Bart's Books, in
Ojai, California, is an outdoor bookshop founded by Richard Bartinsdale in 1964.
Nearly half a century after its inception, Bart's Books continues to mystify patrons, journalists, and book lovers with a character and charm that beggars description and a selection of books that is beyond compare.Featured in documentaries and on television news programs for over 40 years, it is considered a novelty primarily because of being a (mostly) outdoors bookstore, and also because some books are available for sale at all hours.
Shelves of books facing the street are filled with books and patrons are asked to toss coins through the door to pay for any books they take whenever the store is closed. One television documentary had a hidden camera in a van parked across the street to study the honesty of people - how many people actually threw money into the store after hours to pay for books they took when no one was around.
Bart's is an Ojai institution, patronized by celebrities who live in or visit the Ojai Valley, as well as a tourist destination for Southern Californians. Currently Dave Ray is Bart's Books bookseller extraordinaire. With his unique blend of expertise, vim, and pure passion for the art of the written word, he brings new life to what The Los Angeles Times calls "an intellectual haven."
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/14/AR2005101400834.html Washington Post]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE3DE1430F935A35752C1A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 New York Times]
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