independent bookstore, Cloud & Leaf. Opened in 2004 under a different owner/manager, it was purchased by local author Deborah Reed in 2019.
Cloud & Leaf carries classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction, as well as local authors. You can shop in store or online with local pickup. Follow them on social media or contact them via the information on their webpage.
If you want to visit the oldest independent bookstore in Oregon, take a drive east of Portland to The Dalles and visit Klint’s Booksellers. Established in 1870 by German immigrant Ingwert Nickelsen, Klint’s atmosphere is more than just the books, gifts, and stationary it sells. It still houses the original hardwood floors and Victorian-era bookshelves of the original building (after moving from a fire in 1893). You can read more about their story here.
10. Betty’s Books
A bit further inland, in Baker City, OR, is Betty’s Books, opened in 1979 and housed in the Victorian-era Bamberger Building. Betty’s Books has carefully curated a range of new and used books on all sorts of fiction and nonfiction genres and topics. Betty’s Books even caters to non-locals by providing an overnight delivery service for books ordered through their system.