Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Ojai  /  Bart's Books

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.
Using our international travel planner, Ojai attractions like Bart's Books can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Bart's Books
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Bart's Books Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
101 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Bart’s books is always a fun place to take new comers. You can do a walk through or spend a few hours browsing the selection of books.  more »
  • Browse books and at the same time be in the fresh air - that it is possible in Beard books. The highlight in Ojai!
    View original
  • Barts Books is an inside and outside store at the same time. Its design is legendary. There used to be a giant tree growing through the middle of the store. It isn't there now, but the store is still ...  more »
Google
  • I love it here! The idea of an outdoor used bookstore intrigued me, so I visited my husband. The folks who run Bart’s Books are super helpful and very welcoming. There is an excellent and huge selection of Fiction and several other genres. I can spend all day here as a book lover. There are a lot of great older books to find as you explore, and the prices are very reasonable. There are a couple of outdoor patio tables with lots of seating scattered throughout, so you can get your cup of coffee and enjoy the books and beautiful Ojai weather!
  • Incredible bookstore with a wide, wide range of topics. Prices are pretty good ranging from $4-8 on the titles I checked out. It's a really neat little environment Half indoors and half outdoors. Definitely recommend if you're around town!
  • Amazing and diverse selection of books. You can easily lose yourself for hours. There’s a few friendly kitties wandering around too making the shopping experience all the more enjoyable. Very friendly and helpful staff as well.
  • Not every tome is a rarity but, however the used books find their way to Bart’s counter, so much of what I spied in every section were a welcome surprise. I got the sense that even the $0.50 hardcovers lining the exterior walls were a curated selection from a special cross-section of humanity’s cast-offs. Special bonus is it’s all outdoor/open-roof browsing.
  • An outside book store- natural light, a ridiculously large selection, and very nice people to help you at every turn.
Places to stay near Bart's Books

Plan your trip to Ojai

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Bart's Books by other users

20 days in United States BY A USER FROM ISRAEL November, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM BRAZIL February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in Camarillo BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, outdoors, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Santa Barbara BY A USER FROM BAHAMAS November, culture, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 31 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Los Angeles & San Diego BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in New York City & Los Angeles BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES January, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Los Angeles & San Francisco BY A USER FROM THAILAND April, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans