by Elise Foster

The family atmosphere, the coziness of all your favorite books in one place, and the amazing staff there to help with selections— that is what Vroman’s Bookstore is all about. This family owned business located in Pasadena, California, was founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman.

It’s original location is only a few blocks away from where it is located now. When Vroman came to Pasadena in the late 1800’s he sold his entire book collection to raise money so that he could open his own store. An interesting part of the bookstore’s history is that not only did Vroman sell books but he also sold photographic supplies as well. Vroman, himself, loved photography. Once the store achieved a substantial revenue of profit he was able to return to his love of book collecting. His book collection was donated to Pasadena Public Library after his death.

This incredible bookstore is a very important part of Pasadena. It has always stayed independently owned by the Vroman family. It has been able to expand multiple times, even opening a second bookstore as well as a stationary supply store. Vroman’s bought out another independently owned bookstoreBook Soup, after it’s original owner passed away and was about to close its doors forever. Vroman’s was once the largest independent bookstore west of the Mississippi; now it is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California.

Vroman’s is known for being very involved in philanthropy. It even supplied books to Japanese American’s during WWII. Today it supports a many causes and aids through food drives, gift drives for the holidays, free HIV testing, pet adoption days, support of the girl scouts and boy scouts troops, donates to charity raffles, school book fairs, and it’s own Vroman’s Gives Back program. A portion of customer’s purchases go to a local organization of their choice. As of this today Vroman’s has donated over $614,298.62 on behalf of their customer’s.

This family centered business provides many events within it’s doors. It has story time for different age groups. It has a featured author day next Saturday also. One of the most exciting events they hold is their discussion group. This allow for an open and honest communication arena for both readers and writers to share thoughts, opinions and ideas regarding their favorite and most current books and even the events going on in the world. On the 26th of this month they are featuring a discussion with a high school student who is the editor of her school newspaper and the experience she has dealt with by having a Korean background while living in America.

This great bookstore features local author’s as well as popular known titles. They have a huge variety of books for customers to choose from. Their staff is welcoming and helpful in anything the customer needs. Everyone who walks into this book store leaves happy and satisfied on a deeper, literary level. It is a great place for families and friends to come enjoy and profess their love of books.

Images courtesy of Vroman’s Bookstore

Elise Foster is currently a senior at Ferrum College majoring in English with a concentration in literature and minoring in Journalism. She is a publishing intern for Author’s Boutique. She is working towards becoming a publisher in the Children’s literature field.