Malibu Bookstore

A large slice of the morning was given over to jaunting around the L.A. area in search of nice independent bookstores. The indie destination was, in part, just an excuse to drive hither and thither, getting lost and learning what’s where, but it was also a serious quest: I prefer to spend my hard-earned cookie dough at indie bookshops. Nay, sir, not a word against the big box stores, Border’s and Barnes ‘n’ Noble — they have their niche in the natural order; yet if there were nothing but those giants and Amazon, we would be mournful book-buyers.

Anyhow, I found a nice indie called Diesel’s, A Book Store over the hills in hoity-toity Malibu. It’s one branch of three — the siblings are in Oakland and Santa Monica — and it fills the bill quite well: light diffused by curved sheets of canvas or parchment or something, enticing table displays of all the new covers. Small, friendly, inducive to that loopy browsing state.

Alas, I forgot to snap a photo of the place, so two miles into my return trip I pulled over and took this picture:

The drive is sixteen miles along a twisty canyon road including a spooky tunnel with rough-hewn walls like something out of Disneyland. A bit of a hike, I guess, but better than the thirty miles — headachey freeway miles — to the enormous (for an indie) and in every way wonderful and just about perfect, and also good Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.

UPDATE: Lulu was so enchanted by my description of Diesel’s, a Book Store, that I acceded to her dewy-eyed request to take her there before the world was a day older. Once more I sped, this time with shotgun rider, first up and up, then down and down, the verdant slopes of the Santa Monicas and screeched to a halt inches from the front door of Malibu’s favorite independent book store. This time I came armed for photography and, kneeling on the floor, took this shot of the ceiling so you could see the light shades described above.

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