Vroman's, SoCal's oldest independent bookstore, at risk of closing due to pandemic

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Vroman's, Southern California's oldest and largest independent bookstore, could be forced to close its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southland institution is a lifeline for readers and so much more.

"Unfortunately with the shutdowns and the restrictions, our sales are down 40%, and we can't survive with 40% of normal sales," said Joel Vroman Sheldon, owner of Vroman's.
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Vroman's has been in Sheldon's family for over 100 years. The story now - it wasn't allowed to sell a thing during the first six weeks of the pandemic. Books are not "essential," said the city of Pasadena.

To Sheldon, that's heresy.

"It is an institution that changes people's lives. You can literally find life-changing books on our shelves," Sheldon said.

So is Vroman's doomed to extinction? Sheldon says no - if shoppers start their holiday gift shopping in October -there will be more space and time for the limited number of customers to come through.

Watch Miriam Hernandez's report above for details.

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