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Author Topic: I learned one thing for sure  (Read 3004 times)

Jonanna

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I learned one thing for sure
« on: September 19, 2011, 11:42:07 pm »
I have to start reading more. I am in a circle and I do ritual on my own and with them and I have been practicing for about 8 years but I have no idea of what most of you are talking about when it comes to books... where do yo find them all?? llewellens doesnt have that many i dont think... and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library. can anyone recommend sites where I can buy books ? I love religion in general and learning about all of the different kinds of Pagan would be wonderful!

Jonanna

Asch

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 11:45:18 pm »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
I have to start reading more. I am in a circle and I do ritual on my own and with them and I have been practicing for about 8 years but I have no idea of what most of you are talking about when it comes to books... where do yo find them all?? llewellens doesnt have that many i dont think... and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library. can anyone recommend sites where I can buy books ? I love religion in general and learning about all of the different kinds of Pagan would be wonderful!

Jonanna


www.amazon.com of course

www.alibris.com

www.half.com

I've used all of these to hunt down books for school as well as my own studies. There are also book exchange sites but I don't recall any urls off hand. If you're tracking a particular title you can do a google search for the title then get the isbn and do another search under the 'shopping' tab. I've had some luck that way.

Remy

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 09:31:27 am »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
I have to start reading more. I am in a circle and I do ritual on my own and with them and I have been practicing for about 8 years but I have no idea of what most of you are talking about when it comes to books... where do yo find them all?? llewellens doesnt have that many i dont think... and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library. can anyone recommend sites where I can buy books ? I love religion in general and learning about all of the different kinds of Pagan would be wonderful!

Jonanna

 
I get most of mine from Amazon and Half, like Asch mentioned. But we also have stores where I live called Half Price Books. They are a wonderful used bookstore chain. Despite the fact that where I live is pretty conservative and mainstream bookstores and libraries do not have much to offer, the used bookstores always do.

The other thing to possibly check into is campus libraries. Some will allow public access, others will not, but they usually have a much more diverse selection of books than city libraries on academic topics, including religious studies. You may be able to check out their collections on their websites. If you know the book you want, you can also search for it in libraries surrounding you at http://www.worldcat.org

Jenett

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 05:25:37 pm »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
I have to start reading more. I am in a circle and I do ritual on my own and with them and I have been practicing for about 8 years but I have no idea of what most of you are talking about when it comes to books... where do yo find them all?? llewellens doesnt have that many i dont think... and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library. can anyone recommend sites where I can buy books ? I love religion in general and learning about all of the different kinds of Pagan would be wonderful!


Let me put on the librarian hat...
 
Llewellyn actually has a quite substantial catalog - one good tip is to take a look at the various Pagan publisher websites (Llewellyn, New Page, Weiser, Kensington, Immanion/Megalithica, and there are a number of small presses - plugging each of those those names into your favorite search engine should turn up the publisher websites on the first page of results.)

Your public library may not have a lot directly about Paganism, but there's a decent chance they have some materials that are of use - check out the Encyclopedia of Religion, any reference sets about Religion in America, any books about mythology, that kind of thing. How useful those are depends a lot on the resource, but chances are there's some good foundational information that can get you started and maybe pointed at other resources.

(And if you're comfortable telling me what your local library system is - either in this thread or in PM - I'd be glad to do some digging for you and see what other titles might be available, though it may take me a week or so, as I'm out of town this weekend.)

I definitely second the idea to try your local public university - since they're tax supported, most public universities offer some kind of support to community users (what it is varies: sometimes you can use stuff on site, but not check things out, sometimes there's a yearly fee for borrowing privileges, which can be worth it if you're doing serious research.) Also check with any colleges (public or private) that are near you geographically - many times, they'll offer something similar for local residents.

(And a lot of places, if you send a polite email, don't make heavy demands on them, and time your visits for times they're not swamped with student or faculty needs, may be willing to come let you browse their collection and maybe - depending on their set up - use their databases/etc. on site.)

Speaking of databases: your local library system or that university may have access to a wide range of articles in their database subscriptions. For example, _The Pomegranate_, a Pagan-studies journal, is part of a couple of the major databases (I want to say it's in Academic Search Complete, but I'd need to double check that from work tomorrow. That's a really commonly used database.) Some databases can include book reviews aimed at librarians or booksellers, which can be a fun way to find out a bit more about Pagan books (usually only a handful of Pagan books get reviewed in these sources each year, but the ones that do tend to be pretty well done and useful in a variety of ways.)

Another way to see what's out there is to look at Amazon - if you type in a search term (like "Wicca"), select a department ("Books" or "Kindle", probably) you'll see a bunch of ways to limit the search - including new and recent releases. I browse through these every couple of months to see what's new and upcoming. You can see an example here - and what I see on my screen is that there's a "New and upcoming" that gives me options for the past 30 days, past 90 days, and coming soon

Amazon does a lot of personalisation, but you should see something fairly close to that if you do the same search.

