At Avenue Victor Hugo, remembrances of good books past

The Boston Globe Reports On a second-hand bookshop on Newbury Street in Boston called Avenue Victor Hugo. On June 1, after nearly three decades in business, the shop will close.

It's a sad time for the bookseller, whose shop has given him much pleasure over the years and provided him with a refuge where he can ply his trade in peace.

McCaffrey offers many reasons for the failure of his shop and other small, used-book stores: People would rather watch television than read; they would rather go to a well-organized Barnes & Noble at the mall than a cluttered bookstore off the beaten path; and they would rather buy used books on the Internet, where the prices are often cheaper.

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One in a long list...

Avenue Victor Hugo is one in a long list of independent bookshops to bite the dust in the last two years. Here are some others: Ruminator (MN),
New Words & Grolier Bookshop (MA), Canterbury Books (WI), Chassman and Bem & Northern Lights (VT), Book Exchange (SC), Chinook Bookstore (CO), Bookmarks, My Sisters Words, Main Street Bookshop, Salamagundi & Archivia (NY), Stroudwater Books (NH), Mysterybooks (DC), Canterbury Booksellers (WI), Books at Stonehenge (NC),
Fine Print Books (OH), Million Story Book Co.(IN)
Bookstop & Black Images Book Bazaar (TX), Blue Moon Books & Hannah Banana Books (GA),
Hue-Man Experience (CO), Bookshelf (OK), Midnight Special, Coffee, Tea & Mystery and Sharon's Books (CA).

It's particularly sad that several of these shops were oriented to a specific genre or for readers belonging to a minority, and really served as community gathering places. Many of course were also customers of mine.

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