She’s baa-aack! Several months ago, Ti at Book Chatter and Other Stuff shared a fantastic Spotlight post on The Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado. I was fantasizing about packing my bags and visiting the bookstore, when I saw this post about Ti’s Mother’s Day outing. I added another stop to my imaginary tour of book shops, and asked Ti if she would tell us more in a Spotlight post. Fortunately for all of us, she gladly obliged … I think a second trip to the store was required for “additional research” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)
This past Mother’s Day I decided to head to Ojai, California to check out a bookstore that a co-worker had recommended to me. The family and I loaded into the car, map in hand, and headed out to Ojai after a delicious Mexican feast. We had no idea what to expect as my co-worker friend called it a bookstore “stand” that is outdoors. Hmmm…an outdoor bookstore? I was intrigued.
As we pulled in front of Bart’s Books, I think that my body started to get out of the car before the car actually pulled to a stop. Back in 1964, Richard Bartinsdale’s book collection had gotten a bit out of hand so he set-up bookcases along the sidewalk so that passerby could take a look at what he had. In lieu of cash registers, he set-up coffee cans and just asked people to place their payment into the cans.
The coffee cans are gone but the bookcases surround the entire house, the inner courtyard and several of the rooms within the house. Ojai has very mild weather so corrugated roofing material protects the books from the elements and you are left with shelf after shelf of great finds! My favorite room is the kitchen, which appropriately houses a huge collection of cookbooks.
My family was very kind and let me roam aimlessly for quite awhile. I was in heaven! The books were well organized but I was not! I left the house without my reading list so I ended up with only two books, Rebecca and The Danish Girl but I enjoyed browsing through all of the aisles. It’s probably the most unique bookstore that I have every visited and it’s close enough for me to visit every couple of months.
The bookstore is located on the corner of Matilija and Canada streets. There are some refreshments that can be purchased such as coffee and soda but the restroom is not a public restroom so be sure to plan accordingly. There are several restaurants and shops just a couple of blocks away so you can spend a lovely day in Ojai and come home with a few treasures.