Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Are you ready? Whether you are spending it with a date or looking for new love, there is one type of place that you are guaranteed to have a good time: your local bookstore. Bookstores are fantastic for dates. You never lack for conversation when surrounded by thousands of stories. If you are single, you can go to your favorite section and find someone interesting to talk to or something fantastic to read. Be sure to grab a copy of your favorite book so you have an automatic icebreaker. Whether it is a book or a person, the love of your life could be waiting among the shelves between Jane Austen and Tony Wolk.

Now that I have all of you excited to spend the 14th at a bookstore, let us take a look at some of the wonderful bookstores you could go to here in Portland.
The first Portland bookstore most people think of is Powell’s Books. This is an excellent place for a date. Not only can you stop by the cafe for a lovely little snack, there are near-endless ways to enjoy yourself. Try going on a tour of the rooms and seeing what—or who—you find there. You and your potential date could even take in an event that night. Author Nick Flynn will be doing a reading of his book “The Reenactments” at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s Burnside location and with local author and screenwriter John Raymond joining the conversation, it promises to be a fun evening.

One of Portland’s hidden gems is Bingo Used Books. Located on Powell Boulevard. From the outside, Bingo looks unassuming. Its signs are small, and if you are not looking for it, you may miss it. This store is pure magic inside. It is easy to get lost in Bingo’s organized chaos, and even easier to find something you did not know you were looking for. You and your date could easily wander this store for hours finding amazing books, and the labyrinthine shelves offer countless places to steal a kiss.

Annie Bloom’s Books is a fantastic bookstore in southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village with a focus on local authors. The store is a warm and inviting place with towers of books and comfortable chairs that are begging for people to curl up and enjoy a good book in. The friendly staff, regulars, and store cat all make this a wonderful place to spend time. If you are going out on a date or looking for a way to spend this holiday on your own, Annie Bloom’s is a great place to go.

Wherever you end up this Valentine’s Day, let books be involved. Books are sexy. If anyone doubts this, just find a copy of John Keats poems and read them “Bright Star”. I promise it will change their minds. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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