The website for Portland, Oregon’s Broadway Books calls it “A Great Little Store with Great Big Service.” I can happily attest to the truth of that statement.
As is often the case on my bookstore explorations, I prefer to browse quietly for a while, take some photos, get a feel for the space…and shop for myself. While doing so at Broadway Books, the store clerk offered assistance to a mother and daughter who were shopping the sizable children’s section, greeted several regular customers by name who’d popped in to pick up their special orders, and took phone calls, all with a friendly demeanor and a smile.
When I did finally introduce myself and explain the blog, I learned that the shop has been serving the Broadway neighborhood since 1992 and has always been woman-owned, currently by Sally McPherson and Kim Bissell, who over the years have taken over from the original founders.
Most of the shop’s stock is new. In addition to the aforementioned children’s section, there’s the expected fiction, young adult, cookbook, non-fiction titles, and so on, along with some cards, gifts, and merchandise. Interestingly, the shop does partner with an antiquarian book dealer who routinely stocks a shelf of vintage and used titles.
The shop has also been known to attract some rather noteworthy attention. When Michelle Obama released her memoir, Becoming, she selected Broadway Books as the setting for a private event with a women’s book club.
With an active calendar of events, plentiful stock, a robust online presence (with a wonderful selection of picks from the sizable staff), and a warm, inviting atmosphere, Broadway Books epitomizes the quintessential neighborhood bookshop and certainly lives up to its mantra. A great little store with great big service, indeed.
Broadway Books is located at 1714 NE Broadway, Portland, Oregon. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.