A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Browsers’ Reborn: Revival of a bookstore

Written April 20th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Bowsers Bookstore on Pacific Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon.

From the outside, Browsers’ Bookstore at 1425 S.E. Pacific Blvd. looks about the same. But step inside and you will be astonished at how the place has changed.

If you were in there in the last few years, you remember what it was like: Books everywhere, on the shelves of course but also in stacks on the floor and every other flat surface.

This was what it looked like when I paid a visit on Wednesday afternoon:

And this:

Abrin Richmond bought the business from Scott Givens earlier this year. The place was shut down for a while to cull and reorganize the merchandise and refresh the inside of the space.

About two weeks ago, Richmond opened back up.

Abrin Richmond in his bookstore on Wednesday afternoon.

It’s a used-book store with thousands of titles available, but there’s a also shelf of new books in front, and Richmond says he hopes to expand that part of the operation.

Givens continues to own the building. When I was there, the Albany Youth Orchestra was practicing in a back room.

The Corvallis store of Browsers’ has been closed, and for now Richmond runs the Albany store as a one-man show. Store hours are 10-6 Tuesday through Saturday.

Richmond is a graduate of West Albany High School and Oregon State University and worked for Givens for six years before taking over the business.

His experience shows. I asked if he had a copy of Orwell’s “1984,” and within seconds he came up with what appears to be a pristine, never-read copy of it. A bargain at five bucks. (hh)



13 responses to “Browsers’ Reborn: Revival of a bookstore”

  1. Carol Gascoigne says:

    Can’t wait to check it out !!

  2. Peculiarburns says:

    Wow! Thats niiiice!! I wanna get a coffee from Pacific Park, and stay all day!

  3. Tricia says:

    It is beautiful. Will be visiting soon.

  4. Sidney Cooper says:

    Support your local bookstore! Beats going to Portland or Eugene and the years have eased on by with many a good book from there. So glad they found a way to stay in our town.

  5. centrist says:

    I’ll be dropping by soon.
    Who else remembers when the building hosted a Shakey’s Pizza. One entrance for beer. One entrance dry.

    • Katherine says:

      Yep I remember good ol’ Shakey’s.
      Thanks though of reminding me of the name.
      I love a bookstore that is organized.
      Yeap gotta buy me some books.

  6. Dave Sims says:

    I worked there as a delivery driver for Shakeys Pizza when they had the VW bugs outfitted with ovens on the back. Who was the first owners of the book store?

    • Thomas Cutsforth says:

      The Covalt family were the first owners of the Shakey’s franchise in Albany. Then they became Izzy’s Pizza, named for Mrs. Covalt.

  7. Patricia Eich says:

    I haven’t been in for a long time. I’ll definitely go check it out, it looks great.

  8. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Yowzir! It’s for Browsers’ Thanks!

  9. Hazel Parsons says:

    Good deal. Love browsing a book store. Thanks re-opening.

  10. Jeny Taylor says:

    How exciting! I will have to go check it out!

  11. CHEZZ says:

    YESSS! Hope there is some seating here and there


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