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April 17, 2021

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Powell’s to reopen more rooms at its flagship City of Books store

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PORTLAND — Readers who love wandering the aisles at Powell’s City of Books are about to get more room to roam.

Powell’s Books said in a statement Thursday that it will expand operations at its flagship store on Burnside Street starting today , reopening the Purple and Red Rooms on the store’s second floor to public browsing.

“Since the holidays, we have continued our focus on expanding store operations. And so, it is with great excitement that we’re taking this next step towards fully reopening our flagship store location. We can’t wait to see customers wandering the aisles once again in our Purple and Red Rooms,” Powell’s Books owner and president Emily Powell said in the statement.

The Purple and Red Rooms contain titles on history, health, politics, religion, games, business, psychology, languages, travel and more.

The third-level Pearl Room, which includes the store’s author events space, remains closed.

Powell’s City of Books hasn’t been fully open since last March. It reopened its first floor in August in what it called at the time an “experiment.”

Since the pandemic began, the company has gone from five retail stores to three, permanently closing its Portland International Airport store and kiosks as well as its Home & Garden bookstore on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. Its general bookstore on Hawthorne and its Beaverton store at Cedar Hills Crossing remain open.

The curtailed operations resulted in a 2020 that Emily Powell called “excruciating.”

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