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Sure, we love the instant fix of a Kindle purchase or the long-tailed pleasures of e-booksellers. But walking into the new Diesel bookstore in Malibu, we experienced a rarity for readers these days: The thrill of a well-edited selection of things to read.

The 1,390-square-foot space is shiny and new: The owners relocated after closing in another section of the Malibu Country Mart this past spring. The appointments are minimalist lovely, with Noguchi orb lights and barrel chairs designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

But the play is the thing here--or the novel, or the essay, or whatever literary form. It's a place where the clerk discusses the new Joan Didion memoir with a customer while children read in an alcove, where literary horror stories sit alongside New York Times best sellers and a coffee-table book about Malibu photographed by Julius Shulman. And the point-of-purchase booklet isn't facile humor but an F. Scott Fitzgerald compendium called On Booze.

In short, it's the sort of smart neighborhood spot that turned us into book lovers in the first place. We'll be stopping in often to bask in Diesel's independent spirit.

Diesel bookstore, 23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu; 310-456-9961 or

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