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Diesel Books in Malibu closing, but owner promises a return

February 9, 2011 | 11:57 am

Diesel Bookstore in Malibu is set to close, the store announced Monday. But co-owners John Evans and Alison Reid, who are Malibu residents, hope to open a new iteration of the bookstore in the neighborhood before the year is out.

"Serious readers in Malibu love having a bookstore there," Evans told the Times.  "Booksellers are idealistic and romantic; we think that this will still work."

The store will likely remain open for another one to three weeks, as the remaining stock -- much of which consists of used books -- is sold for 30% off. The current location, which has seen landlords change and has been subject to ongoing construction, is "not working out," Evans says.

Yet Diesel's other two locations -- in Oakland in Northern California and in Brentwood -- are doing fine. In fact, Brentwood's last year was quite good, beyond expectations.

Recent books that have been popular at Diesel Malibu include literary rock star memoirs: Keith Richards' "Life" and Patti Smith's "Just Kids." One book that's uniquely popular among Diesel's book buyers is Robert Weingarten's "6:30 A.M.," a photo book of morning shots of the Santa Monica Bay.

Evans, who opened his first bookstore in 1989, notes that because Malibu has little commercial real estate, it's hard to predict when they will find the right location for a new Diesel Malibu. "The next version will be a little bit smaller," he admits. "Our expectation is it will be sometime this year."

-- Carolyn Kellogg