Reading Frenzy ~ An Independent Press Emporium

Big News from Your Faithful Proprietress!

Spring 2016

Dear Readers:

As some of you have heard, I'm running for Portland City Council this year! For the past 21 years I've been doggedly pursuing my mission to support and foster independent, small press, and self-published media in order to amplify underrepresented voices through my bookshop Reading Frenzy. I'm proud of my accomplishments -- keeping the shop afloat through many challenges, pulling off 500 free literary and art events, and co-founding the Independent Publishing Resource Center to name a few -- but while I love being a bookseller, for several years I've had a nagging feeling that it wasn't enough, so in the last decade I've done stints on the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, the District Parent Involvement Committee, I co-founded the Special Education PTA of Portland, and more recently I've become deeply involved in affordable housing advocacy and renter's rights. 

Six months ago I had no intention of running, but when no viable candidate emerged who is strong on our most pressing issues, I felt compelled to step up. I'm running because Portland is not working for its low and moderate income residents, including at least half of its renters (that's nearly 150,000 people!). It's not working for those of us who live in neighborhoods that lack basic amenities like sidewalks, curb cuts, and crosswalks. And this month we learned it's not working for those of us who are breathing in extraordinarily high levels of cadmium, arsenic, and other toxins due to poor environmental regulation. 

Portland is facing a crisis of disconnection, and we need representatives who are directly in touch with the challenges that the majority of our residents are facing, not just career politicians and political insiders. As someone from a working class background, who is a small business owner, a single parent, a renter, and a longtime activist and advocate for a variety of causes, I definitely fit that bill. Besides, one of our most beloved Mayors was a bartender -- I don't think a bookseller is too much of a stretch for City Commissioner!

I've been surprised and heartened by the outpouring of support for my campaign. While I know this will be an uphill battle, and the odds are against me unseating an incumbent, I'm fighting hard to get to the primary and to keep the conversations focussed on vital issues like affordable housing, living wages, the environment, and equity across our communities. If I don't win this time around, I'll be back at it two years from now. 

We've raised over $10,000 so far but have another $90,000 to go before the May primary. Here's how you can help: 

  1. Make a campaign contribution here
  1. Check out my website and sign up for our mailing and/or volunteer list here!
  1. Like and follow my campaign on Facebook.
  1. Share our website and Facebook page with your friends!
Thank you in advance for any support and encouragement you can give. Let's make Portland work for ALL OF US!




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The Ledger

Picks for Black History Month

February 09, 2016: As a radical bookstore, we carry the work of women, people of color, and other marginalized groups throughout the year, but we're proud to have these notable books and zines in our shop this February in celebration of Black History Month.

  • March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell — A graphic novel memoir that goes behind the scenes of the some of the Civil Rights Movement's most pivotal moments.
  • Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle a Obsession edited by Elizabeth Benedict – A surprising, insightful, and at times funny collection of essays that examines every aspect of women's lives.
  • The Hip-Hop Board Book by Martin Ander — A charming, colorful picture book featuring events and objects relating to hip-hop culture.
  • A de Activista by Martha E. Gonzalez and Innosanto Nagara — A Spanish ABC board book made for the next generation of progressives!

  • Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl — A great all-ages book highlighting influential and groundbreaking women, from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston.
  • Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time by James Kilgore — A comprehensive yet accessible overview of the new Jim Crow and America's criminal justice system.

  • We Too Sing America by Deepa Iyer — A leading racial justice activist sheds light on the ongoing, state-sanctioned persecution of a range of American minorities.
  • Citizen by Claudia Rankine — A bold account about being black in modern America.
  • The Prince Zine by Joshua James Amberson — Everything you need to know about the activist, musician, and Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

  • Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices From Solitary Confinement by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd — A dozen firsthand accounts about life in solitary confinement.
  • When We Fight, We Win!: Twenty-First-Century Social Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World by Greg Jobin-Leeds and AgitArte — A vivid, creative, and inspiring book about hard-fought battles for social change with tips for activists to build powerful movements.
  • Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism edited by Cindy Milstein — Thirteen insightful essays that serve as a toolbox for honing strategies and tactics of resistance in the face of white supremacy.

