Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Collegium: Powell’s City of Books


Powell's City of Books

A number of us get together to share a cab into downtown Portland. We plan on visiting Powell's City of Books. I love our group:

Cathy Giapponi is a professor of Strategic Management at Fairfield University in New York. She is also a funny, “real” person who is just a joy to be around.

Chris Kaiser is an Associate Dean at Seton Hall University. He is a dapper young man who values family, faith, fine beers and good company. I wished he did not live so far away.

John Perry is a professor of Religious Studies/Peace and Conflict Studies at Saint Paul’s College in Winnipeg Canada. He is also a Jesuit priest and an expert on current slavery and torture. John is brilliant, humble, funny and compassionate. His laugh is contagious.

Jean Didier is the only one among us tonight who is not a member of our Small Group. She is a professor in Legal Studies/Management at Saint John’s University. She is a lawyer for a passion for social justice. Tonight she was walking-Prozac, once in the store she could not stop smiling.

Powell's City of Books claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It is located in the Pearl District on the edge of downtown and takes up an entire city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and between W Burnside and NW Couch Streets. It is open 365 days a year, and contains over 68,000 feet of floor space.

The inventory for its retail and online sales is over four million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books. The store it shelves new and used books side-by-side. It buys around 3000 used books a day.

When we first enter the stir we are not impressed. However, within fifteen minutes we are lost. It reminds me of a gigantic version of Fort Wayne’s Hyde Brothers Books. This place has everything. However, I do not feel like a Portlander. I do not have any piercings, no tattoos and my hair is only one color. I will have to consider making some changes!

The store has a wonderful coffee shop. Down the street is Powell’s Technology store. Everybody buys something tonight. I find a copy of the Philokalia. When I was in the Pastoral Counseling program we studied both the Desert Fathers and The Way of the Pilgrim. The Philokalia was central to the story of The Way of the Pilgrim. The book is a collection of stories and wisdom reading from Orthodox sources from the fourth century to the 15 century. It is a great find.

Afterwards we all go to Henry’s 12th Street Tavern for a beer. Everyone has Oregon brewed beers. Clearly I am not sophisticated, honey beer is not for me.It has been a long, good day. However, when I get back to my room I continue to work on a poem about the Collegium. This is a good experience, I am happy to be a part of Collegium.

No comments: