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Praise for Booktique? It's fact, not fiction

Poll finds a lot of love for the Lake Oswego shop, which has helped raise $2 million for the library


REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Nancy Niland, president of Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, credits the organization's volunteers for making Booktique one of the most unique bookstores in the Portland area. From left: Rhonda Allen, Essie Smith, Niland, Barbara Gold and Melba Stiles.Lake Oswego’s Booktique is often referred to as a hidden gem, but book lovers throughout the metro area apparently know exactly where to find the little shop on Mercantile Drive.

In a recent survey of Portlanders’ favorite bookstores, Booktique finished in fourth place — ahead of Powell’s City of Books and other larger and more prestigious bookstores.

“This poll shows the uniqueness of our bookstore,” says Nancy Niland, president of the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, which runs the shop. “(Booktique manager) Margaret Ogren does such a great job with the volunteers — sorting, pricing, curating collections and making the Booktique more visually inviting to book buyers.

“As a stand-alone bookstore,” Niland says, “Booktique is stellar. What the people there do to support our library is priceless.”

In fact, the sole purpose of Booktique is to support the library and promote its role in the community by enhancing its collections and programs when public funds aren’t available. Since 1953, the Friends have raised more than $2 million through dues, donations and sales at Booktique, which opened in 1991.REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Volunteer Barbara Gold helps customers find exactly what they want at Booktique.

The shop is staffed by more than three dozen volunteers, offering not only books but also puzzles, tapes, records, DVDs and audiobooks. Paperback book prices start at 50 cents, hardbacks at $1.

Twice a year, the nonprofit Friends organization makes cash donations to the library. For the past 10 years, it has been a driving force behind the city’s Lake Oswego Reads program, sponsoring the giveaway of free books and visits to Lake Oswego by the authors of each year’s selection.

With this year’s Lake Oswego Reads currently underway, Niland says the results of the bookstore poll couldn’t have come at a better time. “What I’m trying to do as the new president is educate the public about the Friends of the Library,” Niland says, and shining a light on Booktique certainly helps that effort.REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Nancy Niland, president of Friends of the Lake Oswego Library, checks out the inventory at Booktique. The bookstore has helped the nonprofit organization raise more than $2 million.

So does an increased presence on Facebook and Instagram. More than 100 new members have joined the Friends in just over a month.

“We’re getting a lot of young families with young children,” Niland says. “We’re getting a different demographic than we ever had.”

Booktique is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays. The shop is located at 3975 Mercantile Drive, Suite 225.

For more information about the store, call 503-699-9109 or visit friendslol.org/Booktique.html. For more about Friends of the Library, go http://www.friendslopl.wildapricot.org.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..