At the end of June, I made it to the West Coast for the first time in my life. It was hot but beautiful, and I was visiting a friend who moved out to Portland, Oregon last fall so that made it all the more enjoyable. I told her I wanted to visit Powell’s Bookstore, and maybe one or two other bookstores if time allowed (I was there for just three days). Luckily for both of us, she lives the dream of inhabiting an apartment just up the street from a bookstore. That bookstore is Another Read Through.
Placed in between a couple of eateries on North Mississippi Avenue, Another Read Through is the perfect place for quick browsing and a polite chat with a bookseller; its shelves are filled with books you thought you may never find, books you can find anywhere, and unique editions of the most soulful books. A garage-type door marks the passageway from the real world into one of whimsy and delight – I recommend visiting this small bookstore when the sun is shining to fully experience the transition. There is an ordinary storefront door, which I assume is used when it is raining.
The chalkboard easel out on the sidewalk calls to pedestrians before they even reach the facade of the store; on this particular day it offered a plea for help and catered to those looking for, wanting, or needing companionship. On the inside, a tree stretches its branches towards the ceiling, and the tall back wall is adorned with words spelled out in Scrabble letters and statements of thoughtfulness. I saw many Penguin Orange editions, three or four shelves of Stephen King Novels, the Classics, Harry Potter, those romance novels with the cheesy covers, philosophical texts, and was reminded of what makes bookstores (and libraries) so magical. All of these different words, worlds, ideas, and genres, living together peacefully until they find new homes.
Sadly, since I had little extra space in my suitcase and had already visited Powell’s before the trip to Another Read Through, I restrained myself and purchased just two books. The Watsons by Jane Austen and John Coates, as well as a Signet Classic edition of Northanger Abbey. I purchased the latter because I knew I had two of these editions, but could not for the life of me remember which particular novels I had back home (if I didn’t have it I would have kicked myself for not buying it, obviously). And of course, I already do have this edition of Northanger Abbey, so before I donate my extra copy, if you are looking for this particular edition let me know.
If you find yourself on North Mississippi Avenue or in Portland, Oregon sometime soon, visit Another Read Through and bring a tote – the secondhand book prices are to die for. And, maybe take the bookseller behind the desk (I am so sorry I have forgotten your name) up on her offer to attend a Jane Austen dance class, because I could not.
Another Read Through
3932 N Mississippi Ave.