A book lover in a big city can seem like an oxymoron. A vast majority of the book community are introverts and it can be hard to find others like ourselves, but the good news is that Portland is known for its lively book culture. Here are a few places to visit for events and meetups so you can find other like-minded individuals in a big city!
An obvious event would be the Portland Book Festival. This book-friendly city is home to an annual book festival. Last year’s book festival was held on November 5, 2022 and contained author lineups, writing workshops, pop-up readings, and an extensive collection of book people. This annual event is a perfect opportunity to be encompassed by book lovers from all over the city. To keep updated on tickets and location check out literary-arts.org.
If you are looking for a place more consistent and intimate, the Rose City Book Pub will be your refuge. When you first walk in, your eyes immediately draw up to the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf jammed with an extensive book collection, which is just a warm hug to any fan of the literary world. They hold community events, music, art, open mics, and discussion. It is also a place for people to retreat to a corner to work or read alone. They carry beer, wine, books, and food for their customers to enjoy. For someone in any sect of the book industry or someone simply a book fanatic, this pub is a great place to connect and even make friends. To check out upcoming events, look up their Instagram @rose_city_book_pub.
Diving further into the book and alcohol fusion, the Workers Tap in Southeast Portland is another great venue for literary events. Just from the outside, this pub is housed in a comfy Victorian-style house and is adorned with string lights. This building is a vessel for writing workshops with communities like Eastside Poetry Workshop and author meetups. In an article in Willamette Weekly, Corbin Smith describes the extensive library, “Essential to this ideas-focused bar is a library on the top floor: several bookshelves holding a few hundred books regarding union organizing, LGBTQ+ rights, anarchism, radical environmentalism and anti-imperialist struggle.” To check out upcoming events, you can visit their Instagram @workerstap.
Along with these three literary hubs, Portland is stuffed with independent bookstores, libraries, and pop-up book events. Starting out with these few places mentioned, a fellow book lover will be able to grow their community and connections as well as make friends scattered across the city.