A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”
– Brad Henry

Vroman’s Bookstore understands the importance of teachers in our lives.
With your help, we want to honor one of our community’s many outstanding
teachers by naming them our
2015-2016 Vroman’s Bookstore Teacher of the Year.
Nominate your favorite teacher by telling us why they deserve this award:
Have they made a difference in your life? Have they inspired your love of reading?
Do they go beyond the call of duty in their job? Do they make learning fun?

Whatever the reason, tell us why your teacher deserves this special recognition.

To nominate:
Send us a typed or handwritten essay of 500 words or less. (Must be legible.)
Include your name, email, phone number, and address, along with the teacher’s name, and their school information.

Teachers must be school teachers who are currently employed by a school (private or public)
in the Pasadena and surrounding areas.
Teachers may teach any grade, any subject.
Emails can be sent to: email@vromansbookstore.com
with the subject line Teacher of the Year.

Mail entries can be sent to:
695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101, Attention: Teacher of the Year.
You can also fill out a form online at vromansbookstore.com, or in the children’s department at the Vroman’s main store on Colorado and Vroman’s Hastings Ranch (3729 E Foothill Blvd. Pasadena.)
All submissions need to be received by Vroman’s Bookstore
no later than 9pm PST on 3/11/16.

The winner will be announced in April 2016 and an award ceremony
will take place in May 2016.

The Prize: The Vroman’s Bookstore 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year
will be awarded a $500 gift card and a commemorative plaque!
A $500 gift card will also be donated to the Teacher of the Year’s school or library and a $100 gift card will be given to the person who submitted the nomination.

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2016 New Year’s Resolutions

by Jessica on December 29, 2015

Written By Kelly

It’s that time of year again; time for reflection, reminiscing and resolutions. With 2016 just around the corner, here are some of the most popular resolutions, and items to help you keep them.

Resolution #1 : Get Healthy

The new year brings with it a fresh start that most take advantage of in order to get healthy. Stay on track with a Diet and Fitness Journal. Make healthier meals with the Veganomicon Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  Align your chakras with Everyday Yoga by Sage Rountree. And most importantly, stay hydrated with a Tahoe Dusk 17 oz Swell Water Bottle.

Resolution #2 : Travel

If travel is your focus for 2016, browse through You Only Live Once by Lonely Planet for inspiration on where to go. Or, if you already know where you’d like to voyage to, place specific guides like Hungry for Paris by Alexander Lobrano, give great tips on where to eat and what landmarks to visit. Stay stylish on your journey with a Passport cover and matching luggage tag, or a cosmetic bag from Lug. Log your journey in a travel journal or store your travel photos in a photo album, for easy access when you want to relive your adventures.

Resolution # 3 : Get Organized

Say goodbye to clutter, and hello to the organization! If 2016 is your year to get organized, take a step in the right direction with an agenda from Graphic Image. Post- its and highlighters help you color-code your life! Keep track of your tasks with an adorable patterned to-do list note pad. And of course, no organized desk is complete without a file box and cute file folders. Not pictured but also helpful in reducing clutter is Decorating with the Five Elements of Feng Shui by Tisha Morris.

Resolution # 4 : Write

The new year jump starts creative flow for a lot of people, causing many resolutions to revolve around creating. For those resolving to write more, Check out On Writing by Stephen King. Write everyday with 642 Things to Write About from San Francisco Writers Grotto. Light a candle for inspiration, like this “Do more of what makes you happy” candle from Quotable Candles. Write down your ideas in a “Writers Block” journal, cleverly made to look like a a block of wood. Outfit your journal with a Leuchtturm pen loop and Parker Jotter pen so you are never without means to write.

Resolution # 5 : Read More

With the new year comes new books being written and released, as well as new found love for old classics. For those who have resolved to read more, 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories will help you get a jump start. Take a tour of 100 novels with Jane Smiley in her book 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. Stay up late finishing that last chapter sipping some coffee or tea from a “Read More Books” mug. Mark your place with a  bookmark. This one reads “I like big books and I cannot lie!” Lastly, spread the joy of reading to others with a Vroman’s gift card.

