Browseabout’s bestseller list is 50-year snapshot of Rehoboth

Fallen willow tree acts as nurse log for new willow tree sprouts
April 14, 2023

Story Location:
Browseabout Books
133 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

When the ownership of a longtime business changes, even if things stay essentially the same, the new owner is always going to make the business their own, and sometimes that means the ending of long-standing traditions. I thought that was the case for the painted list of bestselling books that lines the exterior wall entering the book-selling side of Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach. However, I’m happy to report that’s not the case.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve only recently noticed the list of bestselling books, which dates back to 1975. I’m in the store often and I’ve definitely taken note of the whale above the door’s entrance, but for some reason the 10-foot-tall bookcases to the right of the door never caught my eye.

When I first noticed the list, in early 2022, what really stuck out to me was that the top books from 2021 hadn’t been added. Later, months into 2023, the list of bestsellers was also missing 2022. At this point, the tradition, and apparent ending of it, was on my radar. Which is why I was happy to see that the books from 2021 and 2022 had been added to the list recently.

Browseabout Books owner Susan Kehoe said it was never her intention to not continue the bestsellers list. It was just one of those things that went unnoticed on her end, too.

“There’s been a lot going on in the past two years,” said Kehoe, referencing her purchase of the business from founders Steve and Barbara Crane, and COVID. “One day, I was literally walking by and I noticed the last two years hadn’t been done.”

The list was first created by the Cranes; Steve did the first years through memory, said Kehoe. Now, she said, the list is created through end-of-year sales figures.

“I come out here to people looking over the book lists all the time,” said Kehoe. “It’s your typical beach read, but it’s a pretty wide variety of books.”

Looking over the list, Kehoe has little stories on many of the titles – local authors, authors who visit, the no-brainer bestsellers. She said when she sees the list, she sees 50 years of Rehoboth Beach, 50 years of hard work, tens of thousands of books sold and the promotion of hundreds of authors. It’s a little time capsule, she said.

As of now, two-thirds of the last bookcase is available for future years of best sellers. There’s been a lot of change in Rehoboth Beach over the past few years, and there’s a lot more coming. It’s nice to see some things remain the same.

Fallen weeping willow serves as nurse log for next generation

I drive on Cave Neck Road from Milton to Route 1 pretty much seven days a week. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the early spring leaves of two weeping willow saplings glowing green as the morning sun hit them just right. What really caught my attention was that those baby willows were growing out of a third willow that was well into years of decaying on the ground. So I pulled over and took a picture.

According to a May 2021 post from National Park Service about a nurse log in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, fallen trees may help other trees survive by becoming nurse logs providing an excellent place for seedlings to take root. According to the post, eventually nurse logs will rot away altogether, but by then the younger trees growing out of them may have extended their roots into the soil so they can survive on their own.

It makes sense that nurse logs are more likely to happen in dense forests, but in this case the log and young saplings are located on the far edge of a retention pond for one of the communities along Cave Neck Road. It’s near a section of the community’s property that abuts a house fronting Cave Neck, and by the looks of it, geese and lawn care professionals are the only visitors to this side of the pond. If I had to guess, that’s probably why the fallen willow has been allowed to decay to a point of regeneration. Undoubtedly, if that tree was near someone’s backyard, the HOA would have heard about it and the tree would have been removed by now.

Joke of the Week:

It appears to finally be getting warmer around here, which means shorts season is just around the corner. So here's a shorts-related joke. As always, send jokes to

Q: What kind of shorts do clouds wear?

A: Thunderwear.

  • Chris Flood has lived in or visited family in Delaware his whole life. He grew up in Maine, but a block of scrapple was always in the freezer of his parents’ house during his childhood. Contact him at

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter