Announcing Our 2017 Bookmark Contest Winners!

by Jessica on March 17, 2017

For the past 25 years, we have held a Bookmark Contest for the students in our community. We have two categories of competition. A K-3rd group and a 4th-6th grade group. We encourage students to design a bookmark that represents the themes of books and reading. We choose one bookmark from each category and the winning artists each receive a $50 Vroman’s gift card as well as 50 bookmarks to hand out to friends and family and enough bookmarks for their teacher and classmates! We also display and hand out these bookmarks in our Children’s Department through the remainder of the year until the next contest winners are announced.

We are happy to announce this years two winning artists today!

K-3rd grade group:

Bookmark Designed by Pushkal
7 years old, 2nd grade

4th-6th grade group:

Bookmark Designed by Katie
9 years old, 4th grade

This is such a wonderful Vroman’s tradition
that we look forward to every year.
Keep your eyes peeled for the 2018 Bookmark Contest!

 

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On Poetry

by Jessica on March 10, 2017

Guest Blog Post by Poet Kim Dower

Kim Dower Poetry

 

. . . Poetry arrived

in search of me.  I don’t know, I don’t know where

it came from, from winter or a river.

I don’t know how or when . . . .

–Pablo Neruda

Some of us can remember the first line of poetry we wrote.  Maybe it was in the third grade when we had our first little notebook that we’d scribble random words in.  Maybe it was when we had our first encounter with a real live poem (or poet!) sometime in high school or college.  For me it was when my mother read me A. A. Milne: They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace/Christopher Robin went down with Alice/Alice is marrying one of the guard/”A soldier’s life is terrible hard,” says Alice.  I loved that.  I loved the music of it.  It’d recite it to my dolls, I’d sing it in my bath.  I was hooked at six.

No matter when it comes from, when it comes, it sticks hard.  Writing poetry is a joyful, incomparable act.  It’s fun, then hard, then fun again.  Being witness to words coming together to form meaning and imagery that’s brand new is exciting.

That’s what I’m hoping we’ll do in our workshop on March 18th.

We’ll play with words, with images; we’ll experiment with automatic writing, we’ll read poems I’ll bring that will inspire and delight.  We’ll have fun as we watch the poems arrive from our hearts and minds, as we shape and build them.  I’m not sure anyone can be taught how to write a poem, but we can create an atmosphere, a prompt, a suggestion that invites a poem to happen.  We can get words on a page that have never been together on a page before, and then learn some skills and craft about how to make those words have the strongest meaning.

If you have a memory, you have a poem.  If you can remember what that cookie tasted like on the boardwalk one summer when you were in love or not in love, with your parents or sister or with someone you’d later marry or wish you’d married; if you can remember what the ocean feels and smells like, what squirrels and birds sound like, if you know what longing is, or what it feels like to love someone deeply,

if you remember lying in a hospital room, giving birth, losing a loved one, you have a poem.  I am, I will be, I remember, I want – you have the beginning of a poem.

I’m excited to meet you on Saturday the 18th when we will “Awaken and Ignite the Poet Within!” and make a poem together.  I’m hoping to open the door to many more because writing a poem is the most freedom you’ll ever have.  The freedom to create something brand new, to express yourself, to lose a part of yourself by making art.

Kim Dower

Visit our website for information on special poetry workshop with Kim or give us a call to sign up!

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Graphic novels are full of diversity in both race and gender. In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to highlight just a few of the authors who have written African-American characters and some that are changing the way common superhero characters appear in graphic novels. There are so many of these incredible authors out there, hopefully this short list helps to motivate you to seek them out.


March
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
The March trilogy is a graphic novel about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement that is told through the perspective of U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader, John Lewis. March is an award-winning, #1 bestselling graphic novel and was the first graphic novel to receive a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

About author John Lewis: John Lewis is often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” John has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and securing civil liberties. As a student at Fisk University, Lewis organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. He participated in Freedom Rides in 1961 that he risked his life for. He was beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of the Jim Crow segregation in the South. He was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinator Committee (SNCC) during the height of the movement from 1963 to 1966. Though he may have endured 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate for the philosophy of nonviolence. His career continued in 1977 when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency. In 1981, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council and in 1986 was elected to Congress and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since then.


Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur
by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare (Ages 12-17)
Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur is about Lunella Lafayette, a preteen super genius who wants to change the world but learned the hard way that it takes MORE than just big brains! Her sidekick is a red-scaled tyrant who was transported from prehistoric past to the far-flung future we call TODAY. Together, they are the most amazing Marvel team-up.

About author Amy Reeder: Amy Reeder graduated from BYU and got her start in comics by placing in TokyoPop’s “Rising Stars of Manga” contest. Her popular graphic novel series, Fool’s Gold launched her onto the graphic novel scene. Her books combine her stunning artwork with high school angst and humorous banter.


Black Panther
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A new era is beginning for the Black Panther with this new series by National Book Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for it’s amazing technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil.

About author Ta-Nehisi Coates: Ta-Nehisi is an author, journalist and educator. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and writes about cultural, social and political issues particularly regarding African-Americans. He has also worked for The Village Voice, Washington City Paper and Time. His second book, Between the World and Me, was released in 2015 and since has won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He was also the recipient of the Genius Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man
by Brian Michael Bendies, Illustrated by Sara Pichelli
Before Peter Parker died, young Miles Morales was poised to start the next chapter in his life in a new school. Then, a spider’s bite granted the teenager incredible arachnid-like powers. Miles is now thrust into a world he doesn’t understand. Can he live up to Peter’s legacy as Spider-man?

About author Brian Michael Bendis: Brian Michael Bendis is one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics today. For Marvel entertainment, Brian is currently writing ALL NEW X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN. His introduction of the new multiracial ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN made frontpage news and has quickly become a comic of interest with the community. Brian has won a slew of awards including five EISNER awards and was honored with the prestigious INKPOT award for comic art excellence. He is definitely someone to look out for!

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Book Store Love Stories continues with another love found while working at Vroman’s from Anne!
Remember you can still continue to submit your stories!

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by Anne
I met Sean at Vroman’s in 1985.  We were both employees, he in what was then called Commercial Stationery (now the pen department) and I in the Book Department.  A co-worker introduced us in the employee break room and we hit it off immediately; a few weeks later we started dating.  Turns out, three of our co-workers, including the one who introduced us, had conspired to get us together, and another one of them, the Book Department manager, arranged my schedule so that I could have the same days off as Sean.  Today Sean is the chair of the theatre department at the University of La Verne and I’m still at Vroman’s, now working as the Merchandising Manager.  We’ve been married since 1998.


If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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Book Store Love Stories continues with a brand new kind of love story from Cheryl!
Remember you can still submit your stories!


by Cheryl
Preparing to bring a new life into the world involves the purchase of many traditional necessities, such as diapers and bottles. These small preparations are part of the fun and excitement of pregnancy. However, the purchases that truly filled my heart with joy and hope, were the purchases made for the soul and imagination of the life that grew in my belly. During both of my pregnancies, I vividly recall scanning the shelves of Vromans for the first books to be selected for their libraries. Which words and magic would I fill them with? Which bits of knowledge should I offer first? These books were to be my first love letters to them. They would be my attempt to reveal the beauty of stories with the hope that they would come to digest them, take them in as part of themselves, as I do with every book that moves me. I can’t think of any better way that I could have introduced my little loves to the marvel and splendor of life. No better way to fill them with the love and hope, I held for them.


If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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Bookstore Love Stories continues with this adorable story from Bonnie!
Remember you can continue to send us your stories!
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by Bonnie

Vroman’s Book Store is a lovely quaint place to find peace, adventure, and some mindful solitude. Whenever I am in the area I must stop by and peak inside to get a quick mini-mind vacation.

It is also a common destination that I frequent with my love, Mario. We have been together nearly 2 years now and often walk to and fro. When we are out and about at the movie theater, or at a local cafe, or after a trip to the local museums, we must stop at Vroman’s.  It is a romantic stop for a welcome pensive mood and mental collaboration.
We get excited to discuss the many treasures.

Good communication and conversation are important to any relationship. Vroman’s gives us this opportunity to browse, think, and to finally come together again with new ideas and adventures. Books are an amazing way to enlighten any relationship. The two of us already often enjoy reading books, the newspaper, as well as a plethora of interesting articles. It makes sense that Vroman’s is also a place of romance and further adventure. It’s a compliment to Vroman’s to say that this local establishment has enlightened our lives together. We are happy together because we always challenge each other intellectually. We are happy at Vroman’s because it is a wonderful place of mindful and romantic stimulation! Thank you, Vroman’s! We continue to enjoy strolling in and out together. Hope to continue this lovely tradition for many more years to come!


If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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A New Lease on Love (A Book Store Love Story)

by Jessica on February 10, 2017

Bookstore Love Stories continues with this short but sweet tale from Tessa!
Remember you can continue to send us your stories!
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by Tessa

After signing our first lease together in Pasadena, my boyfriend said he wanted to show me an amazing bookstore just down the street. Fifteen minutes after the lease was signed, we were looking through the staff recommendations. We drove straight to Vroman’s and still love spending time browsing together, 8 months later.


