1. Tsunami Books – Eugene, Oregon: New and used books. Excellent contemporary poetry selection. The owner, Scott Landfield, is incredible, running the best series of reading events in town. Poets, novelists, memoir writers, MFA profs, MFA students, and musicians all vie for the stage. BYOB and none of the chairs in the store match.
2. Powell’s Books On Hawthorne – SE Portland, Oregon: New, used, and out-of-print books. Excellent bookstore in the perfect bookstore setting, near cool bed-and-breakfasts, across the street from pubs, in a big-time readers’ city. Plus, the manager, Jan Waldman, is probably the nicest store manager I’ve ever worked with on a reading event.
3. Smith Family Books – Eugene, Oregon: New, used, and out-of-print books. My favorite used bookstore because of it’s incredible novel selection. No reading events here, just books and more books. Huge, used poetry selection.
4. Books Inc. – Opera Plaza, San Francisco, CA: The West’s oldest independent bookstore. Character. In the back room, the store employees have a wall of hate taped up. Their loathing of Chelsea Handler, and the story of her reading at that store, is too funny.
5. The Duck Store – Eugene, Oregon: New books. On the University of Oregon campus. Lots of traffic. They promote local and Northwest writers, ask authors to sign copies (meaning no returns for them), and host the Knight Library reading series. Author event coordinator Laura White is an intelligent, discerning reader who treats authors like visiting royalty. What writer wouldn’t love that?