Cantos Booksellers

★★☆☆☆

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I am amazed at the responses. I thought it was just me! I am a professor and felt "less than" with the grilling I received. I needed a specific subject for a child. I was made to feel as if I did not have the sense to know what I needed. As well, I was informed that they do not accept checks. I was informed they had an experience where someone bounced a check "downtown." Nowhere in the store does it indicate they do not accept checks.

I would reccomend the business if you absolutely had no other options. Particulary, if feeling like an intelligent customer is important to you.

3
★★★☆☆

I am amazed at the responses. I thought it was just me! I am a professor and felt "less than" with the grilling I received. I needed a specific subject for a child. I was made to feel as if I did not have the sense to know what I needed. As well, I was informed that they do not accept checks. I was informed they had an experience where someone bounced a check "downtown." Nowhere in the store does it indicate they do not accept checks.

I would reccomend the business if you absolutely had no other options. Particulary, if feeling like an intelligent customer is important to you.

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I was absolutely insulted today. I went in this bookstore to browse a bit and hopefully find a book. Rarely can I walk out of a bookstore without a book. As I was looking through a book about vintage clothing she walked over said it was a great book and then asked me if it was in my price range. I was shocked. Seriously? I know I'm just a college student but I was very interested in the book. I responded that I was just looking and she continued to tell me that looking through the books makes them look used. I have never heard such nonsense in my life. I am comforted to see that others have endured the same situation I have. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOKSTORE. Go elsewhere. There is a great place in Grandin to find rare books. I believe I will visit Cantos again, and I will bring a coffee and pick up one of the books and sit in the chair and read, perhaps a few friends will join...

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was absolutely insulted today. I went in this bookstore to browse a bit and hopefully find a book. Rarely can I walk out of a bookstore without a book. As I was looking through a book about vintage clothing she walked over said it was a great book and then asked me if it was in my price range. I was shocked. Seriously? I know I'm just a college student but I was very interested in the book. I responded that I was just looking and she continued to tell me that looking through the books makes them look used. I have never heard such nonsense in my life. I am comforted to see that others have endured the same situation I have. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOKSTORE. Go elsewhere. There is a great place in Grandin to find rare books. I believe I will visit Cantos again, and I will bring a coffee and pick up one of the books and sit in the chair and read, perhaps a few friends will join...

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I'm glad that I looked this store up after my visit. I have learned that it is the owner, and not me, that is CRAZY. Just like others, I had the book I had been browsing for a few seconds snatched away. We left in disgust. I actually let this bother me for a few hours afterward. What a waste of time. (The place also has an odd odor about it, something between used books and cigarettes).

After leaving we saw a group of people walk by the store and discuss whether to go in...some in the group convinced the others not to because that is where the crazy lady worked!

Stay away. Far away.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I'm glad that I looked this store up after my visit. I have learned that it is the owner, and not me, that is CRAZY. Just like others, I had the book I had been browsing for a few seconds snatched away. We left in disgust. I actually let this bother me for a few hours afterward. What a waste of time. (The place also has an odd odor about it, something between used books and cigarettes).

After leaving we saw a group of people walk by the store and discuss whether to go in...some in the group convinced the others not to because that is where the crazy lady worked!

Stay away. Far away.

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This is the most unpleasant store I've ever visited. Please take my advice and stay away unless you want to get disgusted by the customer service. 0 -10 stars

1
★☆☆☆☆

This is the most unpleasant store I've ever visited. Please take my advice and stay away unless you want to get disgusted by the customer service. 0 -10 stars

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.

I wish we could give this place 0 stars.

It pains me to write such a poor review about a once great bookstore, but things have changed. As an avid reader and downtown employee, I'm sorry to say the only bookstore I can visit on my lunch break isn't even an option for me.

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?

Bottom line? The owner is rude and insulting, and you can't even check out the books! Why are there chairs in the store?

1
★☆☆☆☆

I wish we could give this place 0 stars.

It pains me to write such a poor review about a once great bookstore, but things have changed. As an avid reader and downtown employee, I'm sorry to say the only bookstore I can visit on my lunch break isn't even an option for me.

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?

Bottom line? The owner is rude and insulting, and you can't even check out the books! Why are there chairs in the store?

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Similar to the other posts below, the woman running the store was a complete jerk. I took family visiting from out of town to downtown Roanoke. She managed to run all 5 of us out of her store.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Similar to the other posts below, the woman running the store was a complete jerk. I took family visiting from out of town to downtown Roanoke. She managed to run all 5 of us out of her store.

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I'm in Roanoke for the weekend with my parents and some friends. We were in downtown for lunch and noticed Cantos. I'm a huge fan of bookstores, especially independent ones, so we decided to check it out. I immediately found my way to the history section and saw a "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine, something I've been meaning to pick up. (I'm a History major w. a Secondary Teaching certificate) My mom and her friend were in the back looking at the children's books. I heard the clerk talking to them and wandered back there. I saw a book for kids on the Constitution and decided to check it out. Mistake. Just like everyone else here she took the book out of my hands. She asked if I was shopping for children today and I said no, so she told me that I didn't need to look at it as it would damage it and make it look used. I was dumbfounded. I've been to many, many book stores and spend a large portion of my extra money on books. I returned Common Sense to the shelf and left- she deserves no one's business.

Later that day we headed over to Grandin Village. We found a used bookstore called "Too Many Books" and it was wonderful. The owner is very helpful! I picked up some books on Charleston, SC and while I was checking out she mentioned she had some more. She went and found them for me. They were expensive, so out of my price range, but she had no problem letting me browse through it. We ended up at Barnes and Noble later that day. I found a better copy of Common Sense at a lower price. So, she definitely lost money on that one.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I'm in Roanoke for the weekend with my parents and some friends. We were in downtown for lunch and noticed Cantos. I'm a huge fan of bookstores, especially independent ones, so we decided to check it out. I immediately found my way to the history section and saw a "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine, something I've been meaning to pick up. (I'm a History major w. a Secondary Teaching certificate) My mom and her friend were in the back looking at the children's books. I heard the clerk talking to them and wandered back there. I saw a book for kids on the Constitution and decided to check it out. Mistake. Just like everyone else here she took the book out of my hands. She asked if I was shopping for children today and I said no, so she told me that I didn't need to look at it as it would damage it and make it look used. I was dumbfounded. I've been to many, many book stores and spend a large portion of my extra money on books. I returned Common Sense to the shelf and left- she deserves no one's business.

