Ice cream was checked off the list (of travel things to do in a new place), did not really get to the Ojai Library, although I did take a spin through the Friends of the Library (or whatever the fundraising/support group calls itself – oh, here we go, thank you intarwebs – Ojai Valley Library Friends and Foundation (OVLFF)) book sale – but, for sure satisfied the bookyness quotient with a visit to Bart’s Books. The World’s Greatest Outdoor Bookstore. Who knew?!
Indeed, there were shelves outside along the sidewalk! Filled with books that were marked with prices (the ones I looked at were all 50 cents) and a slot by the door with a sign that if the store was closed and you wanted to buy a book to put the money through the slot. I had to wonder how often that actually happens and whether they inventory the outside books – ok, really, how often to people just take books without paying. I’d like to think that book people are more honest than the average, or at least as much so, but … yeah, people. But I’m guessing only low value/multiple multiple copy books go outside, and maybe the shop is just as happy to be rid of some inventory. Some of the books did look like they’d been outside for a while.
Then much of inside was also outside – all around the yard/courtyard were shelves – aisles and nooks and crannies. bookhouse heaven… There were also inside spaces, I particularly enjoyed how they had cookbooks and food related in the kitchen. So much to look at! In addition to all the books, there were typewriters scattered around, and a book press! It was splendidly glorious!
I was just looking, but – surprise – did not leave empty handed. Since I wasn’t after anything specific I kept to my own devices, but I did hear some other customers with questions and the staff were super helpful and knowledgeable. Some of us were obviously tourists, but there also seemed to be a number of regulars as well. Definitely worth a visit if you are anywhere nearby!