Pasadena Landmark Vroman’s, Southern California’s Oldest Bookstore, Celebrates 125th Anniversary

By Erik Pedersen
FROM: The Daily News

A nighttime view of Vroman's, Nov. 12, 2019. (Photo by Erik Pedersen)At Vroman’s bookstore, you can buy a book, attend storytime, meet an author or — on at least one special occasion — eat a piece of anniversary cake.

The Pasadena landmark, which calls itself “Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore,” is celebrating its 125th anniversary this month, which accounts for the cake on a recent Saturday. To mark the milestone, the establishment, which first opened in 1894, is dropping the word “bookstore” from its name. So going forward the, uh, store that sells books — as well as has a coffeehouse, a stationery store, community gathering spaces, and a soon-to-open wine bar — will just be known as Vroman’s.

And that’s just fine with the store’s president and CEO Allison K. Hill.

“When I think about Mr. Vroman’s original store, he had books, he had stationery, he had Kodak photographic supplies, so from the very beginning he wasn’t ‘just a bookstore,’” said Hill, who — full disclosure — wrote a books column for the Southern California News Group. “I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t think about the history of the store, because I can’t help but be incredulous about an individual having a really simple dream at the time, right? 1894. ‘I want to open a little bookstore’ and then to imagine that little bookstore growing into what Vroman’s is today and what it represents to people. It’s very moving to me — and kind of amazing.” Read Rest of Article Here

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