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2585 Willamette St
Eugene, OR, 97405
United States


The official online home of Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon.



Here you'll find coverage of our events in local publications, Staff Picks book reviews, Tsunami stories, and other miscellaneous words.

The Making of the Tsunami Books Mural

Scott Landfield


My name is Emily Poole, and I am the designer and painter of the murals at Tsunami Books that were installed in November of 2018 in celebration of the store’s renewal of the lease. I am a local artist as well as a member of staff at Tsunami. I have lived in the state of Oregon since 2016, having moved back to the best coast after graduating from the illustration program at Rhode Island School of Design.

When Tsunami store owner Scott asked me to do a mural for the front of Tsunami books, he told me I could do whatever I wanted: the scariest request an artist can receive. However, we decided on two things immediately: This mural had to be about the books, and it had to be about the community. To me, being first and foremost a wildlife artist, community is an entity that extends beyond its human members to include its larger ecosystem… and what that ecosystem is reading.

The long, horizontal format of the space I had to work with suggested the need for a shift or progression of some kind across the mural. I chose to work with the change of seasons in Oregon. On every hike up Spencer’s Butte or walk through the Friendly Street neighborhood gardens, I’ve taken photos of my favorite things that sprout, fly, and crawl. I dove into these archives to select the species of Eugene and the surrounding ecosystems that are visual signifiers of the cycle through the year.

For each panel of the mural, I also chose a small handful of books widely defined as classics, with an emphasis on American authors and Oregon and Northwest locals. As any book lover would suspect, this was an impossible choice. For every book on the mural there are a thousand that equally deserve to be there—dozens of hours were spent combing the store shelves, poring over book lists, crossing and uncrossing titles. The final selection is, I think, decently representative of a cross-section of this country’s best loved books.

And so: on the far left of the mural, winter opens into the deep woods with ferns, lichens, and a pacific wren calling high in the trees. Among the mosses lurk Sometimes a Great Notion and Crime and Punishment, two books that absolutely must be read in the wintertime.


Spring begins with the emergence of skunk cabbage, followed quickly by the bloom of wild iris and rhododendron. The cartoonishly bright and sprawling growth puts one in mind of Wonderland.


In summer, salmonberries and huckleberries ripen while lilies and beargrass bloom in the high mountains, and rowdy blue jays take over neighborhood feeders. There is no better time for a road trip with beat-up copies of On The Road and The Monkey Wrench Gang.


Fall arrives in a splendor of orange leaves, chanterelles and pumpkins ripen, and gaggles of turkeys wander through yards filled with sunflowers. As soon as it’s cold enough to camp under a blanket with tea for days on end, it’s time to start your second, third, or eighth reread of Harry Potter.

IMG_9447 2.jpg

The mural was painted on seven four foot by four foot panels of clear plywood, just barely small enough to squeeze into my home studio space. I began the painting process with a careful planning session to determine my color palette, maximizing my color options while minimizing the number of paint cans needed to do the job. I toured every paint store in town, collecting discounted house paint from the mistint racks. Then began a dedicated few weeks of painting, a heavy portion of which was spent researching book design and typography. The design of each book spine corresponds to an actual edition of the book; whenever possible, I attempted to reproduce the design of the first English language edition.

After a protective coating to shield the mural from the afternoon sun, the panels were installed by local carpenter Chris Cassidy. As I write this, during its first summer greeting customers by the front door, the mural is augmented by a bed of marigolds and echinacea below. Perhaps someday the painted shelves will expand onto another wall of the building to accommodate all of the excellent suggestions we’ve received for flora, fauna, and titles that should also be immortalized.


Scott Landfield

Painting by local artist Jordan K. Walker, whose original oil paintings of tree-filled Oregon landscapes are for sale here at Tsunami!

Painting by local artist Jordan K. Walker, whose original oil paintings of tree-filled Oregon landscapes are for sale here at Tsunami!

Bronwynn says:

The Overstory is a book as complicated and interwoven as the forests it champions. The characters, as varied as the kinds of trees, exist in their own biomes until something...fate? the will of the trees? brings them together to save their species and in turn, themselves. An eye-opener for anyone that has ever believed trees are sentient beings deserving of rights and protection.  Extra bonus: The Cascadia Bioregion plays a big role.

Scott says:

The Overstory, the most recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature (short-listed for the Booker Prize), is in part about a little town called "Eugene" in the not distant past. Fact or fiction? Many of us knew these people, if not their real names. A tree lover’s paradise of a book.

