Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Ojai  /  Shopping  /  Bart's Books
Bart's Books, Ojai
(4.9/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
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.
Arrange to visit Bart's Books and other attractions in Ojai using our Ojai travel itinerary maker.
Source
Create a full Ojai itinerary
map

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 in Ojai by other users

1 day in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in California BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, kids, culture, outdoors, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, kids, culture, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • where else but in Ojai you can get a second hand book shop keep permanently open in the open air! Huge range, even a few NL language books (which on closer inspection turn out to be mainly Danish)
    View original
  • There are so few bookstores left these days that in general I consider them tourist attractions. I visit them wherever I go. Bart's, although it has changed hands, has been around for a long time, and...  more »
  • As a native Texan, I was blown away by the "open-air" bookstore at Bart's Books. I was told that the store is basically an old residence with the roof removed. To me it was like a courtyard surrounded...  more »
Google
  • This place is highly unique, great selection, welcoming staff, walk around and look for hours with out harassment, family friendly, safe, and they even have some sales from time to time. They have a room to rent or use at a discount for locals as well. I suggest this spot to everyone.
  • One of the last great used bookstores in the southland. Smaller than the defunct Acres of Books in Long Beach but much better organized. They both buy and sell books, books on CDs and some videos however they buy only during weekdays. Good selection of SF, mysteries, travel books, and maritime books (all my interests).
  • If you have an an hour or an afternoon, stop by to surf the collection of books at Bart's. I loved this "little" outdoor bookstore. There are lots of collections and plenty of places to perch and peruse the many treasures within. The staff is friendly and will try to guide you to your area of interest but do not hover.
  • Bart's Books is famous for a reason, if you are visiting Ojai this is one spot you do not want to miss and do plan on spending a few hours here for the wealth of books they have is stupendous! There is also "special' rooms within that provide book collectors a haven to explore.
  • I really loved this bookstore. Bart's Books is a must visit while you are visiting Ojai.