A few weeks ago I discovered this list of 20 beautiful bookshops around the world. It would be pretty fun to do a world tour and visit all of them, but kind of impractical. Fortunately, though, two of them are in Southern California and we so happened to have reason to be down there a couple of weeks ago [side note: this was also an opportunity to drop in to a couple of In n Out Burgers off the 101. Yeah. That was good, but the culinary find of the trip was Tacos Don Roge in Carpinteria. Delicious, and we were both well fed for like $15]. So we did a little SoCal beautiful bookstore tour. First up was The Last Bookstore, in downtown LA. It’s a big space, high-ceilinged and with pillars and ceiling cornices and the like. There’s a mighty wave-shaped sculpture made of books on one wall and the head of a woolly mammoth on the other wall. My pictures didn’t come out too good, but you get the idea:

The Last Bookstore, LA. That's the big bookwave sculpture on the wall.

The Last Bookstore, LA: Woolly mammoth head.

Overall we thought: it’s pretty nice, but we’d be surprised if it really was one of the twenty most beautiful bookshops in the world. However, the following day we checked out Bart’s Books in Ojai, which is a little town about 20 minutes’ drive inland from Santa Barbara. It’s set amid lovely green hills and the bookshop itself is extraordinary: the whole place is outdoors. Here are some pics we took:

Bart's books, Ojai, CA.

Bart's is mostly but not completely an outdoor bookshop. Here we are in the outdoors, looking into the indoors. Cosy.

It was super-lovely! Definitely recommended to anyone doing a road trip on highway 1.