Emily says:

It's hardly going out on a limb to say that this branching story runs rings around the competition. There's a reason it's so poplar! If you're pining for a good read, you should definitely leaf through a copy.

Staff Read: The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Scott Landfield


Scott says:

Where were you, dear Reader, that April day in 1986 when the Chernobyl meltdown informed us of the suddenly horrific powers we depend upon for our every civil convenience? Do you know that the biggest library fire in American history occurred that same day at the Central Library of Los Angeles?  Rate these disasters as you will, you Book-Lovers, but do read Orleans' wholly accessible, ever-enlightening paean which, in her hunt to determine who or what caused the fire, clearly proves why billions of educated people, and a lot of the rest of us, hold the commonality of the library experience in reverent memory.   

A Bonus: this book is built! The full signatures held together with the finest modern glue in a unique sturdy laminated cloth and board binding makes this a book to read then pass on from one dear reader to another, with no due date.  Already Emily Poole, Jackie Melvin and I have read the store copy, and it still looks new.

Emily says:

When she finished her last book, Susan Orlean declared that she would not write another—and oh boy, am I glad she broke that promise. I’m ashamed to admit that The Library Book is my first read by Orlean, but her riveting, accessible, and vivid writing makes me want to get my hands on her entire oeuvre. The Library Book alternates steadily between a wrenching, almost murder mystery-esque account of the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire and a contemporary examination of the library’s role in our modern techno-culture. Every fact that borders on dry comes with a juicy side dish of story and narrative that will keep you hooked. If you’re not a fan of nonfiction, this book will convert you. If you are, this book is required reading.

Shirley Jackson: The Queen of Horror

Scott Landfield


by Emily

There’s a nip to these October nights, and it seems that the browsers at Tsunami Books are collecting larger and larger stacks in preparation for what we book people know as reading season—the time of year where we shut out the cold, become one with our cushiest piece of furniture, and get lost in the pages.

October also lines up in yards and grocery stores in rows of pumpkins and skeletons, and gets us all in the mood for a good old-fashioned spooking. It’s this time of year that I like to re-read my two very favorite books by Shirley Jackson, the queen of gothic horror. Her book “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” follows Merricat, her sister, and their ailing uncle—all that’s left of the Blackwoods after the unusual deaths of the rest of their family. A mutual mistrust between the Blackwoods and the townspeople has kept them in tense isolation… until strangers start to appear at the house. This deliciously eerie mystery will appeal to anyone who loves a spooky story where the rock of civilized society is lifted to reveal the monsters underneath.

For those who prefer their scary stories on the more supernatural side, there is Shirley Jackson’s greatest work, “The Haunting of Hill House.” In this novel, an investigator of the supernatural and several companions visit a notoriously haunted house to stay there and observe the phenomena within; however, the house begins to exert an unexpected and terrifying influence on its guests. By no means do I recommend reading this short volume by candlelight alone in an old house, unless you have more fortitude than I.

The Future of Tsunami Books, PART 13

Scott Landfield

Folks, the next 10 days will tell the Future of Tsunami Books. We have not given the building owners what they asked for, but we have offered all we have generously received, and will continue with this very special Community Process to deal with the doubling of Tsunami's monthly rent.. 
Please feel free to click the above contact link and we'll send you a Pledge Form and S.A.S.E.

One thing to keep in mind is that all Pledges will be viewed as loans, albeit unsecured. If we are allowed to continue here, we will include a Loan Agreement with a call for the turning in of Pledges.

Some fun planned for our next Show-of-Support for Tsunami Day:
Sunday, April 23, 4-7 PM: The NeverEver Band (Barry Burleson, Kathy Burleson, Kriss Crowley, Ralph Novak, David Bersch.) and Wild Hog in the Woods have kindly offered to play their hearts out in a Benefit for Tsunami. A Rent Party in the classic sense. Step away from the garden and come give a listen! Donations at the door.

Thank you very much, Scott Landfield, prez & gm, Tsunami Books Inc


Scott Landfield

Thank you, Folks, for Record Sales in both February and March!  
We're happy to work hard for your business. 
Please feel free to click the above contact link and we'll send you a Pledge Form and S.A.S.E. 

