Some Decidedly Unorthodox Ideas to Boost The Globe Bookshop’s Profits

A novella excerpt

Paul Combs
Fictions

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

The fire at the bar across the street was the last excitement we had around the neighborhood for a long while, and I settled into a predictable rhythm, watching the sales drop each week even as the most dedicated of my customers avoided asking the inevitable question while buying as many books as they reasonably could. No one ever used the “c” word out of a superstitious fear that saying “close” out loud would actually lead to the bookstore going out of business.

Things were not looking good, though. The foot traffic we had expected from the new commercial and residential development along both Jennings Street and Pennsylvania Avenue had not materialized, and likely would not for several years. The developers were locked in multiple zoning disputes with the city and had shifted their focus to an area too far north to be of any benefit to me. Wendy was still optimistic that we could ride out the storm, but she was someone who believed every August that the Dallas Cowboys would win the Super Bowl that season. Irrational optimism was her middle name.

Either because of that optimism or in spite of it, she had prevented all of the various ideas I’d had to raise a little extra cash. My first thought was to add the ever-popular coffee bar, but once I…

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Paul Combs
Fictions

Writer, bookseller, would-be roadie for the E Street Band. My ultimate goal is to make books as popular in Texas as high school football...it may take a while.