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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
109 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • A wonderful bookstore, of mostly used books. Stacks are actually indoors and outdoors and there are plenty of places to sit and browse. If you're there after hours (e.g. after sunset), you can still p...  more »
  • Very cool book shop with lots of unique titles. Nice outdoor seating area as well. Even if you're not interested in buying anything, it's worth the visit to walk around the store.  more »
  • What an experience. Books. Books. Books. Great prices. Books on the outside (just put the 50 cents through the door), books on the inside, which is mostly outdoors. Very laid back with spots to sit an...  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.
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