There's been lots happening in DIESEL-land lately. We're always buzzing about this time of year, in preparation for the holidays -- the shelves burgeoning with beautiful books. That's unchanged, but . . . well, let's face it, it's been a, let's call it "weird," year. We've lost musical legends. Political heroes. What's more, though the social and political landscape is always changing, the abruptness of it all this year has left many of us reeling. We won't just remember 2016 as weird or tough -- we'll be dealing with its consequences for a while. In short, we believe we need more than ever stable cultural institutions like independent bookstores that honor and guard free expression.
So when we announce, as many of you may have already heard -- either from us or from your newspaper -- our intentions (with your help!) to change the ownership of our Oakland location to one of its present managers, Brad Johnson, as well as its name, to East Bay Booksellers, we do so in a celebratory way. In an unexpected twist to an unpredictable year: we think this may very well be the best possible time to make such a change. We love that the vision Brad is casting -- which the entire DIESEL family has had a hand in molding -- has been a ray of hopeful, exciting light to so many already!
DIESEL has never been opposed to experiments. We keep our management structure as horizontal as possible, and have been built from the beginning on the idea that mutual respect for one another, for the store, and for the community is what sustains the good times and gets us through the bad. East Bay Booksellers will be built around the same core value. Brad is a talker -- oh, is he ever! And his commitment to conversation is a downright passion. "Conversation changes everything -- which is why so many forces seem intent on getting in its way -- and it is the engine by which mutual respect becomes mutual regard and care."
We also think he's got a good head on his shoulders for business!
But here's the thing: he also needs your help to make East Bay Booksellers a reality. Remember what we said about experiments! The transition from one store to another has its costs -- right around $200,000, in fact. He's not looking for donations (though he certainly would not turn them away either!). On the contrary, he's hoping his friends and neighbors in Oakland and beyond might share his enthusiasm so much that they invest in it. Details on the community lending program are at East Bay Booksellers' website.
Brad will be talking with all who are interested, about DIESEL's transition and how you can help achieve it at an informational meeting at the Oakland store immediately following our Customer Appreciation Day, on Sunday, November 20th at 5pm. If you cannot make it, please feel free to contact him directly.