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A treasured comic and sports card shop in Rochester is closed after the store's longtime owner died this month of sudden illness. 

There are few brick-and-mortar shops remaining like the Book Review, but customers say there are far fewer with someone behind the counter like Craig Cotten. 

Cotten became hospitalized on June 23 after cold-like symptoms progressed and revealed something much more serious — a mix of severe pneumonia, septic shock, and an aggressive form of acute leukemia. 

Cotten was admitted to the intensive care unit and family members started a GoFundMe Page to help cover medical expenses.  

On July 5, the family announced Cotten's passing. He was 58-years-old. 

Kelly Moore, Cotten's younger sister, said the Book Review was more than a store to its customers.

"It was the connection with him and things they would talk about," she said. 

In a flood of tributes on social media, many Book Review customers shared stories of Cotten's knack for recommending titles and introducing the world of sports cards and comics to others. 


Moore said her brother's passion for sports cards began when he started collecting around 6-years-old. 

During the 1990s, Cotten worked at both Face the Music (a now-closed record store) and the Book Review — years before he purchased the business around 2006. 

"He always described himself as kind of a lone wolf," Moore said. "I think he found his niche here and found something he was so passionate about and understood." 

While Moore said family members knew Cotten for his kindness and love of conversation, they are just now seeing the full picture of his impact on others through the Book Review. 

"We are absolutely overwhelmed with all the messages from people," she said. 

The future of the Book Review remains unclear, although Moore said it's possible the business will stay in the family or otherwise continue under a new owner. 

"It would really have to be someone special," she said. 

A Celebration of Life is being planned to bring together Cotten's his family, friends and many customers. 

"This is bigger than just our family," Moore said. "[The Book Review] was his life. He had so many friends there." 

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