Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Place Where Lovers of Lit Feel at Home

The immense availability of bookstores in the greater Los Angeles area is so overly imtimidating that there is no need to settle for visiting a chain-run bookstore. Going to a Barnes and Noble used to be such a treat for me where I lived; a trip there meant a three hour drive to a bigger town. But now, visiting a new indie bookstore or a shop specializing in science fiction novels or comic books or a used bookstore where ever book costs a dollar has become the new standard. But, amid all these bookstores which would cause most literature lovers to drool, Vromann's Indie Pasadena Bookshop in Pasadena, California fills all the quotas of what it takes to make a great bookstore.

A visit to Vromann's does not require anything more difficult than pulling off the street in a new, trendy looking neighborhood on East Colorado Boulevard. Upon entarnce, expect to be greeted by a cart of the most intriuging books: and they're on sale. A grand, attractive display of the newest picks stands before a staircase, filling your mind with fancies of new books to read. It is when you round the corner of the stairs that you see the enormity of this place the first level devotes a section to all genres and non-genres.

And all the shelves promote books in a very attractive, interactive way. Readers feel that they are compelled to pick up each book for examination. Careful perusing is nessecary to see all the books which reside here. And there are more than books. Cute genre- corresponding gifts sit along the great reads. The travel section contains travel dictionaries, maps, games for travellers like playing cards, luggage tags, journals, photo albums, and postcards among books about travel itself, planning a trip how-to's, the greatest places to visit, humorous books about how to kill time in airports, and travel diairies.

The collection of books seems to be of many tastes; one may pick up a humorous book on cat care, a comic book made for kids with new cats, an illustrated how-to on cat care, a book of cat care for dummies, a manual on cat care, or any of the above combinations. The favorite literature of the staff is on display near the other books and their taste seesm to be of mostly indie literature.

But you're not done with the bookstore yet. Upstairs is a gift and stationary section with quirky items like Anne Taintor flasks which feature a pictuer of a 1950's housewife saying "I like imaginary men best of all." A children's section resides on this floor, too and seems a bit like a playground where budding readers can play with toys and peruse children's books.

Separate from all the merchandise, there is a large set-up of chairs and a small stage. Here every Sunday night, an author is invited for a book reading and signing. Featured authors have included many local writers, but also some more prominent names in literature like Ursula Heigi, author of Stones From the River.

What more could this place have to make readers happy, I ask? Armchairs, perhaps, and food and beds, so readers would have no reason to leave. Ever.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.