Later that day we headed over to Grandin Village. We found a used bookstore called "Too Many Books" and it was wonderful. The owner is very helpful! I picked up some books on Charleston, SC and while I was checking out she mentioned she had some more. She went and found them for me. They were expensive, so out of my price range, but she had no problem letting me browse through it. We ended up at Barnes and Noble later that day. I found a better copy of Common Sense at a lower price. So, she definitely lost money on that one.

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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I had the exact same experience as R.C. below earlier today. The owner, who's name is Cathy Procopio I've since learned, came up to me within one minute of me entering the store and picking up the first book (a paperback) that caught my eye. Mind you, I'm a middle-aged man dressed in business casual attire not a disheveled refugee, not that that should matter to anyone. She said that it made the book looked used if I 'held it that way' (opened to actually look at the printed pages I guess she meant) and presumed to tell me that all I needed to know about the book was on the back cover. Well, needless to say, I made my way to the door without making a purchase and for my own satisfaction I offered a rather loud opinion about why it was she didn't have any customers in her empty store. All she said whiole walking toward the back of her store was "Thanks for coming in". Bizarre to say the least.

I have purchased countless books in that store over the years - most under the previous owner I'll acknowledge because they actually stocked books in subjects that interested me - but I won't buy another until a new owner is on the scene. And neither should you.

One more thing Ms. Procopio if you stumble upon this review. The book I was looking at in your store when you so stupidly offerred your unsolicited assistance? I purchased a copy of the same title today at one of your competitors who let me browse to my hearts content before making the purchase. Guess which bookstore I'll visit for my next purchase? But, you keep up doing what you're doing and we'll start planning the party we're throwing for the next owner (or maybe just in celebration of your departure).

And last Ms. Procopio, I understand the buiding in whose first floor space you lease for your business is up for sale. I wonder if a prospective buyer (the building or your business should you need to sell it) reads these on-line reviews? I wonder too if a prospective building owner has already visited your store anonymously (and in whose hands the fate of your business now rests) and you treated him or her the same way you treated me and others on this review site?

1
★☆☆☆☆

I had the exact same experience as R.C. below earlier today. The owner, who's name is Cathy Procopio I've since learned, came up to me within one minute of me entering the store and picking up the first book (a paperback) that caught my eye. Mind you, I'm a middle-aged man dressed in business casual attire not a disheveled refugee, not that that should matter to anyone. She said that it made the book looked used if I 'held it that way' (opened to actually look at the printed pages I guess she meant) and presumed to tell me that all I needed to know about the book was on the back cover. Well, needless to say, I made my way to the door without making a purchase and for my own satisfaction I offered a rather loud opinion about why it was she didn't have any customers in her empty store. All she said whiole walking toward the back of her store was "Thanks for coming in". Bizarre to say the least.

I have purchased countless books in that store over the years - most under the previous owner I'll acknowledge because they actually stocked books in subjects that interested me - but I won't buy another until a new owner is on the scene. And neither should you.

One more thing Ms. Procopio if you stumble upon this review. The book I was looking at in your store when you so stupidly offerred your unsolicited assistance? I purchased a copy of the same title today at one of your competitors who let me browse to my hearts content before making the purchase. Guess which bookstore I'll visit for my next purchase? But, you keep up doing what you're doing and we'll start planning the party we're throwing for the next owner (or maybe just in celebration of your departure).

And last Ms. Procopio, I understand the buiding in whose first floor space you lease for your business is up for sale. I wonder if a prospective buyer (the building or your business should you need to sell it) reads these on-line reviews? I wonder too if a prospective building owner has already visited your store anonymously (and in whose hands the fate of your business now rests) and you treated him or her the same way you treated me and others on this review site?

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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I had the perhaps the most unusual and insulting shopping experience of my life at Cantos. I was looking (and had found) a book that I wanted. As I opened the book, the shopkeep rushed over and asked me if it was in my "price range" -- was she implying that I had no money (for the record, I am the chief executive of an arts organization). She took the book from my hands and "explained" to me that I could not look inside the book because it made it look used -- and "who wants to buy a used book," she said. I said, "Who wants to buy a book when they haven't had a chance to see if it covers what they need?" (The book was a legal/medical reference for Alzheimer's caregivers, and I was searching for specific info). I took the book back and said I needed to see the chapter titles before I bought it. Well, this highly strung clerk/manager grabbed the book from my hands and took it to the counter and put it out of my reach. I said, "I was going to buy that book, " and she replied, "No you weren't" in a terribly condescending manner. I replied that my grandmother had Alzheimer's and I was searching for a book like this for my father (her primary caregiver). She turned her back and walked away from me. I WILL NEVER GO IN THIS STORE AGAIN. It was not like this four or five years ago. No matter how knowledgable this woman is about books or how many hard-to-find titles she may have, it is certainly not worth being treated so rudely. Try Amazon -- at least you can read a few pages online and not "ruin the spine."

1
★☆☆☆☆

I had the perhaps the most unusual and insulting shopping experience of my life at Cantos. I was looking (and had found) a book that I wanted. As I opened the book, the shopkeep rushed over and asked me if it was in my "price range" -- was she implying that I had no money (for the record, I am the chief executive of an arts organization). She took the book from my hands and "explained" to me that I could not look inside the book because it made it look used -- and "who wants to buy a used book," she said. I said, "Who wants to buy a book when they haven't had a chance to see if it covers what they need?" (The book was a legal/medical reference for Alzheimer's caregivers, and I was searching for specific info). I took the book back and said I needed to see the chapter titles before I bought it. Well, this highly strung clerk/manager grabbed the book from my hands and took it to the counter and put it out of my reach. I said, "I was going to buy that book, " and she replied, "No you weren't" in a terribly condescending manner. I replied that my grandmother had Alzheimer's and I was searching for a book like this for my father (her primary caregiver). She turned her back and walked away from me. I WILL NEVER GO IN THIS STORE AGAIN. It was not like this four or five years ago. No matter how knowledgable this woman is about books or how many hard-to-find titles she may have, it is certainly not worth being treated so rudely. Try Amazon -- at least you can read a few pages online and not "ruin the spine."

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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Alright, I know I should have seen this coming. I read all the reviews before walking into the store, and still went in. I was looking for a specific book, and as I walked in noticed the foreign language sign, and hoped that, as an independent bookseller, they might have some decent German fiction. As I walked over and began to look, the woman ran over to me, asked me what I was looking for, and then proceeded to treat me like a complete idiot because I didn't want to read a brand new translation. If I wanted a translation, I would have gone to Barnes and Noble. She went on and on about Grass, which was very clearly NOT what I wanted, and I said so. And when she began typing the author's name in that I requested- Schtzing, she misspelled it, EVEN THOUGH I SPELLED IT FOR HER, and then yelled a me that we are using AMERICAN keyboards, and she couldn't look it up. Every bookseller I have EVER talked to has known that an umlaut translates to ae not au. Really? I walked out, and will never walk back in there, even though they are the only bookstore in Roanoke that carries the book I need. I'll spend more and order it from BN.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Alright, I know I should have seen this coming. I read all the reviews before walking into the store, and still went in. I was looking for a specific book, and as I walked in noticed the foreign language sign, and hoped that, as an independent bookseller, they might have some decent German fiction. As I walked over and began to look, the woman ran over to me, asked me what I was looking for, and then proceeded to treat me like a complete idiot because I didn't want to read a brand new translation. If I wanted a translation, I would have gone to Barnes and Noble. She went on and on about Grass, which was very clearly NOT what I wanted, and I said so. And when she began typing the author's name in that I requested- Schtzing, she misspelled it, EVEN THOUGH I SPELLED IT FOR HER, and then yelled a me that we are using AMERICAN keyboards, and she couldn't look it up. Every bookseller I have EVER talked to has known that an umlaut translates to ae not au. Really? I walked out, and will never walk back in there, even though they are the only bookstore in Roanoke that carries the book I need. I'll spend more and order it from BN.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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My friend and I had much the same experience as has already been noted here. I was quite shocked when the clerk closed the book my friend was looking at and told her she could not read it without buying it. The store was completely empty when we came in and now I understand why. If you are looking to support a local bookseller please try Ram's Head Bookstore at Towers instead. The staff is extremely helpful and they have a MUCH better selection of books to choose from.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My friend and I had much the same experience as has already been noted here. I was quite shocked when the clerk closed the book my friend was looking at and told her she could not read it without buying it. The store was completely empty when we came in and now I understand why. If you are looking to support a local bookseller please try Ram's Head Bookstore at Towers instead. The staff is extremely helpful and they have a MUCH better selection of books to choose from.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Today me, my parents, and my 6 year old sister went in here today while we were hanging out in downtown as soon as we went in my sister noticed in the back there was a children's book area. we went back there and my sister found a Dora the explorer book and a chair and sat down in it to read the book. as soon as she hit the seat this lady rushed over to us and asked "do you want to buy and take home this book today" in which my mom replied "i don't think so she just saw a sign saying children's books and walked over" then the lady told use that we may not look at the books as they will seem used and not worth anything and then jerked the book out of my sisters hand. and ass we were leaving i heard the lady mutter something when we walked out of the door. she had also made my sister feel like she had done something wrong and made her quite upset and i wanted to let her know that made me very mad to make my sister feel like she was in trouble and make her upset i do not recommend you even look at the outside of this store it has terrible staff and you cant open the books.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Today me, my parents, and my 6 year old sister went in here today while we were hanging out in downtown as soon as we went in my sister noticed in the back there was a children's book area. we went back there and my sister found a Dora the explorer book and a chair and sat down in it to read the book. as soon as she hit the seat this lady rushed over to us and asked "do you want to buy and take home this book today" in which my mom replied "i don't think so she just saw a sign saying children's books and walked over" then the lady told use that we may not look at the books as they will seem used and not worth anything and then jerked the book out of my sisters hand. and ass we were leaving i heard the lady mutter something when we walked out of the door. she had also made my sister feel like she had done something wrong and made her quite upset and i wanted to let her know that made me very mad to make my sister feel like she was in trouble and make her upset i do not recommend you even look at the outside of this store it has terrible staff and you cant open the books.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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I will never again go to Cantos. This is the most awful excuse for a bookstore that I have ever seen! My family went in today to look around when our daughter saw the children's book section. Naturally we went to check it out. She found a book that she wanted to look at and had it snatched out of her hands by the lady working there who said that books look used if people look at them. She said we were welcome to buy something, but could not look at the books! Apparently she does not know that books are meant to be read; perhaps their contents should be read through osmosis instead.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I will never again go to Cantos. This is the most awful excuse for a bookstore that I have ever seen! My family went in today to look around when our daughter saw the children's book section. Naturally we went to check it out. She found a book that she wanted to look at and had it snatched out of her hands by the lady working there who said that books look used if people look at them. She said we were welcome to buy something, but could not look at the books! Apparently she does not know that books are meant to be read; perhaps their contents should be read through osmosis instead.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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I'm downtown every Tuesday because my daughter takes music lessons there. When the weather is nice, I take my other kids to different shops in the area. With the economy so poor, I've really been trying to buy things from local shops, so I decided to try Cantos. Immediately we had a sales clerk staring us down and taking books out of our hands if we attempted to look inside. Even my 10-year-old said, "They must not want our money." I realize there are probably people who damage the books, but that's the chance you take. If they allowed people to actually look at the books they would sell a lot more than were damaged. DO NOT SHOP AT THIS STORE! Try Ram's Head or Printer's Ink!

