Browseabout owner’s face said it all

May 22, 2020

Let me state at the outset that this is not a political letter by any stretch of the imagination. This is a human letter. 

On Monday morning during a drive through Rehoboth Beach, I stopped at Browseabout Books on the Avenue. The bookstore of over 40 years was providing curbside service, so I approached the table just outside the door. 

Both co-owners, Steve C. and Susan K., were inside the store and we waved at one another.  Because we were all wearing masks, Steve was able to open the door slightly, allowing me to ask him, “How are things going?” His reply was “We’re hurting.”  It was not just the words which moved me, but the expression on his face.

I have known Steve for the 15 years I have lived at the Cape, and shopped and visited the store often, and have never seen him look the way he did at this visit. And I have seen him after surgery and other ailments.  He indeed was hurting. His pain permeated through the mask and the partially opened door. 

Those of you who have dealt with Steve know this is one tough fellow who has travelled the world several times. Very little troubles or moves this guy! My friend, the co-owner, Susan, tried to hide her dismay by blowing me a kiss from her masked lips. 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is merely an example of the toll COVID-19 has taken on our so called “small businesses.”

Browseabout is the only bookstore for miles in this part of the state. Let’s hope we do not lose it. 

The sign said that the store will open June 1.  Let us safely patronize this treasure when it reopens, and also buy via phone and internet at this time. Let us also hope that the commissioners of Rehoboth Beach give some slack to the parking tolls so that customers feel fiscally welcome.  Books are much more important than booze!

Peter E. Carter


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