If one thing has remained true to the founders of Overcup Press, it’s the magic of an original, beautifully handcrafted printed book. In the digital age as many publishers turn to ebooks and podcasts, Overcup Press has remained true to its roots, independently producing an array of titles focused on literary nonfiction, art, travel, design and epicurean topics. We caught up with co-founder, Rachel Bell, to tell us more about Overcup Press.
What inspired you to create Overcup Press?
Overcup Press got its start when our publisher, Patrick McDonald, was accepted in the Portland State University Master’s in Book Publishing Program. As a lifelong lover of reading, once he graduated, the next logical step was to publish books. He teamed up with his wife, Rachel Bell, who had previously worked in magazine publishing, and Overcup Press was born.
When we started Overcup, people were starting to turn more and more to digital formats, so we focused on publishing print books that were beautiful, full of images and needed to be held as physical books. While some of our most recent titles are available as eBooks, we still have a strong personal preference for printed books.
If you had to pick your favorite book what would it be?
This is like asking us to select our favorite child. We definitely have books in our collection for every reader on your holiday shopping list, starting under $20. Looking for a small gift for a Portlander on your shopping list – we encourage you to consider Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People: Portland’s Bridges and a New Icon by bridge architect Donald MacDonald. With a lovely linen cover, this smaller sized book is portable, and memorable at $17.99. With dozens of MacDonald’s hand drawn sketches that were used in the planning process, and a nice history of all of Portland’s bridges, this is a sure gift-giving hit of the season.
We also encourage readers to get to know our most recent title, Ground Truth: A Geological Survey of a Life by geologist and writer Ruby McConnell. A graduate of Portland’s Lincoln High School, Ruby grew up in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, learning to love the nature around her.
What’s on your holiday shopping list?
We’re buying as many local gifts as we can this holiday season. We’ve got our eye on the Shana Luther Hill Maxi Backpack for a family member, a Famous Legends tee for a friend, and a PDX Bitters Project Whiskey Bitters Adventure Kit for our favorite tippler.
Shopping local and celebrating communities is so important, even more so right now. What makes your community so special to you?
Portland is a place we’ve called home for over two decades. Many of our books tell stories of Oregonians. And most of our books are written and designed by people who live here. We feel connected to the community and the stories of people and place that define this city.
Why is supporting local important to you?
I grew up in a family of small business owners. From beer distribution to retail stores, to clothing manufacturers, she got to see first-hand that owning a small business is a powerful way to engage with the community. Since founding Overcup, we’ve met so many shop owners, makers and service providers who call Portland home. We support them because they are neighbors. They care about and are invested in seeing Portland thrive.