The Pledge Campaign continues to gain momentum. Tsunami has now received over $90,000 in Pledges! (Please, money NOT due at time of pledge) Well over 600 pledges have been turned in. Many pledges are non-monetary. Over 1700 Pledge Forms have left the building. We have "redacted:-)" the deadline. THE LATEST NEWS is that all Pledges will be viewed as unsecured loans. This has many benefits for all involved, and, if successful, will prove Tsunami Books a successful business in the one way all poor people have stuggled (financially). 

Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, April 4, 2017, our Letter of Intent to secure a new 5+ year Lease here at 2585/2595 Willamette goes in the mail. A well-respected business and mediation lawyer in the neighborhood has offered his services pro bono. We should know this month if the opportunity to continue AND grow at our home for 22 years is real. There is a lot of work to do, but the community continues to show its support in many beautiful ways.

Some fun planned for our next Show-of-Support for Tsunami Day:
Sunday, April 23, 4-7 PM: The NeverEver Band (Barry Burleson, Kathy Burleson, Kriss Crowley, Ralph Novak, David Bersch.) and Wild Hog in the Woods have kindly offered to play their hearts out in a Benefit for Tsunami. A Rent Party in the classic sense. Step away from the garden and come give a listen! Donations at the door.

An ambitious month of fun ahead. Check out our Calendar and come join us.…

Let's all have a Spring to remember!


Scott Landfield

The Pledge Campaign is gaining momentum, Folks: Tsunami has received over $65,000 in Pledges! (Please, money NOT due at time of pledge) Close to 500 pledges have been turned in. Many pledges are non-monetary. This Community Process continues to grow, taking both amazing and surprising shape.
Please feel free to click the above contact link and we'll send you a Pledge Form and S.A.S.E. (someone just requested 10!).

FYI, Our present building owners are requesting that we set-up a rent account containing up to 80% of the next 5 years' lease payments (at a 6 figure annual rent) for Tsunami to be considered for a new lease. To that end, it is our intention to come up with up to $400,000 in pledges and loans to insure the future of this community center for the cultural arts in Beautiful South Eugene. Please feel free to read all previous "Future of Tsunami Books" postings by clicking on the Words page of our website:

thank you


Scott Landfield

Folks, As of today, March 1, Tsunami has 30 days to turn in a viable proposal to lease these digs for the next 5+ years. We need you--preferably thousands of you supporters of Tsunami Books--to turn in Pledge Forms.  
One 11 year old girl pledged to continue to trade here if we stay open. A pastry chef pledged to create a chocolate-raspberry crepe big enough for everyone who came to the (Arun) Gandhi Talk and Benefit for Tsunami last week. A local restaurateur has pledged to offer us catering services for future events. A retired librarian, who can no longer read, and has short moments left before the FINAL Book comes due, came to the store and signed a pledge of thanks for the times we talked about trees. Someone else pledged to help me create a business plan. Someone else pledged to spread a thick layer of wood chips from this year's storms to help our 6 trees along 26th Street. People have pledged everything from simple thanks to many thousands of dollars. 

Folks, this is the moment that will decide the future of Tsunami Books. Please feel free to be a part of it. Drop by the store this Saturday, or anytime this month, to pick up pledge forms for the whole family. Or click this link to take you to the Pledge Page on our website .

Most of all, thank you for the opportunity to experience this heartful, generous lesson in Community process.


Scott Landfield

The Future of Tsunami Books, Part 9
(please feel free to share, now in tweet-able size!):

Today, Tsunami was fortunate to receive a $4000 pledge. The process continues! It is heartening to have support at many different levels.

The Future of Tsunami Books, Part 8:

Scott Landfield

The Future of Tsunami Books, Part 8
(please feel free to share):

Yesterday, February 8, was Show-of-Support for Tsunami Day, which marks the first of a 50-day process to try to secure another 5+ year lease at 2585 Willamette. Upwards of 500 good people came through. The first day pledge total was something over $33,000. As bookstore campaigns go, that is the best result I have ever heard for a first day (someone needs to get in touch with The New York Times:-). Please drop by the store and pick up a Survey and Pledge form, and maybe a few for your friends? Or copy one or a few off our website at

The process has been great so far. The organizing, volunteering, meeting, heartful giving. This is something we all need a little practice with for these trying days ahead. 

Thank you very much for your efforts! No predicting what will happen; it's all about the process for now.