If none of these fit your goals for the new year, come by and browse our New Year’s display for items that will help you with your resolution. Whatever your New Year’s resolution may be, we wish you a Happy New Year  filled with growth, happiness and amazing experiences.

 

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Vroman’s Annual After Holiday Sale

by Jessica on December 23, 2015

Written by Kelly

It’s that time of year again!


Vroman’s Annual After Holiday Sale is this Saturday, December 26th at both stores.

Holiday gift items are off 40% including:

 gift wrap,

boxed cards, and

ornaments.

Holiday books are 30%off.

 

Join us for some awesome savings and stock up on holiday items for next year!
Doors open at 9am. 

Happy Holidays!

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How to Pretend You Have Your Life

by Jessica on December 23, 2015

Written by Becca

Business Card Case Asst. $11.95

Even if you don’t have a business (or a job), you would be well served to always have personalized business cards on hand. A card with your name and email address in a nice font, and even a little motif if you’re feeling fancy, will make the whole networking thing a lot easier. Nothing says you’re a serious, ambitious person like a business card case. You’ll impress potential employers and intimidate the competition.

This case comes in a variety of colors and has the appearance of leather. The inside is lined with black velvet and it closes magnetically with an audible click. However, at $11.95 it is also one of our most affordable styles, perfect for anyone just starting out who’s trying to make a good impression.

*As a side note, make sure your email address isn’t something that’ll get you laughed at. Keep it simple and classy.

 

Tree of Life Boxed Notes $8.99

People always say that writing notes is a dying art. I think we can all agree that there are far more efficient ways of communication these days, which probably accounts for the decrease in hand written notes. Writing notes takes time and thought. But guess what? That’s what makes a hand written note so impressive. When was the last time you received a piece of mail that wasn’t a bill, magazine, or addressed to “current resident?” If someone receives a personal piece of mail from you, they’ll automatically think of you as an organized, thoughtful person.

Our Tree of Life notecards from Peter Pauper Press are a nice ecru and have a gold border. The perfect combination of simple and classy. You’ll get 14 cards with matching envelopes for just $8.99!

 

Orla Kiely Sixties Stem Address Book $16.95

In the age of convenience, it can seem unnecessary to write down people’s phone and address information. However, there’s something much more permanent and personal in the act of putting someone in your address book as opposed to your phone. It tells people that you are invested in your contacts and your life is organized and stable enough for that kind of permanence. They’ll know you won’t be the person who never responds to emails.

This book is compact enough to carry in a purse or bag, or it can stay at home in a desk drawer without taking up too much space. With room in each contact to add name, address, phone number, email address, and notes, this book packs a lot of information into a small space. It is a cloth-bound hardcover and the pattern adds an element of personality, but still looks sophisticated.

 

The Art of Conversation (Change Your Life With Confident Communication) by Judy Apps $17.95

Because, yes, conversation is an art and it’s an important one to master. In the first few minutes of talking to someone, we form a lasting opinion of them, something that can be a hindrance or a help. It should go without saying how important it is to be well-spoken and confident, especially if you’re trying to get your foot in the door.

This book will offer you nuggets of wisdom such as practicing breathing techniques in private before engaging in conversation. Going into a conversational setting prepared can help you come off as confident and knowledgeable. Conversation is where you leave your first, and sometimes last, impression, so make sure it’s a good one!

 

Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball $17.95

One of the most essential items in your “classy” arsenal is a sophisticated looking pen. When you have a pen that looks high end and isn’t disposable, it makes you seem reliable. It’s a status symbol that says you’ve made the commitment to maintain and refill your pen. You’ll suddenly be that person who can be depended upon.