The one thing to note if you're doing a search like that on Amazon is that there are a bunch of people taking old public domain (and sometimes still under copyright) works and reformatting them, and putting them up. They also include a lot of self-published books, a few of which are awesome, but some of which really suffer from self-publishing (poor writing, insufficient editing, formatting issues, etc.)

So, if it's not from one of those published I mentioned above, it's a good idea to go check out the book in more detail before you buy it. Look for reviews from independent sources, and ignore any review that's totally positive (especially if *all* the reviews you find are either incredibly positive or really vague) - even really awesome books have things they don't do perfectly.

(All those publishers have also put out some lousy books, as well as some really awesome ones, so it's good to check *any* book you're looking at out in more detail. Asking here is a good way to do that if you can't find other info, too.)

And of course, a search on "Wicca" somewhere like Amazon will also include people, from, say, evangelical Christian groups, talking about how Wicca is wrong and evil (and generally with tons of misinformation....) so you need to keep that in mind as you look at titles too. Or you'll find things like romance novels or urban fantasy that mention Wicca somewhere in the description.

Finally, I've got some suggested reading (focused on religious witchcraft, which is what I do, but the various SIG groups here also have some awesome reading lists for other paths) on my website at http://gleewood.org/seeking/suggested-reading/ - you might find the articles on evaluating what you're reading and the role of 'classic works' in modern Paganism particularly helpful - they're all linked from that page.

In terms of buying books, obviously, Amazon will cheerfully ship them to you - but you can also buy from a range of Pagan stores, who will also be happy to sell to you. Magus Books in Minneapolis (one of my former local stores) has a wide selection, and so does the other substantially sized store in Minneapolis, Eye of Horus. Both would generally be glad to order something for you, too. (Most independent bookstores are - and the chains are too, if you're comfortable asking there.) Some sellers will take a personal check or money order, though with the former, you may need to wait for it to clear into their bank account.
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Shawnee

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 04:12:58 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;21323
"

I used abebooks.com to purchase some of my herb/pagan books. Book descriptions, shipping on time, etc has been good so far. The prices are quite good.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 04:13:29 pm by Shawnee »

Jenett

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 05:03:40 pm »
Quote from: Shawnee;21534
I used abebooks.com to purchase some of my herb/pagan books. Book descriptions, shipping on time, etc has been good so far. The prices are quite good.

 
Abebooks has a great reputation for used.

That said - I try not to buy used when I can avoid it, for books where I want to encourage the author and/or publisher to have there be more books like that. (That's because first sales are the only way authors or publishers have to really track how popular a book is.)

Obviously, if price is a huge issue, then used makes a lot of sense - but in the cases where you really want a book to succeed, buying new is a great way to make that clear to multiple places in the publishing industry. (And it's not only the author and publisher of *that* book - authors and publishers of other books also have an idea what's selling well or what there's interest in...)

(Me, I buy used when I don't really want to encourage there to be more books like that - books I want so I can disagree with specific things in them, for example, with page references. But even when money's been tight, I've generally preferred a few really good books where I know the money - little as it is - is going to the author to lots of used. For my general reading, that's what libraries are for: libraries don't count as sales, but at least loan numbers get factored into future publishing decisions in various ways. Used sales are completely opaque in terms of what's going on with them.)
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Juniperberry

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 12:21:33 am »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
I and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library.

 
Oklahoma Public Library Directory
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

sugarmagnolia

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 12:51:33 am »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library.

 
What part of Oklahoma are you in?  There are a few areas, not many, that are pretty tolerant.  Back when I lived in western OK, the nearest library was in the next county, and they had nothing on the shelves that was even remotely Pagan.

Jonanna

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 05:22:40 am »
Quote from: sugarmagnolia;21601
What part of Oklahoma are you in?  There are a few areas, not many, that are pretty tolerant.  Back when I lived in western OK, the nearest library was in the next county, and they had nothing on the shelves that was even remotely Pagan.

 
I live in Oklahoma City. The last time I was in the library I was doing a research paper on charles manson and the libriarian got all huffy when I ask for books abotu him and ask me what I needed them all for... so annoying.

Jenett

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 07:06:33 am »
Quote from: Jonanna;21773
I live in Oklahoma City. The last time I was in the library I was doing a research paper on charles manson and the libriarian got all huffy when I ask for books abotu him and ask me what I needed them all for... so annoying.

 
Librarians are, regrettably human - but that's not the way we're supposed to behave when helping people.

I'm about to be out of town for the weekend, but will do some digging and see if I can suggest some titles that are in your library system that might be helpful to you. (Might not be before Monday: depends on how much quiet time I get/need this weekend.)
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sugarmagnolia

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 12:33:46 pm »
Quote from: Jonanna;21773
I live in Oklahoma City. The last time I was in the library I was doing a research paper on charles manson and the libriarian got all huffy when I ask for books abotu him and ask me what I needed them all for... so annoying.

