This Literary Oasis Is The World's Largest Outdoor Bookstore, And It's Only 90 Minutes Away From L.A. - Secret Los Angeles
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This Literary Oasis Is The World’s Largest Outdoor Bookstore, And It’s Only 90 Minutes Away From L.A.

By Ashlyn Davis September 27, 2020

Browse an outdoor maze of over 130,000 new and used books!

Bart’s Books is a beautiful literary labyrinth in Ojai, holding claim to the title of the world’s largest outdoor bookstore in the world —and books are still sold on a simple “honor system.” Bookworms can spend days amongst the shelves with over 130,000 new and used books, take whatever they like, and leave some money in the coffee cans on top of the bookshelves. While it seems to absurd to outsiders, locals can’t fathom why it would be any other way.

What began as Richard Bartinsdale’s small personal collection in 1964, grew into an ever-expanding inventory and Ojai’s oasis for bibliophiles. Eighty percent of the books come from the public on a trade credit system, which includes anything from sci-fi and self-help to rare and valuable gems.

You’ll find corrugated roofing covering aisles of books with greenery spilling over wooden beams on every corner and an outdoor patio filled with palm trees and chairs. At the heart of it all is an old house and garage, decked out with appropriate literature in each room–the kitchen is packed with cookbooks, there’s poetry in the living room and art books in the gallery. The rest of the space offers tons of comfy nooks where you can soak up the Mediterranean climate and lose yourself in a world of fantasy or fiction.

Bart’s Books, 302 W Matilija St, Ojai

Website

[Featured Image: @nickyt31 ]