Delaware loses beloved downtown bookstore

By Breanne Reilly
Transcript Reporter

Beehive Books, located at 25 North Sandusky St., is closing on Jan. 31 because the two owners, Linda and Joe Diamond, could not find a buyer to purchase the bookstore.

“We want something that will complement Delaware,” Linda Diamond said. “We’ve had a few offers but the business must be good for Delaware and be comparable to Beehive.”

Beehive has been open for more than six years and sells local artists’ work, various books and magazines, coffee, and handcrafted merchandise. It hosts events such as book signings and readings by local and national authors.

Senior Naomi Abrams, member of the Interfaith House, said she used to do homework there and held a book club for her house project at Beehive.

“The place is cozy, like everyone knows everyone, somehow,” she said. “The owners were super accommodating and even charged us less for books.”

The Diamonds also own the space where Global Village, Button-Up and Whit’s Frozen Custard are located. Linda Diamond said their decision would not affect these businesses, stating she and her husband decided to sell the bookstore so she could focus on her job at the Health Department and because of Joe’s ailing health.

“We had to stop and think where we wanted to spend our time,” she said.

Lisa Ho, associate chaplain and Beehive Books employee, said the Diamonds told employees it would close at the store’s annual Christmas party.

“It sounds kind of crass, but it wasn’t,” Ho said. “They wanted us all to know at the same time.”

Ho said the Diamonds’ search for a Beehive buyer had been public knowledge for a few months but she did not know the store would close.

Some customers are upset about the closing. Greg Myers, a Delaware resident, said he had gone to the bookstore every weekend since it opened for a latte and to read Baron’s magazine.

“It was my Saturday morning habit,” he said. “[Beehive] has this energy. It was like a focal point for the community. You can’t get that anywhere else.”

Junior Taylor Johnson, who had just started working at Beehive two months ago, said she had wanted to work there since she was a freshman. According to Johnson, the store is closing partly because of financial reasons, in addition to slow business.

“It’s like, if you really wanted to keep it open, you should have been here,” she said. “But they get, and we all get, that this is the best decision for the owners. It’s just sad to see it go.”

The book’s prices have been marked down for the past three weeks and all artwork and furniture is sold.

Diamond said Delaware residents have been the most avid buyers. “People come in and say, ‘I want something from Beehive to remember it by’ and so now bits of Beehive are scattered throughout Delaware,” she said.

Diamond also said she will sell the leftover books to other bookstores, the closest of which is twelve miles away. She also said she would donate books to organizations in the town.

On the last day the store is open, the Diamonds are hosting an Irish wake so the community can say goodbye to Beehive.

“Joe and I are both Irish and we want to celebrate, not to mourn,” Diamond said.

Ho said a committee has formed to recreate the atmosphere and opportunities that Beehive offered. The Community Education and Outreach committee will meet within the next month to find a place where community members and OWU students can attend educational events. Places like Choffey’s Coffee, Something Sweet and Barley Hopsters have been discussed as options.