Sunday, January 30, 2011
My Independent Bookstore
I've been a fan of Amazon for the last 10 years ever since I found out they do not charge for shipping and sales tax. And I do place several orders with Amazon every year, including the bulk of this year's Christmas shopping which a completed in a 1 hour session in early December. So today, in Pasadena, I went to Vroman's in Hastings Ranch and bought a couple art books and the kids each bought a book as well. In spite of me buying most of my books from Amazon, I do have a sense of loyalty to Vroman's, who I've patronized for over a decade and will do long after both Barnes & Noble and Borders go out of business. Vroman's has a very strong local consumer base in the Pasadena area and actually manages to operate the main store in the theater district and this offshoot next to Whole Foods off Foothill Blvd and Rosemead Ave. Funny thing about this much publicized financial problems for B&N and Borders is that they put the independent bookstores out of business when they first came out and now Amazon is putting both of them in the red. And yet, Vroman's, an independent since 1894 (yes, eighteen ninety-four) will outlive both B&N and Borders primarily because they provide what most of us book buyers want -- knowledgeable staff, great selection and strong community relations.