Bart's Books – Ojai, California - Atlas Obscura

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Bart's Books

Explore more than 130,000 new and used books in the "world's largest outdoor bookstore." 


A cornerstone of the city of Ojai, Bart’s Books is the world’s largest outdoor bookstore and a mecca for bookworms and casual readers alike. 

Founded in 1964, Bart’s Books began as a group of bookcases along the sidewalk outside the home of founder Richard Bartindale.

Inspired by the Parisian book carts found off the river Seine, Bartindale utilized outdoor bookshelves so that those walking by could look through the titles. Instead of using a cash register, Bartindale left coffee cans on top of the bookcases for people to pay for their selections.

Bart’s eventually evolved into a full-stop bookshop, with the core indoor section of the store being built from Bartindale’s old home. Over the years, the bookstore has become a cultural institution, having been featured in numerous documentaries, TV programs, print articles, and films. 

Today, Bart’s Books continues to serve the needs of all readers with over 130,000 new and used books spanning from 35 cent specials, to rare, out-of-print first editions and extremely valuable art books.

Know Before You Go

Bart's Bookstore is open seven days a week rain or shine from 10 am-6 pm. The outdoor exterior of the bookshop with the 35 cent specials is open 24 hours a day with plenty of payment boxes to pay for your selections.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse, the book selection is massive and spans across essentially every genre. 

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May 28, 2021

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