If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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Bookstore Love Stories continues with this lovely story from past employee, Danny!
Remember you can continue to send us your stories!
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by Danny

My wife and I actually met for the first time at Vroman’s in 2000. We both were employees at the time. I worked in the receiving department and my wife worked as a book seller on the sales floor. It turns out that we both had crushes on each other but neither of us ever managed to work up the nerve to ask the other out. She was, and quite frankly still is, out of my league. I would stumble on my words and something ridiculous would come out of my mouth whenever our paths crossed. However, I was more than willing to wheel carts down to the sales floor every chance I could get in hopes that I would get a chance to make a fool of myself in front of her one more time. I found out years later that she had felt the same way about me.

Time passed and our lives took us on separate journeys. I didn’t realize it but it turns out we had the same close knit group of friends but had never been at the same place at the same time for over 10 years. In 2010, we had both volunteered to help restore the grounds at a place called the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita. An organization that takes in abused/neglected animals and helps abused/neglected youth. I was scrolling through the people that were attending on their Facebook page and came across my old crush from Vroman’s Bookstore.

This time I didn’t let the opportunity to make a move pass me by. I sent her a message to make sure I wasn’t imagining the whole thing. At the time she had a picture of her and her niece as her profile and I had a picture of myself with my niece as mine. Right off the bat we each thought that the other was unavailable! We ended up making lunch plans for the following week. That was in January of 2010. We were engaged in January of 2013. We were fortunate enough to maintain a relationship with Vroman’s over the years and were able to take our engagement photos in the same location we saw each other for the first time in our lives. We were married on December 14th of 2013 and celebrated the birth of our daughter on July 13th of 2015. We read to our daughter everyday and are happy to say that books are by far her favorite “toy“.

Oh our names are Rona, Madelyn and Danny. Almost forgot that part!


If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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A Limerick of Love (A Book Store Love Story)

by Jessica on February 8, 2017

Bookstore Love Stories continues with this lovely story from Phil and Susan!
Remember you can continue to send us your stories!
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by Phil and Susan

We met at Vroman’s in 1993, upstairs before the area was re-arranged.  In those days the store sponsored travel presentations, and that evening of August 2 we were both present for a slide show on Indonesia.  We had casually noticed each other across the room during the program and later struck up a conversation over books, then met for coffee.  Since then we have been together for over 23 years and married for eleven.  Vroman’s will always be a special place to us, and we still celebrate our “meeting anniversary” along with our wedding anniversary.  One of us given to compose limericks, came up with some words in memory of the occasion:

There once was a guy name of Phil
With some time in a bookstore to kill.
He met a nice chick
But had to ask quick.
She responded … “For coffee, I will

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If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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Hi Friends! Today, in the lead up to and in honor of Valentine’s Day we are
starting a new series called Book Store Love Stories.

Bookstores are great meeting places. They are places to meet up with friends, your book club, a place to spend time with family. All true but what about a place to find love? Recently, we put the call out for your stories of love in our bookstore. Maybe it was a meet cute, a first date or a first kiss. Maybe Vroman’s is just a happy, special place for you to spend time with your loved one. We wanted to hear them all! We were enchanted by the stories we received. Very sweet & most certainly heart warmers.
We hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

We are still accepting stories, so please don’t hesitate to send us yours!

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Natalie wrote to us with this sweet story about her supportive
boyfriend and a trip to see her favorite author at Vroman’s!

by Natalie

I’ve been addicted to Jennifer Weiner books since I read Good In Bed. So when she came to Vroman’s to promote her new book at the time, The Next Best Thing, there was NO WAY I was going to miss it. I was dating my boyfriend at the time who was only into surfing and anything that had to do with being outdoors and nowhere near a book. While I could stay cooped up for hours reading a book, he got fidgety after five minutes of sitting down. When no one wanted to drive out to Vroman’s with me to go meet my idol, I was bummed but still willing to drive the hour (in traffic) to Pasadena to hear her read and hopefully meet her.

I told him I was headed there alone and he offered to come. I told him, “but you hate books, and you hate my chic books even more.

He shrugged and told me that he didn’t want me to have to drive alone. So he drove me to Vroman’s and even stood in line with me so he could take a picture on his phone (mine had died—of course) of Jennifer and I. While she read and talked about her book he paid attention and didn’t fidget even once. After he took the picture he even posted the picture to his Facebook. I was so surprised by how much he paid attention and how he was almost into it as much as I was. When I asked him what was up he just said, “I was happy to see you so happy and excited.” After that I knew we would get married and two years later we did. He has been the best thing in the world since (even better than Jennifer Weiner— sorry Jen!

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If you’d like to see your love story featured on our blog and social media write us today! To submit your story send an e-mail to email@vromansbookstore.com with the subject line Book Store Love Stories. You are welcome to attach a photo that you don’t mind us using for marketing purposes.

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