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
Create an itinerary including Bart's Books
map
Bart's Books Reviews
Rate this attraction
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
  • I love Bart's. They have an amazing selection of used books organized in outdoor shelves around an old local home. The entire property has been converted to bookshelf space, even the house interior. There are plenty of places to sit, browse, and just enjoy the smell of old books. They usually have classical or other soft music playing and if you're lucky you'll see the shop can wandering the stacks. There is no onsite restroom, so if you're planning a long stay, jeep that in mind. Nonfiction takes up a full half of the store and the employees are well-versed in locations of any book or author you might be seeking.
  • This is the most amazing place - you can get lost for hours. They have every book you could imagine on every subject. Simple the greatest used bookstore in the world. My only question is being outdoor open air bookstore - how do they keep the books so well protected from the elements? We went the day after a heavy rain and everything looked just fine. Great Staff.
  • Two wonderful past times to be enjoyed at the same time: browsing for books and enjoying the great outdoors. Knowledgeable and helpful staff to guide you to the correct book section. For those you consider the benefits of recycling books this is the perfect spot.
  • Amazing open air bookstore. Very strong in most categories. One block off the main street but worth seeking out while in Ojai.
  • Very pleasant older style bookstore ...used and a few new ones. Cubby holes to sit and peruse options. Hot in summer in that it has an open architecture.

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.

Where to stay in Ojai

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Ojai by other users

3 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in California BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, romantic, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, relaxing, romantic, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Ojai BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans