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Bart's Books, Ojai

4.9
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.
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Bart's Books Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
92 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This open air used book store is a great place to browse and find cheap books. They have seating areas to enjoy a little reading too.  more »
  • I love books and this has to be the most unusual book store I've ever visited. Zillions of used books: some indoors and some more in the open patios. You can even buy books after hours by leaving your...  more »
  • While visiting family in Ventura we took a short side trip to Ojai and discovered Bart's Books. What caught our attention was seeing book cases on the sidewalk . In speaking to the clerk she said they...  more »
Google
  • A wonderfully fun bookstore! This bookstore really drives home how lovely the weather can be in the region. The books lining the outside of the store are .50 and are available 24 hours a day (just throw your change through the slot). Hit these shelves up for quirky tomes and books for crafting.
  • Very cool spot! Everything is open air and outdoors! Being from Seattle, this is something that we could never see at home! Staff was nice and prices on books were good. Definitely recommend if you're in Ojai...
  • Fantastic!! If you're in Ojai or near and love books, go there! You will not be disappointed! Loved it!
  • Amazing selection of both new and used books. A place you can geek out and read while drinking coffee in am outdoor setting, or just browse. I go once a week, the selection is better than Barnes and noble, and the books are a 1/10th of the price.
  • Bart's was closed because of the Ojai fires. But they still had the fifty-cent books for sale, on the honour system. Great store!

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