Pasadena right across the street from the Wolf's Mantle Tavern. The Common Grounds is a combination of Bookstore and Coffee House. The setting suggests a mixture of 'come and hang out' as well as 'get your supplies here'. It's sort of a 'Cheers' location where most people who show up with any regularity are going to run into each other and, hopefully, meet new people.The front of the shop is where people can socialize and relax while they drink their beverage of choice. The back, up on the small riser, is where the books and merchandise is kept. For some, the back of the shop is an area where people generally don't go - they're in and out with their coffee to go. Others, however, would spend hours curled up scanning through the books or picking up bits of this or that.
The books start on your right before you even step up onto the riser. These are the 'hot sellers' that would grab people's attention as they get their drinks. Once you step up onto the riser, it's only a small step but it's more of a mental transition from one part of the shop to the other.
The pentagonal table in the back is a great place to plan, plot and read. The long, library table is more for those who want to either study or sort through the books they've found and decide on what they want to buy. Right behind the Pentagonal table and in a corner set between two sets of shelves is a stone bust upon a marble column. Next to it is a book shelf that's been set upon a door to approximate a secret door. Once you take a good look at the shelves it's easy to see the door knob nestled among the books; an inventive way to hide a service door.
The back section of the bookstore is covered with paperback and 'real' books. Shelves are stuffed to busting with them as the owner has gone to every old bookstore in California, it would seem, and bought them out.
In an age where most people have some form of electronic text / book device like a Kindle, analog bookstores are rare. They are able to stay in business mostly due to people's reluctance to give up everything from the old world.
Aside from books, the shop carries a wide array of occult merchandise ranging from herbal teas, candles of various type and color, all manner of jewelry, blank journals with large, golden pentacles upon the cover, etc.
The front of the coffee house has a mixture of furniture in varying degrees of comfort and style.