The historic Vroman’s Bookstore opened in 1894 and is still a favorite with the locals. Beyond their large selection of books, they still have an old-school newsstand, an excellent café, and a gift shoppe with home décor, locally made cards, and literary trinkets. The list of events they host includes lives music, book clubs, classes, story time for kids, and lots of guest lectures and book signings.
My favorite thing about Vroman’s is how knowledgeable the staff is; hand-written employee reviews are shelved with the books, and they’re also happy to provide recommendations. Whether you’re shopping or looking for a place to get a snack and relax, Vroman’s is the place to be.
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Indie Bookstore Done Right
Vroman's is the beating heart of this indie corner of Pasadena. They have great variety and employee recommendations posted beneath many of the titles—I love this about Vroman's, as it really enhances the browsing experience. You'll also find a thorough cooking section and a travel section. After you've found something you like, there's a small but comfortable cafe at the edge of the bookstore where you can enjoy your find over a latte. Though the books are a little pricey, they're certainly a step above chain bookstores.
Stop by before catching an artsy foreign film at the Laemmle, or before a nice dinner at Settebello (Blaze is good, but Settebello is better).