Travel Tales – Bart’s Books

It was so nice to finally be able to do a little traveling. Last week I spent a few days in the beautiful little California town of Ojai. I had never been there and found the town very lovely and charming. But to my delight I also found a wonderful bookstore called Bart’s Books.

They claim that they are the world’s largest open air bookstore, and I tend to believe that. They do have an incredible selection of books and for the most part all of them are out in the open air. There are a few rooms that are enclosed, but I can understand that.

As you can see the books, while technically out in the open are quite protected from the elements as well. I loved the open courtyard in the center that has chairs and tables for you to sit and check out all of the treasures you have found. The majority of the books are used, but there are quite a few new books as well. They could use a better organizing system, as all of their fiction is all together except for a small section for fantasy/science fiction. This made it hard to find something if you just wanted to peruse a genre. But easy if you were looking for an author.

The book store has been around since 1964 and has a really interesting history, which you can read here. I really liked all of the little touches of old typewriters and other things like inkwells and printer cases. Also some old pictures from around town. There was also some more modern artwork as well.

The kitchen from the original house that belonged to Bart, now houses the cookbooks, which I thought was a nice touch. Other enclosed room held the rare and first editions and other expensive books.

I highly recommend checking Bart’s Books out if you find yourself in that part of California. In fact I recommend spending some time in Ojai. It is a lovely spot with great food and some lovely spots to stay. I recommend checking out the Blue Iguana Inn. They had great rooms and I just loved the grounds that had some cool artwork scattered around such as their name sake by the office door.

Hopefully I will be able to do more of these posts in the future as I am able to venture forth into the world once again. Happy Reading!

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