The Pilot Metropolitan has a simple, yet classic look to it. It comes in a variety of colors including black, white, purple, taupe, silver, and even gold! While this particular model of pen comes in a ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen style, the rollerball is probably your best bet. Like a fountain pen, it has a cap, but doesn’t require the same level of maintenance. At $17.95, the Pilot Metropolitan is the perfect combination of sophistication and affordability.

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National Book Award Gift Guide

by Jessica on December 18, 2015

December 18, 2015

written by Jeremy

As the time for gift-giving approaches, there are few shopping excursions that feel as overwhelming as the one made to the local bookstore in search of gifts for the serious readers in our lives. Where to begin? Fortunately, the winners of the National Book Award were announced a month ago, and the list of winners (and finalists) is chock-full of gems guaranteed to satisfy the appetites of the most voracious readers. As this time of year invites us to slow down, we are given the opportunity to tackle books that request a lot of us – our full attention and engagement; vibrant and challenging books to be read in front of a roaring fireplace, or, here in Southern California, out by the pool. Here are a few of my personal 2015 National Book Award favorites, all available from Vroman’s.

The winner of the 2015 National Book Award for non-fiction is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. It’s a meditation on Black American life delivered in the form of a letter to Coates’s fifteen-year-old son and one of the most talked-about books of the year. Coates has seen considerable success as a journalist, penning the celebrated article The Case for Reparations for the Atlantic. It is with this keen journalistic eye that he examines his own life, the death of his friend Prince Jones Jr., and his dreams (and attendant fears) for his son. He takes us from the streets of Baltimore to the glittering campus of Howard University to Paris and New York City, allowing us to glimpse these places through his acute and encompassing gaze. His writing is by turns warm, fierce, funny, and despairing – and deeply personal throughout. Reading this book feels like looking at the world through a pair of binoculars designed not to draw the distance closer, but to allow us to see what is already right in front of us, hiding in plain sight. A crucial-feeling addition to any bookshelf, Between the World and Me functions as more than a hot lit-conversation topic – but as the source from which a fresh, timely, and vital kind of conversation can spring.

Everything you have heard about Hanya Yanagihara’s novel (National Book Award finalist) A Little Life is true: you will cry. A lot. This is not a drill. Bring tissues. Yanagihara has written what feels like a modern classic; it’s big, it’s heavy, it’s gloriously depressing. The book centers around four college friends (JB, Jude, Malcolm, Willem), most of whom are artists, trying to make a life for themselves in New York City. Yanagihara, with seemingly impossible precision and near-unbearable tenderness, renders a tale of friendship, love, redemption, and Russian-novel-sized suffering that spans years. By the end, the reader is on intimate terms with her characters – you have loved them, laughed with them, wept with them, disowned them, allowed them to find their way back to you. I would say this book is not for the faint of heart, but one could say that the mission of the book is to disprove the existence of such a notion. It is difficult to talk about A Little Life without talking about how it finds its way into one’s own life – suffice it to say that Yanagihara has written a delirious masterpiece that asks us to examine our relationships not only with our family and friends, but with our own secrets, and with our capacity for sweeping acts of kindness and care.

The National Book Awards serve also as a wonderful way to discover terrific contemporary poetry. I’d love to tell you about all of the finalists (and the stunning winner, Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis) but I promised to keep it to one. So let me tell you about Ada Limón’s Bright Dead Things. Don’t let the title fool you – these poems are alive and bursting and “ecstatic at the sight of you.” They cannot wait to tell you their secrets, to find a place in your heart to roost. Limón deftly bridges what seems like an impossible gap – that between grief and celebration. There is towering love here – romantic, familial, love of place and, perhaps most radically, of self (“I was there…. saying my name like I was somebody”). Her poems are marked (and linked) by gentleness, by the unstoppable warmth of the heart – “the huge beating genius machine” – and by what endlessly inventive forms that warmth and gentleness can take. Limón is one of the most exciting writers of American poetry today, and Bright Dead Things is a dazzling expression of love, loss, and the seeking, in each, of joy. “What the heart wants?” she asks, “The heart wants her horses back.”

