As the years have passed by, my life has been punctuated by a number of thought-provoking, transformative works of literature. When I heard about Cameron’s Books, the oldest bookstore in Portland, I knew I had to stop by 336 SW 3rd.
Cameron’s Books wasn’t just your average, run-of-the-mill used bookstore. Sure, it had that musty smell that characterizes most bookstores, and the racks were cluttered with books arranged in a way that was only understood by the surly-on-the-surface manager, but something about this place was magical.
I browsed through the shelves and I was twitterpated, enamored by the brilliantly-colored covers and book spines. These books were more than old paper and ink, they were artifacts and each one had a sensational history. I could just tell.
Eventually, I came across the extensive collection of old magazines. When I say, “old,” I mean issues of Vogue, Life and Fortune that date back to the 1920s. When the manager informed me that many people buy these magazines as unique gifts, a light bulb went off.
I asked him if he had a publication from the date of my mother’s birthday. He checked his stock, and presented me with an issue of Life from January 16, 1956. Anita Ekberg from the movie War and Peace, one of my mother’s all-time favorites, graced the cover and immediately I felt like fate had brought me through Cameron’s doors.