Out of all the shops located on Lake Avenue, Alexandria II differs from the others by its mysteriousness and uniqueness.
Named after the ancient library of Alexandria, the Alexandria II is one of the oldest metaphysical bookstores in Pasadena that sells a variety of literature for people with all kinds of religious beliefs, and has been in business since 1985.
The bookshelves are stacked with different types of literature that would satisfy everybody’s taste. The store’s collection of books covers topics such as religion, medicine, art, psychology, mythology, as well as many others. However, that’s far from everything they have to offer, since they also sell a lot of things that can’t be bought in an ordinary bookstore.
Though the majority of the space in the store is filled with books, it seems like the customers can find virtually everything that is somehow connected to metaphysics, spirituality or religious beliefs. In addition to the wide array of literature, people can also purchase crystals and stones, jewelry and gifts, candles and incense, meditation supplies, DVDs, music CDs and tarot cards.
“I would probably say that this is my absolute favorite store in all of Pasadena,” said Andrew Sanders, an Alexandria II customer. “It’s got a great aura, it’s got a great presence, everyone here is nice. Everything here has a living energy. When you come here you feel good, you feel positive, people are helpful. It’s not about money, it’s about bettering yourself.”
Despite the crowd inside, the atmosphere in the store is so peaceful that even a large amount of customers becomes unnoticable. Some people are reading books, while others are choosing new stones or trying on jewelry. The major reason this store might feel like home is because of the employees, who are always there if the customers need them.
“It’s not like your typical bookstore, and I feel like it’s very non-judgemental,” said employee Jaclyn Harley. “We have all different kinds of people coming in. I feel like people come here [for] a safe haven or like a safe place to seek help in a non-judgemental atmosphere.”
Alexandria II also provides psychic readings for their customers and are only available by appointment. Each psychic has his/her own specialized method, so the people who are interested in getting these services can pick whichever one they prefer. In addition, there are ongoing events in the store, such as a Course In Miracles Discussion Group that teaches people to see the world in a new positive way. They also hold Pasadena Pagan Meetups each month. The information about all the events is posted on the store’s website.
“All of this is life. There are different aspects of life,” said employee Eric Gonzales. “You’ll call it love, you’ll call it a positive thinking or inspirational fiction, but it’s all the same thing and one leads to another, especially if you’re in this field.”
Alexandria II is located on 170 S Lake Ave. It’s open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The store also has Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts where people can find all the important information they need.