Scott Landfield

(please feel free to share this):

Wednesday, February 8, 10 AM-9 PM:  
Show-of-Support for Tsunami Day.

The Lease for Tsunami Books is up June 30, 2017. There are other major business concerns that want to take over this property beginning July 1, 2017. We want to keep our Community Bookstore and Cultural Center growing here at 2585 Willamette Street in beautiful South Eugene, but do not yet have the financial resources to stay. We have asked for, and kindly received the opportunity to deliver a proposal to the building owners for a minimum five-year lease. The deadline is March 31. At the very least, the rent will double. 

On December 28, 2016, a Public Meeting was held. Thirty-nine people participated. Since then a growing number of motivated members of the Community have stepped up to help, and after five meetings a highly creative plan is being formulated. To that end, WE INTEND TO RAISE +/- $400,000 BY MARCH 30TH TO SECURE A NEW FIVE YEAR LEASE WITH OPTIONS. 

The key question: Is there enough support from the Community that is Tsunami Books to energize this movement? To help us find out, please drop by the Bookstore, even for a moment, on Wednesday, February 8, from 10 AM-9 PM. That’s the day we’ve picked as Show-of-Support for Tsunami Day. We’ll be taking a head count, and we’ve got a very simple 4-question form we’d like you to fill out, with copies to share with your friends. Volunteers from the ad-hoc committee and Scott (prez and gm) will be here all day to answer your questions and listen to your ideas. The newspapers, tv, and radio are all being notified. Let’s share a laugh and a tear of joy, and get on with the effort to make our own good way in this crazy new world.

Thank you.



Scott Landfield

The Future of Tsunami Books, Part 6
(please feel free to share this):

An initial "Public Meeting" about the Future of Tsunami was held on Wednesday, December 28 here at the Bookstore. Approx. 35 people, ages 4 to 70+, participated in statement of facts, q & a, and discussion. 
Basically, the Tsunami Books Lease is up come June 30, 2017. It is possible to acquire a new lease, minimum 5 years, at a considerable increase in rent. How to guarantee the rent is the question. The answer will likely need to appear in January if Tsunami is to continue at its present location.

The meeting lasted just under 2 hours. No one left. Many folks considered it a very good first meeting. A general email group named "The Future of Tsunami" was formed (all emails kept private here at the bookstore, group messaging through bcc), as well as two specific smaller groups: "The Future One" includes folks who have both interest and the financial capability to help plan and secure Tsunami's future at 2585 Willamette; "The Future Two" includes folks who are interested in a more general brainstorming toward a long-term, permanent home for Tsunami, and possibly other compatible for-profit and non-profit businesses. 

Please email me (Scott) at if you would like to take part in the general email (update) group, or either of the active sub-groups. I'll send you a facts sheet, an email form, and a statement entitled "Securing the Future of Tsunami." These you are welcome to share around.

It should be noted that a meeting for "The Future One" is scheduled to occur next week. Please email me if you might care to attend.

thanks again,
Scott Landfield



Scott Landfield

Wednesday, December 28, 7 PM:  Public Meeting regarding The Future of Tsunami Books. The Lease for Tsunami Books is up June 30, 2017. Will it continue at its present location, will it be moved, or will it dissolve? The facts will be presented, followed by a question and answer, and discussion period. An as-yet unscheduled second meeting-by-invite will be held to deal with specific finacial issues. Please email Scott at with questions/comments.


Scott Landfield

(please feel free to share)

Our 21st Anniversary Sale is now behind us.
Thank you very much, Folks, for the best Anniversary ever!

And some more good news, at least potentially:
A phone conversation on Tuesday, November 29, 2016
now leads me to think that another 21 years at a (remodeled) 
2585 Willamette is possible. Not easy, but possible.  
What will it take?:

For One: It's going to take a gathering of what are called "Angels;"
likely both individual Angels, and a community of Angels. If you are a potential "Angel," or know one, please feel free to email me, Scott, here at A meeting will soon occur, and it would be good if you would consider coming.

Number Two: Tsunami Books Inc needs a second full-time working owner. One (me, Scott Landfield), age 63, with no money, is not enough to keep this place growing as a Bookstore and Commuinity Center. Tsunami was conceived and built as a place for at least two worker/owners. Know someone who might like the idea of being a working owner of a Bookstore/Performance Center/Publishing House? Email is a good way to start.

Number Three: The time to get things moving is Now. Time is limited. People (angels) will need to come together, a plan developed, and a substantial business decision made.

