The exterior of Cantos Booksellers on Roanoke City Market, the only new book store in downtown Roanoke for years.^
It appears that Catherine Procopio, the oft-criticized owner of Cantos Booksellers in downtown Roanoke, has closed the shop and put it on the market with an ironic touch: the previous owner of Cantos, Rob Clark of MKB Realtors is handling the sale of the building.
Clark and his wife, Jennie Nolen, were the popular owners of the small book shop, the last high-profile book store in downtown Roanoke (Eclectic Books is tucked away in a low-profile shop on Campbell Ave. and not many people even know it's there). When Clark sold Cantos a few years ago because he wasn't making quite enough money to support his family well (though he insisted he was very happy with the store), the agent for the sale of the business was Jim Lindsey, who had owned Captain Books in the 1970s and is often considered one of the pioneers of the modern City Market.
Insiderpages gives you a good idea why the store finally failed, with a large number of complaints lodged here. An example reads: "I always prefer to shop at locally owned stores, but Cantos has driven me away for good. I can appreciate a quirky store owner, but this lady is crazy. How am I supposed to choose a book without previewing the content?" Bad customer relations is the most frequent complaint here, though former customer Mike Kennedy posted this on Facebook: "I have found the owner both infuriating and charming, depending upon her mood, or mine. Yes, I have taken the vow of avoidance after what I considered shoddy treatment. At other times, we have engaged in long, interesting chats about books."