1
★☆☆☆☆

I'm downtown every Tuesday because my daughter takes music lessons there. When the weather is nice, I take my other kids to different shops in the area. With the economy so poor, I've really been trying to buy things from local shops, so I decided to try Cantos. Immediately we had a sales clerk staring us down and taking books out of our hands if we attempted to look inside. Even my 10-year-old said, "They must not want our money." I realize there are probably people who damage the books, but that's the chance you take. If they allowed people to actually look at the books they would sell a lot more than were damaged. DO NOT SHOP AT THIS STORE! Try Ram's Head or Printer's Ink!

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

My husband and I both work near Downtown Roanoke, so we met one day for our lunch break and decided to browse some stores; he was wearing casual clothes and I wearing business casual. I eagerly led him in the direction of Cantos, where I had been once before and (having had no problems) wanted to browse there once again. I am one of those obsessive book-readers who is anal about taking care of books and who can almost never enter and exit a bookstore without buying something. So, my husband follows me into Cantos Booksellers, where we hear a rather loud and obnoxious employee checking some customers out at the counter. We tuned her out and began to walk around looking at books. My husband looked through one about pressure points, but the employee lady must have still been busy with other customers at that point. After being in the store for about 2 minutes, I opened up an intriguing-looking children's book and began to carefully look at its pages with my husband when we suddenly noticed that the sales lady was right at our side in a couple of seconds. She said something about it being a great book, to which I agreed; then she kept standing there and a second later, she said "are you interested in this one? the books get worn down when people look through them a lot..." At first, I thought maybe she was for some reason apologizing for some minor flaw the book had (which I had not seen), and I said "yes, I do like this; it's very interesting. I like looking at children's books because I like to write them as well..." at which point she cut me off and repeated herself as she reached her hand toward the book "well they get awfully worn and used-looking when people look through them a lot." I realized she was one of those pushy sales people that usually make a person's mouth turn sour and walk out of the store. I continued looking at the book. She repeated herself a third time, using other words, and then said that I could go to a library if I wanted to browse through books, but that's not what you do in bookstores. I gawked at her for a moment and she proceeded to hold up a novel from a nearby shelf and said "see how these pages are bent outward? it looks used because someone has tried to stand here and read it. that's what libraries are for. if you want to read it, you can buy it and take it home." Finally understanding that this harassment was not going to stop, I closed the book and looked at her and said "so you don't want people to browse through books here to see if they like a book before they buy it?" She repeated herself a fourth time and repeated her line about libraries. I said, "how are people supposed to see if they like a book if they can't look through it?" Again, she repeated her self (at this point, I'm thinking she's a little crazy) and said "if you want to buy the book, then I'd be happy to hold it up front for you until you're done looking." (I'm thinking: LOOKING?? How can I possibly look at books if I can't even browse?? They might as well have all their books in locked glass cases if they don't want them browsed through.) "No," I said, putting the book back in its place, "No, we'll just go to a different store." And we walked out. I was, and am still, very furious. I have never been treated like this at a bookstore, and I am furious that any bookstore would operate this way. Bookstores are among my favorite places to go, even over libraries where everything is Free! I can't believe that any place that operates this way would still get business. Unfortunately, the situation angers me enough that the one time I went there before and had a good experience is clouded over by this more recent insulting experience at Cantos Booksellers. I will never return there to buy any books there, though I may return to write some actual review articles on it, or to hand out some of these other reviews to folks who are considering going in the store downtown.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My husband and I both work near Downtown Roanoke, so we met one day for our lunch break and decided to browse some stores; he was wearing casual clothes and I wearing business casual. I eagerly led him in the direction of Cantos, where I had been once before and (having had no problems) wanted to browse there once again. I am one of those obsessive book-readers who is anal about taking care of books and who can almost never enter and exit a bookstore without buying something. So, my husband follows me into Cantos Booksellers, where we hear a rather loud and obnoxious employee checking some customers out at the counter. We tuned her out and began to walk around looking at books. My husband looked through one about pressure points, but the employee lady must have still been busy with other customers at that point. After being in the store for about 2 minutes, I opened up an intriguing-looking children's book and began to carefully look at its pages with my husband when we suddenly noticed that the sales lady was right at our side in a couple of seconds. She said something about it being a great book, to which I agreed; then she kept standing there and a second later, she said "are you interested in this one? the books get worn down when people look through them a lot..." At first, I thought maybe she was for some reason apologizing for some minor flaw the book had (which I had not seen), and I said "yes, I do like this; it's very interesting. I like looking at children's books because I like to write them as well..." at which point she cut me off and repeated herself as she reached her hand toward the book "well they get awfully worn and used-looking when people look through them a lot." I realized she was one of those pushy sales people that usually make a person's mouth turn sour and walk out of the store. I continued looking at the book. She repeated herself a third time, using other words, and then said that I could go to a library if I wanted to browse through books, but that's not what you do in bookstores. I gawked at her for a moment and she proceeded to hold up a novel from a nearby shelf and said "see how these pages are bent outward? it looks used because someone has tried to stand here and read it. that's what libraries are for. if you want to read it, you can buy it and take it home." Finally understanding that this harassment was not going to stop, I closed the book and looked at her and said "so you don't want people to browse through books here to see if they like a book before they buy it?" She repeated herself a fourth time and repeated her line about libraries. I said, "how are people supposed to see if they like a book if they can't look through it?" Again, she repeated her self (at this point, I'm thinking she's a little crazy) and said "if you want to buy the book, then I'd be happy to hold it up front for you until you're done looking." (I'm thinking: LOOKING?? How can I possibly look at books if I can't even browse?? They might as well have all their books in locked glass cases if they don't want them browsed through.) "No," I said, putting the book back in its place, "No, we'll just go to a different store." And we walked out. I was, and am still, very furious. I have never been treated like this at a bookstore, and I am furious that any bookstore would operate this way. Bookstores are among my favorite places to go, even over libraries where everything is Free! I can't believe that any place that operates this way would still get business. Unfortunately, the situation angers me enough that the one time I went there before and had a good experience is clouded over by this more recent insulting experience at Cantos Booksellers. I will never return there to buy any books there, though I may return to write some actual review articles on it, or to hand out some of these other reviews to folks who are considering going in the store downtown.

