City Slicker: Rummaging Through Bookstores in Portland, Oregon with My Holga 120 and Pinhole Cameras

3

With E-readers replacing paper, I went in search of paper bound books in Portland.

I am a bookaholic. I admit it. I am not in recovery. I can’t help but cruise the aisles of bookstores, both new and used for the next volume to put on my shelves. I don’t want an E-reader, I want to see the book before I buy it, I want to feel the paper, and I want to smell it. Whenever I read, outside or indoors, I want a book, a real book. A lot of Portlanders agree with me because readers dot our city in the most unusual places.

Living in Portland with the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi, I am never far from my next acquisition, but Powells is a huge store sitting on a large city block in NW Portland and today my quest is to find the small independent shops. So I set out, dividing the city into NE, SE, and SW, and hit the road.

I found several shops in NE Portland and my favorite has to be The Green Bean. It’s a children’s bookstore and caters to them beautifully that I didn’t want to leave. There are soft cushy chairs in reading corners and there’s a mustache machine where kids can choose a design and then have their photo taken and put on the wall. Best of all, there is a leafy green reading fort. What kid wouldn’t love this place? Other bookshops in NE Portland include: St Johns Booksellers, In Other Words, A Children’s Place, Second Glance, and Broadway Books.

Unfortunately in SE Portland, I discovered some of the shops closed or maybe they just shortened their work week. SE Hawthorne is home to the majority of shops in this part of the city. Once again there is a Powells store specializing in cookbooks, craft books, and a general collection smaller than the NW store. My favorite on Hawthorne has to be Murder by the Book. Mysteries, mayhem and murder, it’s all here. There are more stores to visit here like: Hawthorne Blvd. Books, Longfellow’s and Wallace Books.

One of the oldest bookstores in Portland is located on 3rd St not far from VooDoo Donuts. Camerons has been on this corner for more than 60 years, and you get a sense of that when you walk through the doors. You can smell it, a bit of dust and old paper. You will find bargain books here and used magazines, lots of magazines. If you want a new magazine, then one of the best selections is just up the street at Rich’s Cigar and Magazine shop. Here you won’t smell paper when you pass over the threshold, but the fragrant aroma of tobacco. I go here when I want one of my favorite British photography magazines. Annie Blooms is a little further out from downtown but still in SW and a ‘must’ on your bookstore list.

I enjoyed this assignment because I love reading. As a kid I’d get my weekly allowance, jump on my bike and head to the local bookstore. My house is a treasure trove of old and new books. Shelves line every available wall. I don’t discriminate, I love fiction and non-fiction. Now I just have to find room for the books I bought while on this assignment.

I don’t know about you, but losing oneself in a story isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon and you never know what might jump out from those pages.

written by yankeemiss on 2012-09-18 in #lifestyle #120-film #cities #stores #city-slicker #holga #film #portland #fuji-400 #bookstores #shopping #reading #oregon

3 Comments

  1. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    A very worthy assignment and a great write-up! And I'm with you 100% on eReaders: screw 'em - gimme ANALOGUE books any day...! ;-)

  2. 110isnotdead
    110isnotdead ·

    Speaking as a small-town librarian, thank you so much for writing this article. I see the effect that e-books has on print material every day and its a shame. That's progress i guess...
    Keep up the good work :)

  3. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Good writing and got some really amazing shots of wonderful book-reading places...<:) Missing paper reading...<:)

More Interesting Articles

  • My Pinolga Camera: A Pinhole Camera Made of Cardboard and Looks Like the Holga

    written by raypg on 2014-07-25 in #lifestyle
    My Pinolga Camera: A Pinhole Camera Made of Cardboard and Looks Like the Holga

    The Pinolga is a pinhole camera made of cardboard and in the likeness of the legendary Holga camera. I hope you'll find this interesting.

