Literary Portland

This book-friendly city is home to an annual book festival and the world's largest independent bookstore.

Blame it on the rain … or maybe being home to the world’s largest independent new and used bookstore attracts both writers and readers. No matter the reason, there’s no denying that Portland loves its literature. Plan a book-lover’s holiday with these guides to the city’s literary offerings, then check out our events calendar to discover even more things to do on your next visit to Portland.

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You’re currently viewing a page featuring a selection of events. To find even more things to do in Portland, visit our full calendar, which you can search by date and event type.

The Portland Book Festival

Portland Book Festival (formerly “Wordstock”) returns every November with an impressive (and extensive) lineup of local and national authors.

Bookstores and Reading Spots

Peruse thousands of titles at these local bookstores and cozy reading nooks.

Powell’s City of Books

Covering an entire city block, Powell's is a landmark, a great bookstore and a microcosm of the city itself.

Portland Bookstores, Beyond Powell’s

Don't stop with the largest independent bookstore in the world; these seven other shops offer an abundance of literary riches.

Quiet Places Made for Reading

Pick up a winning read at one of Portland’s many independent bookstores and curl up in a cozy corner of one of these eight local coffee shops.

Portland Books and Authors

These notable hometown authors capture the spirit of the Northwest and are must-reads for visitors and locals alike.

Lit in the Limelight

Well-crafted words on the page transformed into live literary adventures.

Live Storytelling Events in Portland

Hear true stories about love, sex, history, movies and even middle school at six regular live storytelling events in Portland.

Future Prairie: A Collective of Women and Queer Artists

Portland’s Future Prairie is a collective of women and queer artists that presents chautauqua-inspired live shows, as well as a podcast.

Tender Table

Portland’s Tender Table event series features performances and snacks by women and gender-nonbinary people of color.

5 to Try

Destinations for Book-Lovers

Grab your favorite book and head to these locally beloved reading spots around Portland.

  • Multnomah County Central Library

    The oldest public library on the West Coast boasts historic architecture, more than 17 miles of bookshelves and terrific artwork.

  • Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden

    Three of the characters from the beloved author's "Ramona" books are immortalized in this Northeast Portland park, located near the famous Klickitat Street.

  • The Heathman Hotel

    This stately hotel's mezzanine library features more than 3,000 volumes signed by their authors, all of whom stayed at the hotel.

  • Forest Park

    Visit this Northwest Portland wilderness to walk in the footsteps of characters from the Wildwood Chronicles and My Abandonment.

  • Independent Publishing Resource Center

    Founded in 1998, this nonprofit provides access to the tools and skills to independently publish zines, books, comics and graphic novels.

Readings & Talks

Enjoy author talks and book discussions at these upcoming readings and talks in Portland.

Editor's Pick
Natan Dvir: Platforms
Feb. 6–Mar. 1, 2020

Natan Dvir: Platforms

Blue Sky Gallery / Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts Free

“New York-based photographer Natan Dvir brings a bit of the big city to Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery with his series of subway portraits, “Platforms.” The pictures capture New Yorkers in between places, waiting for the next train to arrive and whisk them to their destination. Some read books, some scroll through social media, some engage…

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Exhibition
Readings & Talks
Editor's Pick
Oregon Book Awards
Monday, Apr. 27, 2020

Oregon Book Awards

Portland Center Stage at The Armory $12-$65

Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, young readers and graphic literature. Hosts in 2020 are Elena Passarello and Omar El Akkad.

Editor's Pick
Readings & Talks
Editor's Pick
UFO Festival
May 14–16, 2020

UFO Festival

Hotel Oregon $20 and up

Every May, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s famous UFO Festival, featuring four days of parades, costume contests, expert speakers

Editor's Pick
Festivals
For Kids
Spring
Weird
Editor's Pick
OryCon
Nov. 13–15, 2020

OryCon

Red Lion Hotel – Jantzen Beach Varies

OryCon is Oregon’s premier, fan-run, annual science fiction/fantasy convention held in Portland since 1979. OryCon is a 100% volunteer-based production of Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI), which is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation.

Editor's Pick
Art & Design
Conventions
Readings & Talks