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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I'm a customer service rep who endures Cantos' vile condescending abuse every couple of months. Every time I see her name on my caller ID I cringe and fight the urge to run from my desk! I take a deep breath and prepare to be as pleasant and helpful as possible, but that evil disturbed woman crushes me like a fly. I talk to many, many people all day long who are quite pleased with my service, so I believe Cantos is the one with the problem. Now that I see all the reviews, I know I am right! It's nice to know it's not just me, although I feel so sorry for anyone else unfortunate enough to experience that woman's poison.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I'm a customer service rep who endures Cantos' vile condescending abuse every couple of months. Every time I see her name on my caller ID I cringe and fight the urge to run from my desk! I take a deep breath and prepare to be as pleasant and helpful as possible, but that evil disturbed woman crushes me like a fly. I talk to many, many people all day long who are quite pleased with my service, so I believe Cantos is the one with the problem. Now that I see all the reviews, I know I am right! It's nice to know it's not just me, although I feel so sorry for anyone else unfortunate enough to experience that woman's poison.

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

I was looking for a book for my elderly mother and they helped me find two really good ones. They also suggested a good book on tape for me. And when I paid they threw in an "advance" book for free. I saw books there I've never seen anywhere else. Great Store!

5
★★★★★

I was looking for a book for my elderly mother and they helped me find two really good ones. They also suggested a good book on tape for me. And when I paid they threw in an "advance" book for free. I saw books there I've never seen anywhere else. Great Store!

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0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

I went to Cantos a few weeks ago to browse, and the owner was very helpful in suggesting interesting titles. I could tell she was a seirous reader and knew what she was talking about. I'll be going back to get some more suggestions when I'm finished with what I purchased.

However, when I was in the store I did hear her tell another gentleman to not read through the books, in much the same way as other reviewers here have pointed out. My suggestion is to only shop here if you're a back-cover reader. If you need to actually browse through the text, try somewhere else.

4
★★★★☆

I went to Cantos a few weeks ago to browse, and the owner was very helpful in suggesting interesting titles. I could tell she was a seirous reader and knew what she was talking about. I'll be going back to get some more suggestions when I'm finished with what I purchased.

However, when I was in the store I did hear her tell another gentleman to not read through the books, in much the same way as other reviewers here have pointed out. My suggestion is to only shop here if you're a back-cover reader. If you need to actually browse through the text, try somewhere else.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

I had precisely the browsing experience here everyone else has written of. Within one minute, literally, of opening a book the proprietor asked me, very oddly, if the mass market paperback was in my price range. Truly bizarre -- bordering in mentally disturbed. When I responded that i hadn't yet looked at the price, she said opening a book made it look used. I replaced it, commenting that it's difficult to judge a book without examining its words. Then I left since it was obvious browsers aren't welcome. I seldom leave a bookstore without buying something, and in fact bought a book on my last visit here. Bit I'll never visit again and urge others to avoid the store.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I had precisely the browsing experience here everyone else has written of. Within one minute, literally, of opening a book the proprietor asked me, very oddly, if the mass market paperback was in my price range. Truly bizarre -- bordering in mentally disturbed. When I responded that i hadn't yet looked at the price, she said opening a book made it look used. I replaced it, commenting that it's difficult to judge a book without examining its words. Then I left since it was obvious browsers aren't welcome. I seldom leave a bookstore without buying something, and in fact bought a book on my last visit here. Bit I'll never visit again and urge others to avoid the store.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

My recent experience at Cantos mirrors what most people on this site have raised. When the store was run by the previous owners it was a gem and I spent hundreds of dollars there without incident. I have thought bookstores were a place to browse for books and discover which ones might interest you enough to buy. Not this place. If you pick up a book you will have the VERY weird owner/clerk beside you doing her odd questioning of you picking up their precious books. If this independent bookshop closes it won't be soon enough for me. Please do not buy anything here. Don't reward this type of behavior or business practices with any of your hard-earned money. Go to Ram's Head instead.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My recent experience at Cantos mirrors what most people on this site have raised. When the store was run by the previous owners it was a gem and I spent hundreds of dollars there without incident. I have thought bookstores were a place to browse for books and discover which ones might interest you enough to buy. Not this place. If you pick up a book you will have the VERY weird owner/clerk beside you doing her odd questioning of you picking up their precious books. If this independent bookshop closes it won't be soon enough for me. Please do not buy anything here. Don't reward this type of behavior or business practices with any of your hard-earned money. Go to Ram's Head instead.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

My wife and I were also in Roanoke to see a play at the Mill Mountain Theater. After dinner we decided to kill some time by looking at the shops but Cantos seemed to be the only one that was open after 6pm on a Thursday evening. So we walked in and were greeted kindly by the clerk and she seemed helpful in telling us where different sections were. However, as soon as we picked up a book the mood changed from polite and friendly to rude and abrasive. "If you open the books they get worn looking" were her words. We said OK and promptly left the store. Avoid this place if you can, unless you enjoy abuse.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My wife and I were also in Roanoke to see a play at the Mill Mountain Theater. After dinner we decided to kill some time by looking at the shops but Cantos seemed to be the only one that was open after 6pm on a Thursday evening. So we walked in and were greeted kindly by the clerk and she seemed helpful in telling us where different sections were. However, as soon as we picked up a book the mood changed from polite and friendly to rude and abrasive. "If you open the books they get worn looking" were her words. We said OK and promptly left the store. Avoid this place if you can, unless you enjoy abuse.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

