Diesel Books in Malibu is for sale


Diesel Books in Malibu is for sale for an unusual reason: Its owners have decided they’ve got one too many bookstores.

Co-owners John Evans and Alison Reid started Diesel, their bookselling mini-empire, in Oakland. Malibu came second, nine years ago; then the Brentwood Country Mart. Earlier this year, they opened a shop in Larkspur in Marin County.

Evans believes the Malibu location could do better in sales with a dedicated local owner. As it is, he and Reid are commuting between Northern and Southern California, and haven’t been spending much time in the Malibu shop. It’s a “problem of our own success,” he told the Malibu Times.


The community of Malibu seems like the kind of place that could support a bookstore: Its residents seem like readers. The median household income was more than $132,000 in 2010, more than double the median income statewide. More than 60% of Malibu’s residents work in management, business, science or the arts.

But Diesel has not had an easy time in Malibu. Its original location was sold in 2011 and Diesel closed up shop. It found a new home at the Malibu Country Mart, but Evans says it’s had slow foot traffic of late. “Always thought the new Malibu location was a bit tricky, toward the back, away from foot traffic,” writer Mark Sarvas noted on Facebook, adding, “But it’s a great space and deserves to continue.”

Malibu Country Mart landlord Michael Koss hopes the bookstore remains a bookstore. “We are working hard to contact a few local independent bookstores in LA to see if they have interest in taking over the store,” Koss told the Malibu Times. “But at this point we’re not optimistic about that. It seems none of them are interested in expanding.”

Interested buyers should contact John Evans,, who declined to share exactly what it will take to buy Diesel bookstore in Malibu.


Joan Didion quiz: How well do you know Didion?

Nelson Mandela, remembered through his books

Susan Straight on the lessons of the mixed-race novel

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+