Browse-Worthy Bookshops & On-Paper Presents
Ever since a fellow by the name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens moved to Virginia City, adopted the nom de plume “Mark Twain,” and started writing accounts of the tall tales, outrageous characters, and Wild Western scenes he encountered, the Silver State has lit up the pages of literature. Luckily, Nevada boasts plenty of places to browse for it all, from rare book emporiums in our metros and small-town mom-and-pop bookshops to fascinating repositories at museums around the state and plenty in between.
Because hey, sometimes armchair adventures are just as awesome
Classic Reads & Silver State Stories
Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer
Did you know that there are more ghost towns than incorporated ones in the Silver State? Close your eyes and flip through Nevada Magazine’s Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer book to land on this weekend’s adventure.
Sagebrush to Sandstone: A Humanities Guide to Outdoor Nevada
Part nature guide, part poetry book, and dotted with reflective workbook prompts, this 100-page nature guide published by Nevada Humanities and designed by Black Rock Press features poems by Nevada writers paired with beautiful illustrations depicting Nevada’s natural beauty. Download a free printable version, or stuff a virtual copy in someone’s virtual stocking. Learn more about the project here.
More Nevada Required Reading
While browsing the shelves, keep your eyes peeled for some of our favorite Nevada classics, including the perennial Silver State sightseer’s bible, David W. Toll’s The Complete Nevada Traveler; the unmatched guide to Nevada’s ghost towns and history, Stan W. Paher’s The Spirit of the Silver State; and the hilarious, time-withstanding collection of tales that started it all, Roughing It, by Legendary Nevadan Mark Twain.
Museum Gift Shops & More
Elko, Carson City, Reno & Eureka
Northeastern Nevada Museum
This Elko institution is the world’s foremost repository of books by legendary Nevada cowboy-author Will E. James. While the hardcover originals remain safely in their cases, the museum shop offers plenty of paperbacks for sale, as well as an array of books about the region and state, fine wares from Nevada artists, from stained glass and jewelry to paintings, soft goods, and more.
Will E. James Collection in Elko
Western Folklife Center
As the headquarters of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the WFC’s beautiful gift shop offers the nation’s best assortment of cowboy poetry-packed books, chapbooks, anthologies, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, as well as plenty of cowboy music, art, gifts, and artisan crafts from artists all over the western ranching world.
Nevada Legislative Gift Shop
Located inside the Nevada State Capitol building, this shop is one of the state’s best sources of all-things Nevada books. Books by Nevada authors, about Nevadans, set in Nevada, chronicling Nevada history, detailing Nevada flora and fauna, made for Nevada kiddos—and everything in between—line the shelves, along with collectables, art, beautiful crafts, games and toys, and beyond. Full catalog now available online.
Nevada Museum of Art
Nevada’s preeminent art museum—and oldest cultural institution—curates its shelves with books, unique items, and (of course) art related to both its right-now exhibitions and permanent collections, along with handmade jewelry, collectibles, and children’s toys and games from all over the planet. Full catalog now available online.
Stewart Indian School
Take the guided audio tour of the 63 stone buildings on this 110-acre National Register of Historic Places-listed property, one of the last still-standing boarding schools and a monument to the collective forced experience of countless American Indian adolescents. Then check out the new museum, dive deeper into the extensive archives, and peruse the gift shop, home to Native American-made art and handcrafted goods, including exquisite replica tule duck decoys, Nevada’s official state artifact.
Eureka Sentinel Museum
Catch a glimpse of Eureka’s booming heyday at the original home of the former Eureka Sentinel newspaper from 1879-1960. Then hit the gift shop for an impressive array of books chronicling the mining era in the area and around the state, as well as on a number of Nevada-centric topics—plus plenty of commemorative shirts, wares, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Bookshops Around the Silver State
If you’re traveling around Nevada with a bookworm, beware: you are liable to lose them down well-worth-it rabbit holes in a number of other fantastically curated bookshops in burgs all over the Silver State.
Sundance Books & Music
Located in Reno’s bohemian Midtown District within the historic Levy Mansion, this gorgeous bookshop’s hand-curated Nevada section is tough to beat. In addition to Silver State-celebrating tomes, two sprawling floors offer room after room of books, as well as a finely curated vinyl selection. In partnership with Nevada Humanities, Sundance hosts readings, book signings, and other literary events all year long.
Some of our other faves: