A Pasadena institution established in 1894 by one of the founders of the Southwest Museum (now part of the Autry Museum), this is Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore, run by the great-grandson of its second owner. The cavernous, two-level space is clean, up to date, and well-organized enough for browsers to easily navigate. Its renowned author events have hosted President Bill Clinton, Irving Stone, Upton Sinclair, Ray Bradbury, Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, Barbara Walters, and Anne Rice, among many other superstar authors. The Pen and Stationery Department sells Montblanc and other fine pens, cards and stationery that just scream “Gift!”