Vroman’s Marks 125 Years in Pasadena with Celebration of Crime Author Walter Mosley on Its Walk of Fame

Retailer drops the word "bookstore" from its name as it evolves

Published : Saturday, November 9, 2019 | 5:41 AM

Author Walter Mosley. Image courtesy Vroman's

Vroman’s will honor crime author Walter Mosley with a special presentation at the Vroman’s Walk of Fame, as the Pasadena institution celebrates its 125th Anniversary on Nov. 9.

The important marker brings in a new era as the multi-faceted store has announced it has dropped the word “bookstore” from its name.

Vroman’s has grown to not only sell many things other than books, but it has developed into an important community resource and meeting place over 125 years in business.

On Saturday, Vroman’s will honor crime novelist Mosley with a special presentation at the Vroman’s Walk of Fame. Past recipients have included Michael Connelly, Lisa See, and Los Angeles poet laureate Luis Rodriguez.


Read more about Vroman’s Bookstore Celebrates 125 Years of Its Special Relationship With Pasadena


President and CEO of Vroman’s Allison Hill said the company has never regarded itself as merely a seller of books, but instead a creative center to a vibrant community of customers.

“Sometimes you have to get out of your writing cave and be out talking to people and being stimulated,” Hill said. “We offer that to people, it’s something that’s different than an online experience or going to a store. It’s a very special role we play in people’s lives and in the community.

Hill oversees the two Vroman’s stores: The main store in Pasadena and the branch in Hastings Ranch; she oversees Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood and two pop-up stores at LAX, and two ecommerce sites.

Vroman’s offers programs, signings and events as well as coffee and a new wine bar for those who like to have a little glass of something as they socialize and chat over a read. The wine bar is set to open before the holidays.

She said customers asked “Where can I get a glass of wine nearby” and realized by adding the wine bar, it was a way to keep the people where they truly wanted to be instead of sending them down the street.

“I think our responsiveness when customers steer us in different directions, that’s been important also,” she said.

But Vroman’s still has a massive, 85,000 titles of books, in addition to a jewelry counter, a pen and stationery department, gift cards, candles, frames, t-shirts and more.

Hill credited the dedication of the employees for the Vroman’s legacy that continues for more than a century.

Vroman’s is located at 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.

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