Are you a book or record collector whose vision of a perfect day includes exploring newly discovered shops and libraries filled with New York Times Best Sellers and eclectic rare out-of-print treasures? Here’s the bookstores in Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Truckee that you’ll need to carve out some time to explore on your trip.
You’ve Come To The Right Place!
Nevada County is a literary community that cherishes the written word. Home to local authors like Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder, Molly Fisk, Jordan Fisher Smith, Hank Meals, Chris Enss, and Sands Hall, this community is on the map. It’s also a big draw for writers who travel near and far to participate in events like Sierra Poetry Festival produced by Nevada County Arts Council and the inspirational mountain workshops organized by Community of Writers.
Where History Buffs Will Strike It Rich
History buffs will strike it rich at the Searl Historical Library. An archive of the Nevada County Historical Society, researchers will find a trove of 29,000 historical photographs, 3,000 printed books on early California and Gold Rush history, and several thousand maps of the area. Be sure to check out the Friends of the Nevada County Libraries book sale held in the basement of the Doris Foley Library the first Saturday of each month. Looking for more Nevada County libraries? You might want to extend your stay here. There are six county libraries to visit!
Take a hike then grab a book
State parks like Malakoff Diggins, Empire Mine, Donner Memorial State Park, and South Yuba River State Park all have visitor centers with wonderful resources for gold rush, California and natural history of the area, along with beautiful trails to hike, guided tours, and museums to explore.
Calling all book collectors! Get ready for a dream weekend of hopping from book store to record store to coffee shop then ending the day with a nice glass of wine at a local winery to enjoy a good read.
Word After Word Books
10052 Donner Pass Rd
Word after Words Books Website
Word After Word Books is a local Indie Bookstore located in Historic Downtown Truckee. A thoughtfully curated selection of literature for all ages including titles by local authors, regional and historical books about the area, and books about the outdoors. Be sure to go downstairs to check out the basement vinyl store called Rock Cellar Records.
Donner Memorial State Museum
Located in Donner Memorial State Park
12593 Donner Pass Rd
Get ready to dive in deep and learn everything about the Donner Party. That ill-fated wagon train of 90 emigrants en route to California who encountered a severe winter snowstorm forcing survivors to make grisly life or death decisions. Interpretive exhibits and artifacts, eight miles of trails and lots of cool history, and nature books for sale at the visitor center. Located three miles west of Truckee. There is a $10 day use fee May – September and $5 in the off season.
The Book Seller
107 Mill Street
The Bookseller website
This full-service independent bookstore is located in the heart of historic downtown Grass Valley. Specializing in books on history, nature, outdoor activities, & touring information for the Gold Country, the Sierra Nevada, and Northern California Regions. They also offer a wide variety of titles from best-selling fiction and non-fiction, travel guides, health, and art. Kids will love the Kids’ Cellar, an entire magical floor dedicated to books for children and teens.
107 Bank Street
Booktown Books website
Lose yourself in this labyrinth for eccentric book collectors! Booktown Books is a two-story cooperative of 14 independent booksellers with 4,000 square feet of used and rare books, ephemera, books on CDs, music CDs, DVDs, records, and art. Each Bookseller has their own booth in the store that displays their special genres. Did we mention the Rare Book Room booth where discriminating collectors can find fabulous rare, unusual, and antiquarian books? Ask at the desk for more information.
Brown Banana Books
671 Maltman Drive
Brown Banana Books website
“Your friend in paper-based entertainment” is a zany hub for book nerds with a sense of humor. Follow Instagram for a laugh then head to the website for more information about a monthly book swap held the first Sunday and Open Mic Nights on Tuesdays. They give out a free banana sticker with every purchase. Most books are priced between $2 and $6 and offer CDS, DVDs, and Comics for the unbelievable price of $1!
Clock Tower Records
130 W Main St
Clock Tower Records website
Look for new and classic vintage vinyl in this music collector wonderland. Books, CDs, audio components, and music-inspired gifts aplenty can be found. In addition to their normal business hours, special appointments are available for serious collectors.
Brigadoon Books Toad Hall Books
108 N Pine St
A hub for bibliophiles, this shop features rare and second-hand volumes on archaeology, anthropology, California and local history, classic fiction, children’s books, hiking and mountaineering, cookbooks, railroad topics, adventure, and books specializing on Scotland.
An Inner Sanctum Books & Antiques
308 Broad St
Used, rare vintage and collectible books and antiques, with a decent selection of Gold Rush literature and magazines.
130 Main St
Harmony Books website
Nevada City’s complete bookstore serving humanity for 33 years is packed to the brim with books. “Pushing knowledge and nourishing souls”, this purveyor of new books covers a full range of topics. Located in the historic Assay Office built in 1857, now known as the Robinson Plaza, the book store is conveniently adjacent to the Nevada City Farmers Market held every Saturday. What’s better than a fresh brewed coffee, local pastry, and a new book?
Fine Books and Ephemera
PO Box 95
Hardy Books website
A rare and out-of-print book and ephemera seller available by appointment in Nevada City. Specializing in “all things Californian”, the shop also carries movie posters and other memorabilia. A member of the Independent Online booksellers Association.