Robert Birnbaum, a customer who has
been coming into Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop since the mid to
late 1970s and the
editor-in-chief of Identitytheory.com, said it was going to be
sad to see the bookshop close its doors for the last time. But
he added earnestly, “I am mostly concerned about Vincent.”
Bart takes a cat nap among the good company of authors.
entered the Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop, he was greeted with
a familiar hello. He was accompanied by his literature partner,
Rosie, Birnbaum’s Golden Retriever. After all the Victor
Hugo employees greeted Rosie, she headed to the second floor by
herself to smell what books were in the stacks and to see if she
could find Blue Bart, the store’s cat who lives there and
is a fixture of the bookshop.
“Is that the security guard?” I asked
about Blue Bart.
“No it’s the real owner,” said
an employee with a smile.
Blue Bart frequently travels up and down the two floors of the
bookshop mingling with customers. He can be found sunning himself
in the front window among the company of some of his favorite authors
or in the arms of a customer.
After all the times that Rosie has been in the store, Blue Bart
remains waryof her presence. Blue Bart stays out of sight from
Rosie but never lets her out of his.
Most stores on Newbury Street make customers leave their dogs
on the sidewalk.
of Newbury Street’s chain stores are
visible from the Avenue Victor Hugo’s front view.
“I know what I am going to find in new bookstores,” said
Birnbaum, referring to the mega bookstores emphasis on bestsellers
and selling newly bound books.
“[The Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop] is special because of
the idea of finding a first edition of James Allen McPherson.” McPherson
is a 1978 Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Elbow Room, a collection
of short stories, which tells of characters in desperate situations.
-page 4 Moving online-