Number 4: This fiscal year that (technically) began July 1, 2016 must be our best, both from a business, and from an events point of view. So far so good. Let's all have an especially good holiday season.

Folks, Tsunami Books is still in the running for another 20 years at this location. To be honest, I am shocked, pleasantly so, by this latest information. Certainly many people come by, both curious and hopeful. Personally, I'm not into hope, I'm into action. For now, I'll keep the information flow up-to-date using this Facebook Page, as well as our email list. And we'll have hard-copy information at the counter, so drop on by.  
Let's do something about the future.
thanks, sl


Scott Landfield

(please feel free to share)

Our Gift Certificate (Giftcard) Campaign ends August 3, so the time to pick one up is Now.

Crowd Funding through the purchase of Gift Certificates (Giftcards) goes well. Many folks are coming in and buying them across the counter, and Tsunami's Indiegogo site has already garnered almost 1300 views.

Most important is the outpouring of good feelings, well-wishes, and ideas. In particular, there are already exciting ideas beginning to percolate outside the store that are seeping in. It is clear that this year beginning July, 2016 needs to be the best yet for Tsunami Books, both as a very small business and, more important, as a center for all the communities who use this Bookstore as a backdrop for their activities and events.



Scott Landfield

(please feel free to share)

Now is a great time to purchase Tsunami Books Gift Certificates!
We want to sell 200 Giftcards (Gift Certificates) in 30 days.

Drop on by the store, or just click on our convenient, 
Tsunami Books Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign.
Use them anytime, on ANYTHING in the store,
including ticketed music, theater, and poetry performance events.

The Perfect Gift for the Lover of All Things Tsunami:

Help Tsunami Thrive on Willamette Street!

Scott Landfield

Check out our Indiegogo campaign and pick up a gift certificate or some! It's the perfect way to get prepared for the holiday season long before the busy-ness sets in, or show a special someone how much you appreciate them, or even to treat yourself—you've been working hard, after all, and you deserve it! Plus, you can help us get our shelves stocked for a great year coming. Thanks so much.

The Future of
Tsunami Books, Part One
(Please Feel Free To Share)

Scott Landfield

Folks, this begins an ongoing update and discussion regarding the above theme. It will be Included in all monthly emails, and will be updated regularly on our Facebook Page  and website, at These writings will all be initiated by me, Scott Landfield, 20 years a working owner, and de facto Mayor of Tsunami Books. It should be understood that, without new and exciting, if presently unknown help from outside the Bookstore, keeping Tsunami Books alive and thriving beyond July 1, 2017 is impossible.

Tsunami Books has been at 2585 Willamette Street in beautiful South Eugene for 21 years. Last year at this time we signed a two-year lease extension after completing a Crowd-funding Campaign ( ) that allowed us to cover a part of the increased costs of keeping this working-class bookstore alive and healthy, if still poor. Sometime soon after July 1, 2017 there are plans to level this building, tentatively replacing it with a two-story retail building, with rent at approximately double the present rate.

This news saddens a lot of good people. Tsunami has often been called “an Institution”; certainly the 3500+ events we’ve hosted, all surrounded by books shelved on precious recycled lumber, have created an exquisite patina like, well, simply like nothing else. “A big umbrella for the arts, and the human heart,” to paraphrase what store-partner Dave Rhodes once said when he was active in the biz. Frankly, as a mature, healthy 62 year old man, it is frustrating that now, when I am finally beginning to make enough of a living to dig myself out of the hole I leaped into when I bought into this then-one-year-old business, it is also very possibly time to call it quits. Certainly, if I look at this alone, that is the only option. That’s why the time has come to somehow open the discussion to the community. I have no idea what that means, but if successful will likely include meetings, significant start-up fundraising, possibly finding a new home, possibly new ownership, and most certainly an expanded vision of this “Institution,”

One thing is absolutely certain: Even though Tsunami Books began with no money, and still has no money (literally, not figuratively, no money), these times a’comin’-- the retail sales, the events, the hearts touching hearts--between now and July 1, 2017 need to be the best ever here at the Bookstore. If they are, opportunities for a future life may somehow materialize. And if a next incarnation of Tsunami Books does not materialize, then it’s all the more important that, beginning today, this Bookstore needs to thrive in all ways. Not to go out in a blaze of glory, but to continue the blaze of glory, and see where it leads.