Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bart's Books in Ojai, California!

Entrance to Bart's Books
This past Sunday, January 8th, I spent half the day in Ojai, California with my hubby and oh, what fun we had! One of my favorite delights in life is exploring independently owned and operated bookstores. So, during our visit to Ojai, I had the opportunity to do just that!
Bart's Books!

We stopped off at a unique used bookstore called Bart's Books located in a semi-residential neighborhood. What an amazing bookstore! What makes Bart's Books so unique is that it is "home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A." The history of Bart's Books according to their website is as follows:
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.
We spent the better part of an hour perusing the bookshelves and exploring Bart's Books itself. Most of the bookstore is located outdoors with many patios where customers can sit at tables or on benches and peruse the books for sale. The weather was sunny, warm, and in the low 70s during our visit, which made for a great day to be outdoors enjoying the day + searching for just the right book to read.

Ample Outdoor Seating

There are also three structures (which look like a former home) that also house books as well as specially made bookshelves that meander the property. I enjoyed exploring the many nooks and crannies that Bart's Books has to offer..... And, just when you think you've seen the entire bookstore, you'll turn the corner and find a brand new section to explore. I encourage you to visit Bart's Books should you ever make a visit to Ojai, California!

Outdoor courtyard & books surrounding the courtyard!

Another courtyard surrounded by books!

Books tucked away in one of the many nooks found throughout Bart's Books!
Livingroom Area
Cookbooks are found in the kitchen

When all was said and done, I walked away with two used mystery novels by Tamar Myers titled 'So Faux, So Good' and 'Monet Talks'.  Believe me, I wanted to purchase more books, but I already have way too many to read as it is.

Tell me about your favorite and/or most unique independent bookstore you've visited!


  1. Love the photos! I also love to see what it looked like prior to COVID. There were chairs and tables!

    1. Yes, great outdoor space to enjoy reading books and fresh air. All that was needed was a coffee/tea station for refreshments!