Vroman’s Bookstore

Are you tired of going to Barnes & Noble and shopping for books at the grocery store? Read on to learn more about Vroman’s Bookstore and other sites in Pasadena, California.

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You won’t believe the selection of books in this independent bookstore, a shopping experience unique to Southern California. Vroman’s Bookstore is the oldest and biggest store of its kind in the Los Angeles area. At Vroman’s, you’ll find a book for any taste, and you’ll have the opportunity to attend events, meet authors, enjoy trivia nights, and go to launch parties. The store was awarded Publisher’s Weekly Bookseller of the Year in 2008 and has hosted Bernie Sanders, Ray Bradbury, President Bill Clinton, Anne Rice, Joan Didion, Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, Upton Sinclair, and more.

Adam Clark Vroman, the founder of Vroman’s Bookstore, was originally from Illinois before coming to California and selling his book collection following the death of his wife Esther. Eventually, he opened his bookstore in 1894. He is also well-known for his photography of Native American tribes in Arizona and New Mexico, in which he took portraits in a respectful manner. Vroman was also fascinated with taking photos of American western landscapes.

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Photo Credit: http://www.vromansbookstore.com/files/vromansbookstore/interior.jpg

Vroman left a legacy of giving back to the community. During the second world war, he took books to Japanese Internment Camps in California, even when armed guards tried to stop him with firepower. Additionally, he worked at mission sites, assisted with opening the Southwest Museum, and was a part of the Pasadena Public Library project.

Today, the owner of Vroman’s Bookstore is the great grandson of one of the employees who Vroman left the bookstore to when he died in 1916. This independent bookstore is still family owned, and today the company has two bookstore locations, two smaller locations in the Los Angeles Airport, and the company acquired the independent bookstore Book Soup in 2009 (located in West Hollywood).

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At Vroman’s, you’ll find books, specialty pens and stationery, cards to send your loved ones and friends, and many types of gifts. The store is located at 695 E Colorado Boulevard, and proceeds from every book purchase go towards a charity of the customer’s choice. Furthermore, through Vroman’s Gives Back programming, the store hosts events for community fundraising. Past events have included HIV testing, raffles, pet adoption, book fairs, support for girl scout troops and more. The store puts on more than 400 events for the community annually and has raised $655,998.52.

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While in the Pasadena area, be sure to visit these sites as well:

Pasadena City College Flea Market

Norton Simon Museum

Old Town Pasadena

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