Iconic Bookstores Vroman’s and Book Soup Seek New Owners

Joel Sheldon, the current proprietor of the renowned Vroman’s bookstores in Pasadena and Book Soup in Los Angeles, has recently announced his intention to sell these beloved literary havens. According to Publishers Weekly, Sheldon, nearing 80 years of age, shared his retirement plans on social media, signaling an end to over a century of family stewardship of these cultural landmarks.

In his announcement, Sheldon emphasized the need for a new generation of ownership to carry Vroman’s and Book Soup forward. He stated, “The time has come for a fresh vision and dedication to propel Vroman’s into its next chapter.”

The search for new owners isn’t just a transaction for Sheldon; it’s a quest to find individuals who embody the essence and values of these community-centric bookstores. In a conversation with the Pasadena Star News, Sheldon expressed a preference for local buyers, potentially a family or a group of young enthusiasts, who understand the importance of Vroman’s as a community asset.

Central to Sheldon’s criteria for new ownership is the well-being of the book stores’ staff. The main Vroman’s location alone employs 123 individuals, with an additional 31 across other stores. Sheldon is committed to ensuring these employees retain their jobs post-transition.

As these storied bookstores await their next chapter, they stand as more than just businesses; they are vital cultural and community cornerstones, awaiting new visionaries to continue their legacy.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.