Reading Frenzy's Staff Favorites from 2015

December 15, 2015:  


Nikki's Favorite Books from 2015:


Nikki's Favorite Zines and Mini Comics from 2015:

  • Working it 1-4, edited by Red Bickers

  • The Lesbian Lexicon by Stevie Anntonym

  • Bloody Pussy: A Feminist Rag by the Blood Sisters

  • Chicago Haunts by Jillian Barthold

  • A Miniature Bestiary by Sera Stanton

  • The Swan the Vulture by Anna Vo

  • All of Them Brujas by Rebecca Artemisia

  • Astrology for People who Hate Themselves and Everyone Else by CC Teakell

  • The Prince Zine by Joshua James Amberson

  • That's Not Okay: Boundaries for the Conflict-Avoidant by Breeane Boland


Books That Helped Me Smash the Patriarchy in 2015:


Ian's Favorite Comics and Books from 2015:

  • Mowgli's Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen

  • Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

  • Crickets #4 by Sammy Harkham

  • Fante Bukowski by Noah Van Sciver

  • Dressing by Michael Deforge

  • Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

  • Black River by Josh Simmons

  • Step Aside Pops by Kate Beaton

  • Super Magic Mutant Academy by Jillian Tamaki


Adam's Top Ten Books for Fighting Creative Block:

  • DIY Magic: A Strange and Whimsical Guide to Creativity by Anthony Alvarado

  • Women Street Artists of Latin America by Rachel Cassandra and Lauren Gucik

  • Found Magazine: The Early Years

  • Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater by Eric P. Nash

  • Drawing is Magic by John Hendrix

  • Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists by Danielle Krysa

  • Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

  • Beautiful Birds of the World by PIE Books

  • Map Mania by PIE Books

  • Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders


Nicolette's Favorites from 2015:

  • The Wilds by Julia Elliott

  • M Train by Patti Smith

  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

  • Illuminating the Stars Coloring Book by Alicia Justus

  • The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine by Janine Vangool

  • Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem and Mourning Photography from the Thanatos Archive

  • Gift by Lizz Lopez

  • Sullen Girl: Poems About Fiona Apple by Kiki Nicole

  • Ghost Guide by Rebecca Artemisa

  • Selfish Vol. 1 & 2

What's New in the Shoppe

creative  prince




What's New in the Shoppe

icecrea  tiz

touching  yacht

Comics & Zines:


What's New in the Shoppe

rad hand

fire  utopia

Comics & Art Zines



Kid's Books

Small Business Saturday & Indies First at Reading Frenzy!


This Small Business Saturday, Reading Frenzy celebrates the 3rd annual Indies First by hosting local authors as special guest booksellers throughout the day!

This year our honorary booksellers will be Delphine Bedient and Michelle Overby (Two Plum Press) from 11-3, Joshua James Amberson (Antiquated Future) and Sara Renberg from 3-5, and Nicole J. Georges (Invincible Summer, Calling Dr. Laura) and Ponyo the chihuahua from 5-7! We're also hosting the release party for Nicole Georges' Invincible Summer calendar from 5-7 — and yes, Ponyo will be available for petting and photos!

Each guest bookseller will have their own books for sale as well as hand-picked recommendations. To learn more about Indies First, check out this year's spokesperson Cheryl Strayed's letter to authors.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

What's New in the Shoppe

Current Event Image



More Recent Additions:


Currently Showing

 - SUNDAY, JULY 31st

Golden Hour

New Work by Caitlin McDonagh

Golden Hour is a body of work inspired by the transition between day and night, night and day. The quiet moments when things pause. The dreamy states where things rejuvenate and rest. These paintings explore the cycles between waking and dreaming, and the beings who occupy, grow and live within them.

Caitlin McDonagh is a self-taught visual artist born and raised on Vancouver Island, and currently resides in Powell River, BC, Canada. She creates intricate illustrative works that are deeply inspired by folklore, storytelling, traditions and architecture from various real and unreal sources. McDonagh’s medium of choice is acrylagouache paint which allows for fine opaque detail and transparent washes while maintaining vibrant colours.


Upcoming Events


The Funeral Papers

Reading and Signing with Josh Gross

More info coming soon...



Reading & Signings with John Jodzio

More info coming soon...

Events in July 2016

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