‘I can't believe it; it is the end of an institution,' said Tom Bauch, when he heard the news that Florence's first English-language book store, BM Bookshop, would close its doors on December 31 unless a buyer is found. A resident of San Francisco who, with his wife, spends about one month a year in Florence, Bauch was in the store, arranging to ship books back home, when he heard the news. ‘It's the passing of an era. I've been shopping here with my wife for 20 years. I always stop by when I get a coffee.'