Sometime last week, I suggested to Michelle we take a trip to Ojai, just so we could get out of the city for a bit. Thanks to years and years of dragging her to places at the last minute without planning, she readily agreed, and we set the course to Ojai, so we could pay Bart’s Books a visit, amongst other things.
A couple of years ago, I had no idea Ojai was a thing, or a place. When Michelle mentioned it, the exchange went a little like this:
“What’s a OH HIGH?” I asked.
“It’s where Anthony Hopkins lives!” she replied.
And so, armed with the knowledge that there was a possibility we’d be running into Hannibal Lecter, we were off. That particular day’s trip turned all kinds of strange. I had packed rolls and rolls of film in preparation for the eventual shoot we had planned at Rose Falls, but we ended up lost in the deepest, most sulfuriest1 place of the Los Padres forest in a car that was rapidly running out of gas. But that’s a story for another time.
So. Bart’s Books. Selection-wise, it probably has to be one of my favourite bookstores2. The selection is not as quirky as the Labyrinth at the Last Bookstore, but it is definitely well-stocked with used newer titles usually going for half price.
Architecturally, it is my favourite. Basically, it’s a house full of books. Everywhere. In every nook and cranny, even on the outside. Shelves and shelves upon shelves of books. You can easily spend hours perusing titles in one of the many, many specialty nooks3. And there’s a shelf dedicated to dinosaur books! And they have coffee! Dinosaur, coffee and sci-fi4 paperbacks. That’s a bookstore you can trust, that’s how you know.