Happy Reading!

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Hannah Papp Guest Blog

by Jessica on December 17, 2015

As the holidays approach and foods are roasted, packages wrapped and the season shifts its energy to that of decadence, abundance and indulgence, I now confess this in the tight lines of this page: a part of my soul gets so tired.  I ignore it, of course, but the subconscious thought pulsing its chilly undercurrent through my days is this: it’s hard to come up with great gift ideas and dazzling menus; it’s stressful to spend time on perfecting a bow or the dusting of sugar.  And I feel sorry for myself, as the matriarch of my household, to be the one in charge of all this damn cheer.

I love the moments at night, when the lights are twinkling and the house is quiet and the moment is devoid of the need to accomplish.  This is my time.  I sip a drink and nibble a treat and rest my weary body, nurture my strained soul.  I might even drink too much Drambuie and end up sneaking a cigarette outside, staring at the cold moon in the twinkling sky.  And here’s one of the things I wonder in those moments with the moon:

Why is it that this time of year, the time that demands the most of us spiritually, is tested and measured so much by the results of things so…so…unspiritual?  Are we only to be reminded by Hollywood movies (think Meet Me in St. Louis, Home Alone, Scrooged, It’s a Wonderful Life) of what really matters?  And then of course, the flip side to that coin: would it feel so wonderfully special if it wasn’t all decked, stuffed, lit and spread? I admit it, not to me.  My favorite thing is excess. I’m far more Ginger than Marianne, but for the fact that I probably think too much.

And thinking leads to reviews.  So, it’s no wonder that we end this time of the year with a review.  And, because this review is followed by resolve (New Year’s Resolutions), the truth of the matter is this: we’re not reviewing the year by looking for our successes.  We’re reviewing the year by looking at how we failed to meet our own expectations. We measure it against our hopes and dreams, find it lacking and then resolve to make the next year better.

Such highs. Such lows.

So, call me crazy, but despite all this, I absolutely love this time of year.  I can’t help myself.  I’m not even being sarcastic here.  Yes, it’s a mad dash and an intense amount of doing and to-ing and fro-ing, but I love the adrenaline rush of it.  I love the high-octane pulse of it.  It’s Daytona.  It’s the fourth quarter.  It’s the last round. There’s no other time of year so “Work hard, play hard.” The adrenaline junkie in me thrives. I love that everyone ignores their budgets and their waistlines.  I love all the damn smiling.  I even love the Muzak.  I love that it’s party, party, party and then hung over.  I mean – if it’s fun – it’s meant to go from one extreme to the other.  That’s why roller coasters exist.

This year was a big one for me.  I realized a huge dream and for the first time ever, it won’t be on my New Year’s Resolutions list.  This year, my first book was published (by Simon & Schuster, no less!). I am an author.  I have events.  I am so very la-dee-dah. Yet, I’m still the one dusting the sugar and tying the bows.  How unfair.  But what’s not unfair is this deep, deep sense of satisfaction.  I am a badass.  I did it.  I got this shit done. There’s no better feeling than knowing that something I wanted so badly has been had.  I feel like a different person.  I feel whole.  And now, when I look at the stars, I see they’re aligned just right.  Even the moon looks toasty warm up there.

Hannah Papp is the author of The Mystical Backpacker: How to Discover Your Destiny in the Modern World

Watch videos and learn more about her at http://www.hannahpapp.com

Learn more about the book (and access free guided meditations!) at http://www.themysticalbackpacker.com

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A Geometric Gift Guide

by Jessica on December 16, 2015

December 16, 2015

Written by Rebecca

The holiday season is upon us, and everywhere you look, there are ornaments, lights, garlands, bits, and baubles. Yes, the Christmas kitsch has arrived, and although I am a huge fan of said kitsch, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. This holiday season, Vroman’s is carrying a variety of items that can help you create a streamlined, cohesive look this winter, by incorporating geometric shapes and papercraft into your decor and gifting.

