Local Lit Lovers Rally for Vroman's Bookstore

The Pasadena landmark, our region's oldest independent bookstore, sent out the call and fans are answering: Support is needed, now more than ever.

Vroman's Bookstore/Sirinapa Wannapat-EyeEm

What to Know

  • "Vroman's needs your help to stay open" is the call to action
  • Ordering a gift card or shopping early for the holidays are suggestions
  • SoCal's oldest independent bookstore opened in 1894

When a place has been around for decades and decades, and a few extra decades on top of those, it can become an essential part of a region's fabric and core identity.

Which means that thinking about the future without the venerable venue in question is, well, frankly unthinkable.

Such is the case with Vroman's Bookstore, which opened in 1894, making it our region's oldest independent bookstore.

It's been a must-stop for Pasadena bibliophiles, and all local lovers of literary gems, readings, and cool gifts, in three different centuries now, meaning that, yes, it is as important to Southern California's sense of self as ink is to words printed on a page.

But every page-turner has some developments that can set even the bravest reader on edge. And such is the case with Vroman's, which is in the spotlight as September 2020 comes to a close: It has asked for the support and patronship of its fans around the region and beyond.

A new message on the bookstore's social pages, which follows a recent article in the Pasadena Star News, was forthcoming about the venue's situation: "Friends, the past few months have been the most difficult in our company’s 126-year history and Vroman’s needs your help to stay open. Here's how you can support your local indie!"

Ways to help are listed on the Sept. 28 post, including purchasing "books, gifts, and gift cards" at the store.

Vroman's is open, and has been for a few months, with curbside pick-up and limited capacity inside for in-person shopping.

Shopping for the holidays early, beginning in October, is also recommended, due to potential "shipping delays and printing shortages" caused by the pandemic response.

And sharing the word, via the hashtag #ShopVromans, as well as an eye-catching image that depicts the Colorado Boulevard-based store, are also part of the urgent request.

How many kids' books have you purchased at the large and ever-browse-able store over the years? And boxes of Christmas cards? Did you meet your favorite author at a reading? And did you get a chance to visit The 1894, the new wine bar that opened just months before the pandemic?

Shine your love upon Vroman's now, by spreading the word, ordering a gift card, or stopping by for some in-person shopping.

It's a true gem of a bookstore, one that has seen generations of Southern Californians deepen their connection with the written word, with big ideas, and with each other, too.

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