Local independents react


In response to the closing last week of Crown Books, located in the Cross Creek shopping center, independent booksellers are stepping up service to accommodate the literary needs of Malibu.

“People ask me, ‘Aren’t you happy it’s closed?,'” says author and journalist Melody Beattie, owner of A Different Dimension bookstore. “No. I’m not. I don’t believe that anyone’s success should be built on another’s failure. It’s a particularly sad event. Crown definitely had a place in our community.”

Beattie, who opened shop last fall above Atlantis Clothing in Cross Creek, relocated to a larger storefront on Pacific Coast Highway near the PC Greens market. The store was founded as a center for publications, audio and visual media concerning recovery, spirituality and the healing arts.

“We will expand our offerings of the bestseller list; we’ll be expanding our fiction list as well,” says Beattie. “We’ll increase our salesmanship to help people find titles, whether out of print or in print.”

The store plans to act as a distributorship via the amazon.com online merchant, which catalogues 10 million titles at deep discount. The service guarantees home delivery within 72 hours and is free of shipping costs when five or more titles are ordered.

At Malibu Shaman in the Country Mart, owner Scott Sutphen was “quite shocked” at news of the Crown closure. “It’s amazing that we can’t support a traditional bookstore. I feel bad for Malibu.

“I can’t tell you how thankful I am to our loyal Malibu clientele. While Crown had a New Age section, it was limited. This definitely will increase our business.” The owner says he will continue to accommodate all requests for special orders.

Sutphen unveiled the Shaman 16 years ago and moved last summer into space vacated by Malibu Books & Co., which went out of business in the spring. The store’s focus is metaphysical, with extensive materials on meditation, hypnosis and Eastern wisdom.

With Crown’s departure, remaining avenues for Malibu readers include the campus bookstore at Pepperdine and newsstands near Hughes market and in the Indigo Cafe at Kanan.