This year marks the 50th year of Powell’s Books, beloved Portland landmark and the world’s largest independent bookstore—and to commemorate the occasion, Powell’s is launching a curated collection of 50 books from the past 50 years.
The collection, which can be found in its entirety on the Powell’s website, ranges from classics like Sula and The Satanic Verses to contemporary hits like No One Is Talking About This and Make It Scream, Make It Burn. “We wanted a list that would address who we have been as a society and who are we becoming, and we wanted to include both familiar works and lesser-known voices that deserve amplification,” said the Powell’s Books curation team. “These 50 books not only show us who we have been as a country and a species and where we are going, but the power of the right words, at the right time, to act as a mirror and a beacon.”
50 Books for 50 Years isn’t the bookseller’s only anniversary celebration. Powell’s has also started the Powell’s Archive Project; in the hopes of creating a comprehensive visual historical archive of Powell’s and its impact, Powell’s encouraging readers and authors to contribute memories of Powell’s, special book finds, ephemera and Powell’s merch by tagging #PowellsArchiveProject. So, if you’re so inclined, grab that 50-book collection and tag Powell’s in your Powell’s themed snapshots—all while wearing your Powell’s by Powell’s book-scented fragrance.