Welcome the Indie Bookstore Diaries!
I am so excited to start the Indie Bookstore Diaries. I love visiting and supporting Indie Bookstores. Every time I travel somewhere, I make a point to visit at least one Indie Bookstore in the area. There are so many unique, family owned places that are 50x better than your local Barnes & Noble. I wanted to start this series to share all of the cool Indie Bookstores that are around, and to encourage people to visit and support Indie Bookstores.
I am lucky enough to live in California where there are many Indie Bookstores, so I don’t have to go that far out of my way to visit one. Because I live in California, most Indie Bookstore Diary entires will be about places in California, but I do travel, so expect to see stores from other states and countries.
History & Location
Vroman’s Bookstore is no newbie to the Los Angeles Bookstore scene. It was founded back in the late 1800s by Adam Clark Vroman who was a book lover and photographer. After his death, the bookstore was left to his employees. Today, Vroman’s is Southern California’s Oldest and Largest Independent Bookstore, and is still owned by the descendants of one of the first employees. (Source).
Vroman’s is located on 695 E. Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, California. If you watch the Rose Parade, this is one of the streets that it goes through. I actually visited Vroman’s on December 31st, which was a couple days before the Rose Parade. If you find yourself in Los Angeles County, I highly recommend making a stop in Pasadena because there are several Indie Bookstores in the area in addition to Vroman’s.
Let me start off my saying that Vroman’s is HUGE. I was really surprised. It is larger than the Barnes & Noble that I typically go to for signing events, which is saying something. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to stay and wander around for a couple of hours because it was New Years Eve, but I plan on coming back again to do so.
They have an amazing selection of books, on a wide variety of topics. There were even sections with multiple shelves for Gardening and Coloring Books. Vroman’s also has sections of the store that are unrelated to books like the Home Emporium. Their selection of bookish related trinkets was amazing, and they carry numerous items from Out of Print, Andrew J. Bronzyna, and Jane Mount. You can do your shopping for almost anyone here.
If you are feeling lost in the store, don’t worry because there is a really amazing staff. They have a book information desk on the first floor, which also displays the upcoming events (which there are a ton of). Vroman’s is actually know for their events because they host multiple events most days of the week.
One of the things I liked most about Vroman’s was their recommendations. I love when bookstores have staff recommendations, and Vroman’s has a whole section that just has book recommendations. There are also card recommendations on shelves in other sections throughout the store.
The Young Adult section was amazing. I saw almost every Young Adult book that was on my TBR
. There were a good number of recent releases and oldies, they had a good deal of diverse books (substantially more than I see in store at Barnes & Noble), and they even had a specific section for YA non-fiction, which is something I’ve never seen before.
Because Vroman’s hosts a lot of events, they have a large selection of signed YA books. There were signed copies of books like Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven and What Light by Jay Asher.
There’s only one problem with Vroman’s, and that is if you are a Romance reader. There were only two shelves of Romance novels, and they weren’t tall shelves. It was shocking to me because there were so many large sections of books about topics I’ve never seen have their own section before. For example, Beverages had the same amount of shelves as Romance. But worry not Romance readers, there is an Indie Bookstore, not 20 miles away, that specializes in Romance…
What I Got
1. Something In Between by Melissa De La Cruz
2. Black Holes and Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna Levin
3. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson
4. Book Shop Pin― Made by Andrew J. Bronzyna)
5. Night Owl Book Club Pin ― Made by Andrew J. Bronzyna
6. Pride & Prejudice Temporary Tattoos― Made by Litpgraphs (not pictured)
Have you been to Vroman’s before? Comment and tell me what you thought.