From our Book department, Mollie Makes Papercraft is a fun DIY book for making origami & paper-cutting crafts of all sorts. It’ll help you to cut down on clutter while keeping your creative juices flowing. It’s also a great holiday gift for anyone on your list with a crafty streak. Additionally, 1000 Chairs is an interesting look into a world you may not even know exists. Every page is filled with photos, designs, and a history of various chair forms throughout time.

Our geometric, copper ornaments are a great gift for anyone you know who is looking for a way to de-clutter their Christmas tree. We have a range of shapes, all complementary in design. Our mini paper banner would also be perfect for decorating a small tree, or for room decor in general. Also from our Gift department, the tabletop terrarium is the perfect display piece for succulents and air plants alike. It’s a clean, easy way to make small house plants stand out, and to create an atypical centerpiece for the holidays. Add some tinsel or small globe ornaments, and you’ll have some contained holiday cheer for your table or desk!

From our Children’s department, our paper suncatcher kit is perfect for the kid (or kid-at-heart) in your life. The layers of translucent papers provides a kaleidoscope to choose from in your window art. It’s a great way to channel some creative energy without the muss or the fuss. Additionally, we have a line of board and card games from Ridley’s Games Room that are packaged beautifully. I have pictured the Dominoes set, but we also have Charades, Backgammon, Chinese Checkers, and many more. This would make an excellent gift for anyone you know who enjoys new editions of classic games, or for someone who likes to learn new games.

Finally, Our Le Pens line gives the writer the opportunity for expression through ink color. Each of these colors speaks to a different occasion or recipient. They are all fine, felt-tipped pens. Use them to address your holiday cards, thank you notes, or the geometrically themed notecards pictured. Also from our Pen & Stationary department, we have a limited edition Retro 51 Rollerball pen, called the Twinkle. Its mixed metals & subtle holiday motif are the perfect complement to the season, and to bring the holiday spirit with you throughout the year. It writes smoothly, with the deeply pigmented ink that rollerballs are known for. As it is a limited edition, each pen is individually numbered by Retro 51 and is exclusively available starting this December.

 

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At The Movies

by Jessica on December 16, 2015

December 8, 2015

Written by Yvonne

Oscar season is coming. It is time for the best contenders for the Academy Awards to make their film circuit debut, and so I’ve decided to showcase several products that remind me of the red carpet.

First, is the limited edition Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock 3000 fountain pen. This special pen has a cap and barrel that is inspired by the stair-way effect from the movie Vertigo. The clip is in the form of a knife, which pays homage to one of his most famous movies, Psycho. The lettering from the cap ring is taken from a film roll. His portrait is etched onto the nib, which is made of 18K gold and rhodium-plated. The pen also comes with 925 Sterling Silver fittings with special effect lacquer on the cap and barrel and features a piston mechanism. The pen comes in a case shaped like a roll of film and an acrylic clapper board display.

Camera, rolling, ready, action.

Record your best memories on these sticky notes, which come in the shape of camera roll, complete with material reminiscent of celluloid. Each roll contains 80 frames/sheets.

Keep your pencils sharp with our camera pencil sharpener in the shape of a vintage hand crank camera. The sharpener has an adjustable knob and features a pull out tray for shavings.

Send a message with these boxed thank you notes, which resemble silent film frames. The envelopes come with a small motif at the top.

Write notes on stickets sticky notes in the shape of movie tickets. These come in four vibrant colors.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with our Compartes gourmet chocolate bars, in two unique flavors, Old Hollywood and The Drive In. The Drive In is a caramelized popcorn milk chocolate bar made from three different types of popcorn, while Old Hollywood is a dark chocolate bar with smoked sea salt. Packaging for Old Hollywood is accented with art deco patterns in black and white; The Drive In features popcorn spotlights and a sea of cars. Both are crafted in Los Angeles.

