Read about Nevada history on the cheap

In one way, every day is Nevada Day at the Browsers Corner Book Store in Carson City.

Walking past the DVDs and CDs, the community bulletin board on the wall and through a room with volumes on art and cooking, you’ll come to Room #4 and a corner designated for books on Nevada and the West.

There you’ll find a few shelves with bargain books that tell the history of the Silver State and the western United States from every angle imaginable — miners, cowboys, Native Americans, outlaws, preachers.

As the capital city and the rest of the state prepare to celebrate Nevada’s admission to the Union on Oct. 26 every year, interest in the past piques. And while the Carson City Public Library on the other side of Washington Street has a large collection of Nevada books to lend, Browsers Corner offers the chance to buy books to own for yourself — for $2 or $3 each.

All the books in the store are donated — including some prized editions from Carson City’s many history buffs.

“The most outstanding thing about this is that we’re dependent on the community for our entire inventory, and there’s such a wide variety of interests in our community that we are able to offer these books,” said Phyllis Patton, former president of the Friends of the Carson City Library, which operates the bookstore to raise money for the library.

A few shelves feature selections from the Convis Collection, part of the 3,000-some books about the West donated by 92-year-old author Charles L. Convis before he moved to California to be closer to children.

“He contacted us and wanted us to know he had a collection of books that he wanted to find a home for,” recalled bookstore manager Patti Ferguson. It turned out to be a garage-full, and the Browsers Corner volunteers have been putting them out for sale a few at a time.

In fact, regular visitors to the Nevada and the West section know that the store cycles books on and off the shelves regularly so there’s some fresh offerings to browse.

On one day, those included some mint-condition coffee-table books such as:

  • “The West: An Illustrated History” by Geoffrey C. Ward
  • “The American Frontier: Pioneers, Settlers and Cowboys 1800-1899”
  • “The Other Nevada II,” featuring paintings by noted Nevada artist Fred Boyce

Some coffee-table books can cost a bit more than the regular prices. But there are plenty of good reads to be found.

For the real students of Nevada history, for example, there was a volume of “Nevada Readings and Perspectives,” a 1997 compilation from the Nevada Historical Society that contains such gems as a 1968 essay by Grace Dangberg on the Paiute spiritual leader known as Wovoka.

If you want to dive into history in honor of Nevada Day or any other day of the year, said Patton, “Here is a good place to start.”


Browsers Corner Book Store

711 E. Washington St., Carson City

Typical hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

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