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Bart's Books, Ojai

4.8
#3 of 29 in Things to do in Ojai
Gift & Specialty Shop · Shopping
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
132 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This is the kind of bookstore you want to spend a lot of time in. The shelves go on forever and they have something for everyone. On top of that, it's all outside, including shelves literally on the.....  more »
  • Tons of used books everywhere, wide variety, and good prices. It’s a book lovers paradise! Also cute little spots to curl up with good book and hang out for a while if you have the time.  more »
Google
  • Bart’s books is a truly magical place. It is one of those used bookstores that I return to again and again. I always find new treasures to take home. I really enjoy the diverse collections and the way they’re arranged. There are even books on the outside walls for anyone to grab at anytime (there’s an honor pay system for those). Highly recommended!
  • This was my first time. Loved how natural light brings a new experience of reading!! Will definitely be back. My new place to come and get lost in a good book.😊

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