Portland, OR was recently voted the best city in America for bookstores. The rare-books section at Powell’s—the largest bookshop in the U.S.—is worth the pilgrimage for these extraordinary selections.
De Bello Judaico
Flavius Josephus, $12,500
Bound in parchment and decorated by hand, the oldest book at Powell’s dates to 1480—30 years after Gutenberg invented the printing press.
Stephen King, $2,500
A flawless first edition of King’s 1974 debut novel, inscribed and signed by the author some five years later.
Sailing Alone Around the World
Captain Joshua Slocum, $2,000
Inside the 114-year-old book: two handwritten letters from Captain Slocum, the first man to sail solo around the globe, to naval historian Albert Gleaves.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
T. E. lawrence, $5,000
A special 1935 pre-publication printing of the true story behind Lawrence of Arabia, it includes a facsimile page of the original manuscript and four exclusive colorplates.
The Longest Day
Cornelius Ryan, $2,000
One of only 100 first editions of this military masterpiece, with an inscription from the author to none other than Eleanor Roosevelt.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.