Jump to content

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Moonlight Forest
Please consider visiting our kind sponsor: Moonlight Forest
deebs

Open Letter to Non-Pagan Bookstores

Recommended Posts

deebs

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/starlight/2018/01/open-letter-to-non-pagan-bookstores/

Patheos has an article about the lack of Pagan books in regular book stores, it starts with this paragraph

Quote

All pagan bookstores rock, but the other bookstores of the world seem to barely have any pagan books at all.  After visiting a ton of mainstream and indie bookstores all over the United States and not finding a sufficient amount of pagan books several times, I decided to write an open letter.  Take note, booksellers.  It’s time to get more diverse.

Please visit patheos to read the full original article.

So, I was wondering; what is your experience with finding good Pagan books in non-Pagan bookstores?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ad from Google

Moonhunter

Hmm... great idea but not sure it will work, in practice. The author of the article pleads:
 

Quote

 

Buy modern Neo-Pagan books. Buy ancient pagan books. Buy Wiccan books.  Buy witchcraft books. Buy Voudou and Santeria books. Buy traditional occult books.  Buy shamanism and Feri tradition books.  Buy witchy books written by millennials and Gen X’rs.

Don’t just buy the 101 titles — get the weird stuff too.

 

 

However - book shops only exist if they buy books that sell. Not that might sell, or (worse) that might sell in fifteen years, when just the right customer comes in. Inevitably, book shops would end up creaming off the really hot selling books - mainly Wicca 101 and spell books. That could affect the book sales of the New Age shops. If it meant the New Age shops then shifted to the non-standard/weird books, that would be fine - but small bookshops can afford unsold stock even less than mainstream bookshops. 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonsmith
On 11/01/2018 at 9:10 AM, deebs said:

So, I was wondering; what is your experience with finding good Pagan books in non-Pagan bookstores?

Very occasionally I'm pleased with a find while browsing a used bookshop.  Rarely is the volume about my spirituality, more likely to be artwork of some kind.

As for anything useful, I buy it on line as most of us do.  That's how the business is changing.  I don't hire videos from a shop and I don't buy my steel tube from a local stockholder.

If there is anyone down near Hastings looking for some esoteric stuff look in High Street, Old Hastings.  Pull out the front row of New Age and pop-Pagan stuff and look behind  at some of those pamphlets and papers.  I don't understand much of them other than a few key references, but you might.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badger Bob

Are the books even published for the bookshops to sell? I can't say that I have heard of many good pagan books coming out in the last decade or so. The majority of books published these days are celebiogs or cookbooks, a book on advanced paganism is likely to stay a dogeared bundle of A4 paper under the author's desk.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellinas

It's unusual to find anything directly about modern paganism that does not seem rather facile - which starts with the same letter as "fluffy" but I'm unsure if it is a wider or a narrower concept.

Of course, you can get the odd nugget even an otherwise pointless book.  Whether it is worth snorkelling though the daftness to find it is another matter.

I've picked up some stuff by Crowley (Book of the Law, Book of Lies, 777) and LaVey (Satanic Bible & Satanic Rituals) - not that those names are any guarantee of quality and some of what both wrote strikes me as hilariously nonsensical.  I've also obtained the complete works of Plato, Graves' Greek Myths, and classical authors are not difficult to come by (Aristotle, Livy, Apollodrus, Homer...).  That may be the advantage of Hellenism - I don't recall seeing many copies of the Eddas gracing bookshelves.  Also stuff on archaeology and ancient history is out there.  Some years ago I came across an entire series of reprints of late 19th/early 20th century titles on folklore, albeit from a more anthropological standpoint (authors like Donald MacKenzie),  Dated, but not without interest.

I suppose it depends on what you regard as "good" and "pagan",

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Freydis

Most of the books I've bought over the last ten years that have been pagan related have been primarily about history, archeology or anthropology in areas which happen to have pagan links or relevance.  I very rarely buy "pagan" books now because there simply isn't much around that interests me anymore.  Ron Huttom and Jenny Blain would be the only specifically "pagan" authors I'verin a long time,  and even then their books aren't necessarily badged as pagan.  Actually make that twenty years.  I'm getting old. :biggrin:

You can usually get hold of the Eddas and other books relating to the sagas in mainstream bookshops - at least round here (West Yorkshire) you can.  The Waterstones in Leeds city centre frequently has the Eddas in stock - not necessarily on the "Mind and Spirit" or whatever they call it these days shelves though.  They're frequently more likely to be found in European History or Early Lierature (or whatever they call it).  Which is fair enough.  The Mind and Spirit shelves tend to be packed with wicca-lite/Charmed stuff or lots of angel related things......  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ellinas

Good to know they are available.  I've never noticed them around here.  Then again, I've never looked for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

I'd prefer to get the translation I chose, though, and not be limited by what's in the bookshop. I suspect most pagans buy online. They also (judging by Facebook) ask for recommendations first. 

And yes - 95% of the recommendations are wicca-lite or witchcraft-lite or someone's UPG.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Veggie dancer
On 1/13/2018 at 10:16 PM, Ellinas said:

I suppose it depends on what you regard as "good" and "pagan",

Hit the nail on the head there Ellinas. Perhaps the situation is slightly different in the US where fundamental christianity has more of an influence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Veggie dancer

Having said that I think book shops are not always sensible in the books they stock... nothing to do with pagan books but... why have book 3 and 4 of a series but not 1 and 2? if you pick it up and are interested you are not likely to buy 3 or 4 unless you happen to have read 1 and 2. And if you have read 1 and 2 and like it enough to buy 3 and 4 you might like to buy 1 and 2 as a present for a friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonsmith

I can't speak for all bookshops but a friend of a daughter who worked in Waterstones says that their deliveries are based upon the outlet profile and market predictions.  She an IT specialist so it is hardly surprising that she also says that in her view the resulting sales are superior to those of the experienced loner making their isolated decision.

There apparently exists a marketing reversal whereby customers are less discriminating in their purchases and more committed to a specialist, niche or characterful book shop.  Being part of the shop's clientele is important.  These tend to be second hand bookshops.  That said and despite the enthusiasm shown by the OP blogger, I would feel an aversion to a specifically "Pagan" bookshop.  I've never seen one.  Perhaps it is different in parts of the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stonehugger

I googled, hoping to find one in Whitby (for next time I visit), but at least found https://www.treadwells-london.com/ and http://theatlantisbookshop.com/, both down south somewhere. I imagine the benefit of a pagan bookshop is that the booksellers probably understand what they're stocking. I may be wrong but I expect booksellers in general bookshops struggle to be deeply familiar with everything they stock. Going even further off-topic, would you prefer to support your local pagan community or become part of the global corporate machine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Veggie dancer

there is a local pagan gift shop near me. And I do try to support it as it is run by a really sweet guy as you say it is nice to support the local pagan community, I do buy incense and greetings cards there got a nice a pair of earrings and green man for the garden, it is really just a quirky seaside gift shop though. No pagan books anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Freydis

I don't think that there are many explicitly pagan shops around us.  There are a number of crystal/new agey places, that probably also have some pagan stuff, but I've looked closely enough.  I find that havy incense makes me sneeze these days.  :biggrin:  Mostly wicca lite stuff.  There are a few craft workers who are certainly pagan sympathetic if not explicitly pagan and they turn out some nice stuff.

The only book seller I know of locally is The Sorcerer's Apprentice (if they're still going) and they've been mail order only for a long time.  Firebombed by Christian fundmentalists - really nasty incident back in the 80s (I think).  I'd like to think that this isn't a risk faced by pagan bookshops today, but I guess I can't be sure.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×