    4
  • Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-16 in #news
    Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    Recently, we’ve been digging through all our LC-A 120 negatives from when we first started testing the new camera. During this search, we had our very own finding Vivian Maier moment when we unearthed a bunch of photos shot by the super-talented dopic whilst he was on vacation in Japan last year. We totally love these shots and couldn’t resist sharing them with you!

    3
  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • Shop News

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Shoot more with LC-A 120 without breaking your budget! The Phoblographer Editor’s Choice Award Winner now comes in a Bundle with 120 format film at 15% off!

  • Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part Two)

    written by dermanu on 2014-09-22 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part Two)

    When I was a child, I regularly went to Blaavand, located at the Danish west coast, with my brothers and parents. I stopped going there as I grew up. In 2012 however, we hit the road again. It was my first return visit in about 20 years. I took the chance and packed as many cameras as possible into my luggage. In part two of my journey log, I'm going to show you the pictures I took with my Lomography cameras.

  • My Pinhole F Cardboard Camera Inspired By the Diana F+ Camera

    written by raypg on 2014-09-05 in #lifestyle
    My Pinhole F Cardboard Camera Inspired By the Diana F+ Camera

    I love the different styles of cameras that Lomography has, but I also like to create my own cardboard cameras that use pinholes to be able to take pictures using traditional film. This time I created the Pinhole F, a camera inspired by the Diana F+ and shoots 12 pinhole photos using 120 film.

    2
  • A Salute to the Masters: Sports Through A Plastic Lens (A Tribute to David Burnett)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-21 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Sports Through A Plastic Lens (A Tribute to David Burnett)

    The great American photographer David Burnett is famous for his unusual photos of sports competitions. He uses a tilt-shift lens to create miniature fakes, or a simple Holga camera to shoot in black and white. To write this tribute, I used my Holga to take some pictures of amateur sport activities around my city. Take a look after the jump.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-23 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    Sonja started her analog adventures during her teenage years. She took her first film photographs when she was 13 and has been in love with the magic of the process since. Her idea of a perfect day involves developing film rolls while listening to jazz and having a cup of tea in between. In this interview, she recalls about her experience with her first Lomography camera, a Holga 120 CFN.

    2
  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-06 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 5

    Last week, I received the strangest thing through my letterbox. It was a postcard with this photograph on 1 side. The photo is of me sitting by the sea whilst I was on vacation last year. But I have literally no idea who took this shot – That’s why I came here, to ask for your help on my search for my mysterious photographer and to try and get to bottom of the riddle they wrote me. Please help me if you can!

    10
  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • My Day in Analogue: Lazy Summer Days at Home

    written by jokelangens on 2014-08-27 in #lifestyle
    My Day in Analogue: Lazy Summer Days at Home

    Every summer, my soul screams for a lazy, hot day back at my parents' home, for some good food, relaxation, and catching up with childhood friends. This year is no different, so I went back down to my small hometown in the very northeast of Belgium to enjoy a perfect laid back day doing nothing and everything. And of course, I brought my analogue cameras along to eternalize all of these small but grand moments in life.

  • Happenings on Film: At the Start of the Tour of Lombardy with My Fed 3

    written by sirio174 on 2014-11-03 in #lifestyle
    Happenings on Film: At the Start of the Tour of Lombardy with My Fed 3

    This month, after waiting for three years, my city Como hosted the Tour of Lombardy, an important event in the male elite road cycling tour. With my Fed 3 loaded with black and white film and equipped with ultra sharp Industar 50/3.5 lens, I documented the parade of cyclists who went to the starting line after they registered. Take a look after the jump!

  • Off the Beaten Track: The Wonderful Churches of Palermo

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-02 in #world #locations
    Off the Beaten Track: The Wonderful Churches of Palermo

    If you are in search of a lesser known European city full of nice examples of art and architecture, I would recommend that you visit Palermo, the capital of the region of Sicily in the South of Italy. This city is rich with wonderful churches, squares, fountains, and other important monuments and buildings! Take a look after the jump!