We weren't really visiting family, but we were going back home. We lived in Portland for almost four years, and during that time it was home. Amanda was born there. We didn't mind the ever-present drizzle (yes, it truly rains 9 months of the year). We traversed the entire Pacific Northwest, enjoying apples, blackberries, skiing, books, and more.
It always comes back to books, doesn't it? Last year I wrote about my favorite bookstores in the cities in which I've lived, and reflecting on it made me realize that after 10 years away from Portland, I still missed Powell's. I knew that, but until visiting there on our trip last week, I didn't even realize what I was missing!
When we lived there, I was going through a cookbook phase. I had quite a collection, and I loved browsing the cookbook section. If one that I purchased didn't meet my needs, I'd just sell it back on my next trip to further feed my habit. I bought novels too, of course, and non-fiction bargains that I stumbled across. Powell's has rooms and rooms of discoveries.
|The store is so big, it needs a map! Kyle loved helping us find our way.|
I wasn't reviewing books then, and now that I am, buying books for myself doesn't hold much appeal. While Terry browsed the sports and finance sections, I happily stayed occupied in the children's/YA room. This area was the size of a small independent bookstore in itself, and it was really awesome. I know that I bought Amanda a few Dr. Seuss books when we lived there, and I probably found some board book bargains as well, but since we left there when she was two, I didn't understand what Powell's truly had to offer children and teens. It was amazing. You can read about what I found there in my Mailbox Monday post at 5 Minutes for Books.
As we were browsing the YA section together, she was looking for John Green books. I didn't think she had read his books, but I found out she's familiar with him through his YouTube channel.
I told her that I had copies of two of his audiobooks: The Fault in Our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines, which was one of the books on her list, in addition to Paper Towns. I remember An Abundance of Katherines as having a lot of bad language and more mature teen behavior, so in spite of the fact that I found it a pretty delightful book, it's not one I'd want her to read. When I reviewed The Fault in Our Stars in February, I even mentioned that I had hoped I could pass it on to Amanda, because it didn't seem quite as mature until one plot twist at the end. I said there that I decided to wait until she was in high school.
Well, now that she's asking and is about to start high school, I told her that she could listen to that one. She wasn't thrilled because she fears it will be "too sad" since it's about cancer kids, but since I've read it and loved it and find it mostly appropriate enough (I must let go sometime -- I'm trying), and we could discuss it, I told her that she should start with that one. I might re-listen to An Abundance of Katherines, but I've told her I think she should wait on it. I will be on the lookout for a good used copy of Paper Towns (which we couldn't find at Powell's), and I'll read it first, which won't be a sacrifice at all.
The combination of the awesome selection, finding books for both kids and having some good chats brought up by the selection, made the hours we spent there so special. But it was the nostalgia that pushed me over the edge. I so vividly remember years of pushing Amanda around in her stroller while I browsed.
This bookstore trip was one of the highlights of a very nice family vacation. Is that weird?