Thursday, April 3, 2008

Vroman's

I realize this doesn't look like your normal bookstore. But Vroman's isn't your normal bookstore. It's Bookseller of the Year.

Yeah, I brag about Pasadena. But in this case I have Publishers Weekly to back me up.

Vroman's is our largest local independent bookseller. Their selection reflects a less homogeneous clientele than that of a chain store. It reflects Pasadena. It's ours, part of the community since 1894. You can study writing or crafts at Vroman's Ed, there's always an interesting author or speaker, and when you buy something, a percentage of your purchase goes to a local charity of your choosing.

Every kind of author from local success stories to past American presidents to international stars appears at Vroman's for book signings. Out front there's a newsstand and Zeli Coffee Bar. Out back is this pretty plaza where you can relax and read if there's nothing official going on. (The wires above are sparkly lights for night-time events.)

Vroman's thrives at a time when other independent bookstores are closing. I don't know enough about the book business to tell you why. But my guess is it's a combination of reasons too many to mention, starting with: it's not your normal bookstore.

10 comments:

Pont Girl said...

I love Vroman's!!! When I worked in Pasadena, I had to go at least once a week. Not only is a great book store, but also a wonderful stationery store on the second level. I miss going there.

Ken said...

Sounds like a real gem.

Destitute Rebel said...

Independent book stores used to be the best places there were, its nice to read about ones that are thriving in the corporate environment.

Petrea said...

Pont Girl, they've moved the stationery store to the adjacent corner, and now it's even nicer.

Yes, Ken, we're proud of it.

Same in Lahore, DR? Have you been invaded by the corporate giants as well?

Palm Axis said...

I can give you some reasons: they provide seating, facilities, parking and their stock is diversified. I love the place! But.. have you ever noticed the third floor dentist office across the street? Patients are on parade as the sit behind a giant glass window facing Zeli's. I don't think that would work for me.

Keith said...

Love Vroman's! I owe my signed book collection almost exclusively to their author events. Learned about and enjoyed many books thanks to Vroman's.

Petrea said...

Oooh, Palm, I haven't noticed. I will now, of course.

Keith, you are likely among many.

Katie said...

This sounds like an amazing bookstore! I hope they're able to stay in business in the age of Amazon. All the cool things they feature will help I'm sure. This adds another half day to my Pasadena visit!

Petrea said...

They don't seem to be having any trouble, Katie.

AraratDailyPhoto said...

Look at all those shapes and lines.