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Silberman's Northwest


Gretchen McDaniels didn't overthink things; she thought about them just enough. Four years of working with Lynn had been an extremely pleasant experience, but she had always had her nitpicks with the way that her partner ran her store; things could have been done more logically and more efficiently, but she understood that her lover was an eccentric who was going to run her store as she chose. Also, there was all the baggage of the previous owners, her dear departed relatives, and so therefore certain traditions were going to be tolerated. And by and large, Gretchen had been fine with all that.


But now, she was able to enact her vision of how a used book store should be run, and she had risen to the challenge. She had many advantages that Lynn did not: the choice of location, no history associated with the location, etc. But also like Lynn, she was particularly in tune with the neighborhood that the store was going to be located in. Gretchen understood the University Hill crowd in a way that was both deep and maddening, and she knew how to cater to them. Her lover may not have had much of a business sense, and was in fact almost proud of that, but Gretchen was determined that her store would be at least marginally profitable. And based on that philosophy, she was doing things her way.


First and foremost, keeping the goddamn coffee away from the books! This had been a source of constant frustration that she'd had to grin and bear for several years, but by God this was going to change! Coffee was served only in the basement café, aka the StormCellar, and there it would stay. If someone wanted to bring something that they purchased downstairs, that was fine, but no mochas were going to be hovering dangerously close to rare books on Gretchen's watch.


Second, there was going to be performance space for live music; this was something that was near and dear to Gretchen's heart, and so it was built into the facility from the get-go. The StormCellar would be a funky pleasant place for people to hang out, enjoy coffee and baked goods, listen to some local act and read the books and magazines that they had already paid for. The acoustics would be the best possible within the environment.


There was also a reason that Gretchen was going to call the establishment Silberman's Northwest, as opposed to Silberman's Books II or the like. It was important to her that video games, movies, and music would be available for sale, and in fact would be featured on the main floor of the establishment. She knew this would draw the affluent hipsters that the store needed to survive, and she was more than happy to cater to their needs. Magazines and newspapers would also be available for sale on the first floor, as well books on pop culture; fiction and game books would reside here as well.


The second floor would be where the books began in earnest, and here Gretchen's tastes and proclivities were on display as much as they were in Lynn's original location; the relative lack of books on scientific and technical subjects at the West End store was always a sore point for her, which she was happy to address in her own store. Non-fiction would have a home on the second floor, including a nice section on local history.


Lastly, the third floor, hardest to reach and therefore hopefully discouraging, would be where the new age, occult and potentially dangerous books would be kept, though the really dangerous stuff would stay inside a locked trunk tucked into a small extra dimensional space that Gretchen had found when she was fiddling around with Al-Kazar’s ring.

Edited by Heritage
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