“Bart’s Books is an open-air maze of book shelves with cozy corners and amazing selections of gently used books.”
Bart's Books - California
Representing an Ojai tradition, Bart’s Books was established in 1964 by Richard Bartinsdale. What makes this bookstore special, is that it is mostly an outdoors bookstore, as well as most books being available to purchase at all hours, since customers can drop coins into the door’s coinbox whenever the bookshop is closed – these books are known as the “thirty-five cent specials” and line the outside walls. This honor system derives from the way in which the original Bart left coffee cans on top of the bookcases instead of the traditional cash register. In contrast to these crazy cheap prices, there are also out-of-print first editions, rare books and art books valued for thousands of dollars inside. Due to its unusuality, Bart’s Books attracts people worldwide, and has gained recognition for being USA’ largest independently owned bookstore operating outdoors. The bookstore has even featured in the popular movie ‘Easy A’ in 2010!
Don’t miss the chance to visit this one-of-a-kind bookstore, with its huge inventory and fantastic prices.
I wanted to tell you about a very unique used bookstore in Ojai, CA. It’s been there since I was a little kid…and I am currently 58. The photos don’t really do it justice, as behind the stacks one can see in the pictures, exist the most amazing maze of books; hundreds of thousands of them. It is best described as a rabbit warren. People (including myself) literally get lost and have to shout for help in finding an exit. It’s fabulous! The staff is perfectly happy with customers grabbing a book and a beverage and reading the book, unpaid for, to the end and then putting it back. When the store is closed, readers in a panic can select a book or books from the outside (of the store) and toss payment for them over the front gate. It’s just about the best used bookstore in the world. 🙂 ~ Grela Jenkins
Hours: Everyday 9:30am to Sunset
Telephone: +1 805-646-3755