Dear Owner of Cantos Booksellers,

Asking a customer whether something is in their "price range" in order to discourage them from handling your merchandise because they might make it look "used" is insulting and rude. In all my life, having spent a not insignificant fraction of it in bookstores, I have never been treated this way. You can rest assured that after this experience, no matter what my "price range" is, it won't be extended to include your store - ever. I will also be sure to tell my friends and relatives about my poor treatment at your store. If you don't wish for people to handle your merchandise, keep it behind glass or plastic in cases and don't put out reading chairs, or drop-ship after receiving orders and keep an empty store, or keep a warehouse and operate online only. If you do wish to have successful real-life local business with plenty of customers, treat them with respect.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Dear Owner of Cantos Booksellers,

Asking a customer whether something is in their "price range" in order to discourage them from handling your merchandise because they might make it look "used" is insulting and rude. In all my life, having spent a not insignificant fraction of it in bookstores, I have never been treated this way. You can rest assured that after this experience, no matter what my "price range" is, it won't be extended to include your store - ever. I will also be sure to tell my friends and relatives about my poor treatment at your store. If you don't wish for people to handle your merchandise, keep it behind glass or plastic in cases and don't put out reading chairs, or drop-ship after receiving orders and keep an empty store, or keep a warehouse and operate online only. If you do wish to have successful real-life local business with plenty of customers, treat them with respect.

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2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

A friend and I were in Cantos doing some Christmas shopping and it seemed like a nice little shop. That is until we made the mistake of picking up a book and opening it. After flipping through a few pages for a few seconds, the clerk immediately came up, put her hand on the book , and said, "If you read it, it becomes a used book -- is this in the price range you were looking for?" and the rudeness just went on. I was so stunned by her rudeness, I just put the book down and we left! We had the exact same experience as all of the other reviewers on this site. This is Christmas time and if I'm going to purchase something I'd like to see what I'm going to pay for. I've been in many book stores, and have never had anyone object to looking through a book. Apparently, they do not want to sell them. As a small business owner, this is not the way to make or keep customers. We, along with the other reviewers, will make sure to inform everyone of our horrible experience at Cantos. All of our future book purchases will be elsewhere.

1
★☆☆☆☆

A friend and I were in Cantos doing some Christmas shopping and it seemed like a nice little shop. That is until we made the mistake of picking up a book and opening it. After flipping through a few pages for a few seconds, the clerk immediately came up, put her hand on the book , and said, "If you read it, it becomes a used book -- is this in the price range you were looking for?" and the rudeness just went on. I was so stunned by her rudeness, I just put the book down and we left! We had the exact same experience as all of the other reviewers on this site. This is Christmas time and if I'm going to purchase something I'd like to see what I'm going to pay for. I've been in many book stores, and have never had anyone object to looking through a book. Apparently, they do not want to sell them. As a small business owner, this is not the way to make or keep customers. We, along with the other reviewers, will make sure to inform everyone of our horrible experience at Cantos. All of our future book purchases will be elsewhere.

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2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

worst bookstore ever! you're not allowed to look at the books (gasp!). my husband and i had the same experience as others mentioned on this page. we were basically asked to put the books down and weren't allowed to even peruse them. we were actually planning on buying one or two books, but instead, we found ourselves storming out of the store and mumbling mean things under our breath. we were simply appalled at the behavior. after reading all these comments, i'm starting to think that the lady needs some counseling. clearly, she has a huge chip on her shoulder and she needs a mental evaluation.

1
★☆☆☆☆

worst bookstore ever! you're not allowed to look at the books (gasp!). my husband and i had the same experience as others mentioned on this page. we were basically asked to put the books down and weren't allowed to even peruse them. we were actually planning on buying one or two books, but instead, we found ourselves storming out of the store and mumbling mean things under our breath. we were simply appalled at the behavior. after reading all these comments, i'm starting to think that the lady needs some counseling. clearly, she has a huge chip on her shoulder and she needs a mental evaluation.

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2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

I was spending my weekend in Roanoke. I saw this bookseller in the downtown area and entered to the shop to look for an easy-to-read book. The ambiance was good at the beginning: a cozy setting, good selection of books, carefully organized shelves. But everything turned upside down as soon as I took a book from one of the shelves. The lady clerk showed up next to me, and started to ask me weird questions like if the book was in the price range I was looking for or if I was ready to buy it, so that she could hold the book for me in the front counter.
Further she added that, "once a book is opened it becomes used!" As she were half way turned back to me while stocking books on another shelf, she made a statement like, "if you are not going to buy a book you should not hold the book and skim through it." By the way, all of these happened within the first two minutes of my visit there.
I was so horrified and appalled by her reactions I wanted to get out the place immediately. For a few seconds though, I thought about a proper way to answer to her. I was unprepared to answer, and I did not want to ruin my weekend by arguing with a clerk who has no respect for customers.
As much as I like independent bookstores, I strongly recommend NOT to shop from this bookseller until they change their policy. It is a shame that star city Roanoke has such an inhospitable bookstore at the heart of downtown. Roanoke Chamber of Commerce should listen to the outcry of the most reviewers here and should act quickly before more consumers get hurt.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was spending my weekend in Roanoke. I saw this bookseller in the downtown area and entered to the shop to look for an easy-to-read book. The ambiance was good at the beginning: a cozy setting, good selection of books, carefully organized shelves. But everything turned upside down as soon as I took a book from one of the shelves. The lady clerk showed up next to me, and started to ask me weird questions like if the book was in the price range I was looking for or if I was ready to buy it, so that she could hold the book for me in the front counter.
Further she added that, "once a book is opened it becomes used!" As she were half way turned back to me while stocking books on another shelf, she made a statement like, "if you are not going to buy a book you should not hold the book and skim through it." By the way, all of these happened within the first two minutes of my visit there.
I was so horrified and appalled by her reactions I wanted to get out the place immediately. For a few seconds though, I thought about a proper way to answer to her. I was unprepared to answer, and I did not want to ruin my weekend by arguing with a clerk who has no respect for customers.
As much as I like independent bookstores, I strongly recommend NOT to shop from this bookseller until they change their policy. It is a shame that star city Roanoke has such an inhospitable bookstore at the heart of downtown. Roanoke Chamber of Commerce should listen to the outcry of the most reviewers here and should act quickly before more consumers get hurt.

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4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

.

I was in Raonoke with my boyfriend in Roanoke in October 2008. We were appalled by the rudeness of the clerk at the Cantos bookstore. We went through all the bsd experiences the other reviewers have gone. What a repulsive policy that is; we are never going there again.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was in Raonoke with my boyfriend in Roanoke in October 2008. We were appalled by the rudeness of the clerk at the Cantos bookstore. We went through all the bsd experiences the other reviewers have gone. What a repulsive policy that is; we are never going there again.

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6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

.

I was downtown during my lunch break from jury duty, and stopped into Cantos for a few minutes, as I love bookstores, and had never been into this particular store before. It seemed like a nice little shop, until I made the mistake of actually picking up a book -- after glancing through it for less than half a minute, the clerk came up, put her hand on the book , and said, "If you read it, it becomes a used book -- is this in the price range you were looking for?" I was so stunned, I just put the book down and left -- how could she not understand that people do browse in bookstores, that this is how books are sold? If I was bending it up, if my hands were dirty, I could understand, but this was not the case -- I've been in any number of independent as well as chain book stores, and have never had anyone raise the slightest objection to my leafing through a book. Do they not want to actually sell them?? In my case, they succeeded, as I will never spend a dime at Cantos.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was downtown during my lunch break from jury duty, and stopped into Cantos for a few minutes, as I love bookstores, and had never been into this particular store before. It seemed like a nice little shop, until I made the mistake of actually picking up a book -- after glancing through it for less than half a minute, the clerk came up, put her hand on the book , and said, "If you read it, it becomes a used book -- is this in the price range you were looking for?" I was so stunned, I just put the book down and left -- how could she not understand that people do browse in bookstores, that this is how books are sold? If I was bending it up, if my hands were dirty, I could understand, but this was not the case -- I've been in any number of independent as well as chain book stores, and have never had anyone raise the slightest objection to my leafing through a book. Do they not want to actually sell them?? In my case, they succeeded, as I will never spend a dime at Cantos.

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5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

.

Cantos Booksellers is a tiny little book shop, just off of the quaint City Market and across the street from Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke (City), Virginia. The shopper will find only books and other print materials at Cantos, no coffee bar. But what it lacks in extras, it more than makes up for by the knowledge and helpfulness of it's staff. One almost leaves with the impression that they have read every book on their shelves.

As the father of four children under the age of 9, I have always been impressed by the personal and child friendly service that I have received every time I shop for books. I always like to take my children book shopping for special occasions. The staff at Cantos always takes time with each child, helping him or her to find books which are both age appropriate and which cater to the individual interests of each.

My hat is doffed to Cantos Booksellers. If only every business could treat their customers as well as Cantos Booksellers, the world would be a much better place to live, travel, and shop!

5
★★★★★

Cantos Booksellers is a tiny little book shop, just off of the quaint City Market and across the street from Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke (City), Virginia. The shopper will find only books and other print materials at Cantos, no coffee bar. But what it lacks in extras, it more than makes up for by the knowledge and helpfulness of it's staff. One almost leaves with the impression that they have read every book on their shelves.

As the father of four children under the age of 9, I have always been impressed by the personal and child friendly service that I have received every time I shop for books. I always like to take my children book shopping for special occasions. The staff at Cantos always takes time with each child, helping him or her to find books which are both age appropriate and which cater to the individual interests of each.

My hat is doffed to Cantos Booksellers. If only every business could treat their customers as well as Cantos Booksellers, the world would be a much better place to live, travel, and shop!

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3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

.

My wife and I were in Roanoke on April 2 to see a play at Mill Mountain. We had dinner downtown, then strolled around before the show, when we happened on Cantos. We were on the first day of a vacation, and I had not brought a book along, so while I did not go into the shop with a specific title in mind, I was open to the possibility of buying a book or two to enjoy over the next few days. We had been in the store less than ten minutes, I was browsing in another section of the shop, and my wife was looking at a book about a medical condition my wife has, when she was approached by a clerk (or was it the owner?) who informed her that this was not a library and that she couldn't just look things up in the books. She took the book out of my wife's hands and offered to hold it behind the counter for her to buy on her way out. My wife took the book back and replaced it on the shelf, saying that she was just looking to see if the book had enough new information to be useful for her to buy. The store person grumbled that now that it had been opened it was a used book and walked away. We left the store shortly afterwards, taking our disposable income elsewhere. I believe strongly in supporting the independent bookseller, but Cantos isn't helping themselves by treating customers like juvenile delinquents, not to be trusted with the merchandise. A book club was about to begin, and we wondered if the staff was trying to run us off. Other reviews here show that this was just business as usual at Cantos. Fortunately, the play at Mill Mountain was a comedy, which helped improve our moods after the sour experience across the street.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My wife and I were in Roanoke on April 2 to see a play at Mill Mountain. We had dinner downtown, then strolled around before the show, when we happened on Cantos. We were on the first day of a vacation, and I had not brought a book along, so while I did not go into the shop with a specific title in mind, I was open to the possibility of buying a book or two to enjoy over the next few days. We had been in the store less than ten minutes, I was browsing in another section of the shop, and my wife was looking at a book about a medical condition my wife has, when she was approached by a clerk (or was it the owner?) who informed her that this was not a library and that she couldn't just look things up in the books. She took the book out of my wife's hands and offered to hold it behind the counter for her to buy on her way out. My wife took the book back and replaced it on the shelf, saying that she was just looking to see if the book had enough new information to be useful for her to buy. The store person grumbled that now that it had been opened it was a used book and walked away. We left the store shortly afterwards, taking our disposable income elsewhere. I believe strongly in supporting the independent bookseller, but Cantos isn't helping themselves by treating customers like juvenile delinquents, not to be trusted with the merchandise. A book club was about to begin, and we wondered if the staff was trying to run us off. Other reviews here show that this was just business as usual at Cantos. Fortunately, the play at Mill Mountain was a comedy, which helped improve our moods after the sour experience across the street.

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4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

.

I was in Roanoke the weekend of March 28-30, 2008 for the Virginia state DAR conference held at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center. More than 600 women were in attendance. Saturday afternoon a friend and I visited the City Market for lunch and a little shopping. We stopped in Cantos taking a few minutes to peruse the Virginia history section. As we browsed a couple of selections, one of them a paperback text, a staff member, possibly the proprietor, approached my friend, took the book from her hands and returned it to the shelf. To paraphrase, she said: Excuse me, this is not a library. When you ??bend? the cover it becomes a used book. The big book store chains have allowed people to think this is appropriate behavior. We were so stunned at being approached in this manner that we simply walked out of the store. I am pleased that she did not need or want our business. I have just ordered from Barnes and Noble the two books we were contemplating purchasing at Cantos until we were treated so rudely. As a note, I have been an ALA certified librarian in both public and school libraries since 1979. I teach book care to my students on an annual basis.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was in Roanoke the weekend of March 28-30, 2008 for the Virginia state DAR conference held at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center. More than 600 women were in attendance. Saturday afternoon a friend and I visited the City Market for lunch and a little shopping. We stopped in Cantos taking a few minutes to peruse the Virginia history section. As we browsed a couple of selections, one of them a paperback text, a staff member, possibly the proprietor, approached my friend, took the book from her hands and returned it to the shelf. To paraphrase, she said: Excuse me, this is not a library. When you ??bend? the cover it becomes a used book. The big book store chains have allowed people to think this is appropriate behavior. We were so stunned at being approached in this manner that we simply walked out of the store. I am pleased that she did not need or want our business. I have just ordered from Barnes and Noble the two books we were contemplating purchasing at Cantos until we were treated so rudely. As a note, I have been an ALA certified librarian in both public and school libraries since 1979. I teach book care to my students on an annual basis.

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4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

.

I ordered my textbook 4 weeks ago and haven't received it yet. When I called in to follow-up the owner claimed she already sent it and hung up on me. I will never purchase my textbooks from Cantos again!

1
★☆☆☆☆

I ordered my textbook 4 weeks ago and haven't received it yet. When I called in to follow-up the owner claimed she already sent it and hung up on me. I will never purchase my textbooks from Cantos again!

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5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

.

I find that the owner knows what she has in stock, and all you need to do is ask... she has made some wonderful suggestions to me regarding titles to consider, while discussing topics during a visit to the store.
For anyone who's had a problem with orders, you need to realize this isn't Barnes & Noble, where they can inventory stuff people don't come to pick up because they can't wait for their book to arrive. Just a little common sense.
I just enjoy intelligent conversation with bookstore owners who get into their business because they actually read books. Cantos is one such rare place.

5
★★★★★

I find that the owner knows what she has in stock, and all you need to do is ask... she has made some wonderful suggestions to me regarding titles to consider, while discussing topics during a visit to the store.
For anyone who's had a problem with orders, you need to realize this isn't Barnes & Noble, where they can inventory stuff people don't come to pick up because they can't wait for their book to arrive. Just a little common sense.
I just enjoy intelligent conversation with bookstore owners who get into their business because they actually read books. Cantos is one such rare place.

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1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

.

I ordered two books (probably $10-15 a piece) from Cantos for a class. They could not say if they would be able to order one and were dubious about the timeline of the other. Because of time constraints and their inability to say if they could get them or not, I had to get the books elsewhere. For the next month, I received berating and angry phone calls multiple times a day on my cell and office phone. The woman was rude and unreasonable - demanding I come purchase the books despite the fact that I no longer needed them. Even though I apologized for not being able to purchase the books, the woman on the other end of the line continued to berate me and tell me to come buy them. I have retold this story to as many of my friends as possible and hope that it costs them dearly. Independent bookstores should make up for their price and selection through customer service - I am going to Ram's Head now on where the employees don't stalk me.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I ordered two books (probably $10-15 a piece) from Cantos for a class. They could not say if they would be able to order one and were dubious about the timeline of the other. Because of time constraints and their inability to say if they could get them or not, I had to get the books elsewhere. For the next month, I received berating and angry phone calls multiple times a day on my cell and office phone. The woman was rude and unreasonable - demanding I come purchase the books despite the fact that I no longer needed them. Even though I apologized for not being able to purchase the books, the woman on the other end of the line continued to berate me and tell me to come buy them. I have retold this story to as many of my friends as possible and hope that it costs them dearly. Independent bookstores should make up for their price and selection through customer service - I am going to Ram's Head now on where the employees don't stalk me.

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5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

.

This store is very different from a Border or Barnes and Nobles. The store specializes in older books that are sometimes more difficult to find. This store has some nice items that are tough to come by without placing a special order. My favorite attribute of this store is the employees. These people are great and really know what they are doing.

4
★★★★☆

This store is very different from a Border or Barnes and Nobles. The store specializes in older books that are sometimes more difficult to find. This store has some nice items that are tough to come by without placing a special order. My favorite attribute of this store is the employees. These people are great and really know what they are doing.

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0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

.

This store has a great selection of older novels. Its location downtown is also very unique. The prices in the store are relatively inexpensive as well. The staff is also very friendly and very helpful with what i was looking for. They also carry a good list of new books as well. I recommend anyone looking for a good book to check this place out.

4
★★★★☆

This store has a great selection of older novels. Its location downtown is also very unique. The prices in the store are relatively inexpensive as well. The staff is also very friendly and very helpful with what i was looking for. They also carry a good list of new books as well. I recommend anyone looking for a good book to check this place out.

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1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

.

Cantos is conviently located on the Market in downtown Roanoke. They are a small store with a nice selection of books. They are not the cheapest place to buy books, but not the most expensive either.

PROS: location
CONS:

3
★★★☆☆

Cantos is conviently located on the Market in downtown Roanoke. They are a small store with a nice selection of books. They are not the cheapest place to buy books, but not the most expensive either.

PROS: location
CONS:

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0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

 

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