 

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Reflect. Write. Recharge.

by Jessica on December 16, 2015

December 1, 2015

Written by Sujey

Holiday season is here! Every year I’m shocked at how fast the year flew by, and although the holidays are my favorite time of year, they’re also the busiest! We all have last minute projects to get done, shopping, holiday events, family commitments, the list goes on…

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to stop for a minute, reflect and recharge before I can focus on everything that still needs to get done. Why not take a few minutes for yourself and jot down the things you’ve accomplished throughout the year; Focus on the good. Treat yourself to a 90-second thankful list; you’d be surprised how refreshing it is to put it all on paper. It can be short and sweet or lengthy and epic… whatever it is, write it from the heart.

Here are a few items around our Pens & Stationery department to help you do just that.

Grab a journal, your favorite pen, and light a scented candle… here are my top three!

Fine writing instrument: Visconti Rembrant Fountain Pen… GAWWWGEOUS! // Leather journal: White Goatskin by Graphic Image… A little glitz & glam never hurts // Scented Candle by Rewined in “Merlot”… YUM!

Fine writing instrument: Cross Edge Capless Rollerball… smooth & slick! // Journal: Sloane Stationery Handcrafted in England… lush cream paper with gilt edges and covered in lizard embossed hardcover, yes please! // Scented Candle by P.F. Candles Co. in “Teakwood & Tobacco”… the scent is a little spicy and kinda sexy. Made of soy wax.

Fine writing instrument: Retro 51 Twist Rollerball in “Ice Blue”…features a stainless steel body with high gloss lacquer overlay, so sharp! // Leather Journal by Rustico…handcrafted in Utah using high-quality, top-grain leather and felt finish archival paper. Translation: It’s top notch! // Scented Candle by Voluspa in “Santiago Huckleberry”…delicious! Made of coconut wax.

Happy writing!

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On November 23, we are proud to be hosting
Champion rock climber, Alex Honnold.
We will be hosting him at All Saints Church as he talks about his new book about climbing and free solo climbing, Alone on the Wall. Tickets are available through this link HERE.
One of our Children’s Department Supervisors, Eric, is also an avid climber and fan of Alex’s. He came up with six questions that we could ask him in preparation for his event

To find out more about Alex Honnold, visit his website HERE.

————————————————–

6 Questions with Alex Honnold

  1. What was it that originally excited you about rock climbing?

I just always loved climbing on things. Tree, buildings, whatever. I liked getting on top of things, I liked being up high. That’s probably still what I like most about climbing. 

2. What has been the most challenging rock climbing experience you have faced?

As I describe in Alone on the Wall, the Fitz traverse with Tommy Caldwell was probably the hardest climbing experience of my life. Almost 5 days of continuous climbing in difficult alpine terrain. It was a huge adventure for me.

3. Have you found rock climbing to be beneficial to other aspects of your life and if so what parts of it are and how has it been?

Well, climbing has pretty much formed the core of my whole life so it’s influenced all aspects of my personal growth. It’s given me my work ethic [what little there might be] and taught my about setting goals and working towards them. It’s allowed me to travel which has given me a much broader perspective on the world.

4. What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve read a lot of memoirs like this in my life and always found them pretty inspiring. When David approached me about writing this book together it just seemed like the right time. It felt like my turn to contribute a little. And it’s also nice to tell my stories in a longer form than YouTube videos and climbing films. Nice to consider things in more depth.

5. You are a role model for many young climbers and a celebrity within the rock climbing community. Who are the climbers that inspire you the most and why?

As a kid I was most inspired by Peter Croft and John Bachar, legendary soloists from the last generation. Plus a host of more modern climbers like Tommy Caldwell and Dean Potter. And of course Chris Sharma. Basically I’ve always looked up the best climbers – people who were pushing the sport in cool new directions.

6. What advice would you give to a person who is interested in rock climbing or is just beginning to explore rock climbing?

I generally tell beginners to focus on good technique and good footwork. Climbing is mostly about body position and less about strength. But mostly I would just say that if someone’s psyched about climbing they should get out and try.

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