2.27.2012

Bookshop Charm


Bart's Books in Ojai is one of the most adorable and pleasant bookshops I've ever seen. Located a little off the beaten path, the bookshop fills an old house with shelves and then opens to outdoor bookcases and seating areas. With pages used as wallpaper and a bucket of old postcards up front, there's nothing short of unique from the way Bart's is operated. They organize every genre and even have a selected collection of rare books. And if the shop isn't open for business and you happen to spot a text in the outdoor area while you're strolling by, Bart's completely trusts the honor system of payment. 

Of course any English major or literary lover will swoon over the littlest bookshop charm, but I think Bart's truly takes the cake on aesthetics. I was able to find a wonderful Louis Vuitton box set of travel guides while struggling to tear myself away from the old Shakespeare  and Ben Johnson editions. I think I need to clear my schedule for an entire afternoon to get through this place, their number of sections is comparable to any B&N.

With so many bookstores going out of business and leaving only corporate chains standing, it's a breath of fresh air to see the support Bart's receives from its small community. It just makes sense to recycle and share books, including textbooks, travel guides, cookbooks, and even children's books. At Bart's there is even a donate-to-receive ratio that allows customers to take a book when they bring some of their own to the store. This is what makes literature accessible and encourages people to explore their reading preferences.

And if you visit Ojai to grab a book, I highly recommends you grab lunch at Boccalli's and crack it open. The food and setting is perfect for some afternoon reading.