I’m in Portland, OR today. Powell’s Bookstore is huge, wonderful and renowned. However, I only just discovered their smaller, yet sizable “technical books” annex around the corner. HOLY MOLY. This is the mother lode for all the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things.
The layout (above) and some of the shelf category labels should give you a good idea of what you’ll find: artificial intelligence, vintage & handtools, probability theory, solid state electronics, microcontrollers, CNC, Tesla, fuzzy logic & neural nets, dams, bridges, boatbuilding, artificial life & genetic algorithms, user interface design, and more. There’s plenty of cozy cafe chairs, and a little collection of vintage computers in the back, including a NeXT Cube and CBM Model 8032. They even sell stethoscopes in the med ref section!
Due to rain and hail, I’m cooped up inside enjoying free wi-fi. No one cares I have yet to buy anything — although I’ve amassed a pretty nice stack. If you’re ever in Portland, this place is a guaranteed wallet-buster. Photos and some fun finds* after the jump.
*You don’t have to be in Portland to browse the collection. For a random look, try Powell’s Shuffle feature.
Here’s where I’m camped out, followed by some of what I caught my eye…
- Build Your Own Underwater Robot & Other Wet Projects
- Encyclopedia of Vibration
- American Machinist’s Tools: An Illustrated Directory of Patents
- Chemistry of Powder & Explosives
- Building a Shed
- Doolin’s Trouble Shooters Bible
- The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles
- Decoding the Heavens
Drawers of Oregonian Topographic Maps!
If there are any vast, must-see tech bookshops in your city, let us know.