Ringing in the New Year with new wildlife books

Ocean aisle at Powell's City of Books

I spent the last week of 2011 in book heaven! It was a wonderful way to wrap up the year and start the New Year with new wildlife books to read and more fascinating information to absorb.

Book heaven happens to be Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. If you love books, you have to go there! There are several Powell’s locations in Portland, but the biggest and most impressive of all the stores is the Burnside location in the Pearl District. It takes up a full city block, is three stories tall and is literally, a city of books.

The store has split levels that lead into different color-coded sections containing numbered aisles dedicated to subjects with labels categorizing books by specific topics. One of my favorite aisles was 663 in the rose section, where I perused books on oceanography, aquatic life, exploration and shells.

One of the best things about Powell’s is their massive collection of used and out of print books. Even better, they also carry new books, so many times you can inspect all the used copies and find a good deal or if the used copies are really beat up, then you can buy a new copy.

Also, there’s little signs all over the place with staff recommendations, which is how I discovered Amazing Jellies: Jewels of the Sea by Elizabeth Gowell. This is a tiny book packed with information on sea jellies (jellyfish) and for only $9.95 it is now part of my reference collection.

In the bird aisle, I discovered tons of bird books, entire books dedicated to owls, crows, ravens, herons, geese, ducks and on and on. There are also shelves dedicated to birding, bird photography, bird feeders, birds of North America, birds of South America, birds of Europe…well you get the idea. Among the bird books I found a great used copy of Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, a memoir about raising an injured barn owl, with great information on owls since Stacey also happens to be a biologist. And I picked up a book on hummingbirds called World of Hummingbirds by Erik Hanson.

With some great books waiting to be read, I can tell 2012 is going to be a great year! Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Bryan says

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! What a way to wrap up the year.

    You picked up some great books, and it seems like they have a bigger selection of ocean-related books than when we were there in 2008. That’s good news.

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