I think Powell’s website says it best: “Powell’s City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block and housing approximately one million books. Located in downtown Portland’s Pearl District, the City of Books has nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles.”
You can also get a guide tour. Tour Hours: Sundays at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“Powell’s offers free public tours of our flagship store every Sunday. Learn the history of the world’s largest independent bookstore, from the Pillar of Signatude to our Rare Book Room! Tours last approximately 45 minutes and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.”
What they don’t say but that I have had people tell me is they love that they have their own coffee shop. They will let you take a book you are considering to buy in with you while you have your coffee so you can skim it in depth before buying. Of course if you spill on it you buy it.