Bookstore Spotlight: Bart’s Books of Ojai, California

Due to the recent Borders liquidation and closing, I cannot help but think about a world without books. Pretty scary.


There is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee in a bookstore. So I would like to support bookstores more, and encourage readers to not treat these bookstores as a “library setting” : read and leave. I also encourage you to purchase a book or two and not just hang out, as bookstores need to make a profit in order to maintain their business.


I will be featuring all bookstores – on individual posts – that I have been to.
I will start with an outdoor bookstore in California:


Bart’s Books
302 West Matilija Street
Ojai, CA 93023-2549
Phone: (805) 646-3755
Open 7 Days a Week: 9:30am – Sunset


About Bart’s Books:

Bart’s Books, at the corner of Matilija and Canada streets in Ojai, CA, is the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.

In 1964 Bart’s Books was little more than a sparkle in the eye of Richard Bartinsdale whose collection of books had gotten so overwhelming that he constructed a series of book cases along the sidewalk so that passersby could peruse the titles.

In lieu of a cash register, “Bart” left coffee cans atop the book cases. People would select a title or two and leave payment in the cans, giving birth to Bart’s world famous tradition of selling books via the honor system.

Since that time Bart’s Books has become host to nearly one million books ranging from the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls and are still for sale on the honor system, to rare, out of print first editions, and art books valued in the thousands of dollars.

Nearly half a century after its inception, Bart’s Books continues to mystify patrons, journalists, and book lovers with a character and charm that beggars description and a selection of books that is beyond compare.


From the outside, you can already see books.


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