 
Try going to a different library branch.

I don't really know much about the City, except that when my home terminal was OKC, people seemed a whole lot more tolerant there than they were out in the boonies.

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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 01:08:49 pm »
Quote from: Jonanna;21773

Ok - I've had a chance to do some searching for you. It looks like Oklahoma City actually has a pretty decent collection, all things considered, and they've done some useful (relatively recent) updates to their catalog terms. It's not a huge number of titles, but it's got some reasonable variety.

Cataloging is a complicated thing, but basically, librarians assign one or more subject terms to every book, and the terms are technically mostly supposed to come from a standardised list. Until mid-2007, that list did *not* include Wicca, but did include related terms like Goddess religion, Neopaganism, and witchcraft. Usually once you find some books on your topics, you can find others by clicking on subject terms in the catalog.

Terms I usually try are
- Wicca
- Goddess religion
- Neopaganism
- Witchcraft

Plus searching for authors I'm fairly sure will be in there - Scott Cunningham, Starhawk, Margot Adler - and seeing what terms show up for their books.

Now, the one thing I can't tell from here, is how many of these books are actually available. For a variety of reasons, books about Wicca, witchcraft, etc. are one of the most common categories that go missing. (Some of this is people who disapprove of the subject 'losing' books. Some of it is people who are interested in the subject taking them and not bringing them back, as far as anyone's been able to tell.) So a book might be listed as being on the shelf, but not there.

What you will likely need to do, though, is request books from other branches of your library system. To do that, when you find a book you like, you click on the "request this book" and enter your name and barcode. You select where you'd like the book sent (usually your nearest branch, but you can pick any library you like in the system) and submit the request.

The book will get sent to that branch, and you pick it up. I don't see specifics on the Metropolitan Library site, but any library staff person you see at an information desk should be able to tell you the basics.

(Most library systems, it takes 3-5 days if the book is on the shelf at another branch, and you pick it up either from the circulation desk, or from a self-serve set of shelves in the library, marked with some sort of identifying tag. Some places, it's a non-identifying combination of your initials, some places it's a unique assigned number.) If you know lots of people at your local branch, or they know your family (and you've got any concerns about people seeing you with a particular topic), you might want to pick a different branch than your usual one. Librarians are supposed to keep who checked what out private, but some people are more careful of this than others, or some library setups make it easier to see what someone's checking out as you walk by.)

So, books I'd suggest taking a look at:

Using the subject header "Wicca"
- Deborah Blake's _The Goddess is in the Details_ - nice general overview of deepening practice and experience.
- Chas Clifton's _Her Hidden Children_ which is about the history of Wicca in the US and its various offshoots

Under the subject heading "Goddess religion"
- Margot Adler's _Drawing Down the Moon_ (get the 2006 edition) Classic early history of the community
- Starhawk and Hilary Valentine's _Twelve Wild Swans_
- Phyllis Currot's _Book of Shadows_ also has some interesting bits, but you have to remember that she's relaying the history she was taught in the late 70s/early 80s, not what's currently understood to be the history.
- Her _Witchcrafting_ also has some useful bits.

Under the subject heading "Neopaganism"
- Various titles of possible interest, most of which I have not yet read. I understand the Helen Berger titles have a lot of interesting bits of "what people are doing where" data.
- Ravenwolf has been discussed lots 'round here. There's better stuff out there these days.

Under the subject heading "witchcraft" (which has long been the standby for both things like Wicca and historical witchcraft, like the Salem trials, but also includes some of the "why people are turning to witchcraft, and what We Good Christians can do about it" titles.)

Titles I'd recommend include (besides the stuff mentioned above.)
- Raymond Buckland's _Complete Book of Wicca_ is a classic, though a lot of it is not as well explained or handled in ways that are no longer current practice. Still worth reading from a historical perspective, though, I think.

- Ditto Laurie Cabot's _Power of a Witch_

- Thorn Coyle's _Evolutionary Witchcraft_

- Scott Cunningham's works (again, for historical reasons)

- Lots of people like Ellen Dugan for hearthwitchery/garden witchery stuff.

- The Farrar's _A Witches' Bible_ is also a classic.

- Amber K's _CovenCraft_ is aimed at group work, but there's a lot of other interesting tidbits in the mix.

- A number of people like Christopher Penzack's Temple of Witchcraft books.

- Thea Sabin's _Wicca for Beginners_ is one of my current standard first books recommendations: I like her approach a lot.

There are a bunch of other books in there, but you get the idea.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 01:09:06 pm by Jenett »
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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2011, 11:53:57 am »
Quote from: Remy;21244
I get most of mine from Amazon and Half, like Asch mentioned. But we also have stores where I live called Half Price Books. They are a wonderful used bookstore chain. Despite the fact that where I live is pretty conservative and mainstream bookstores and libraries do not have much to offer, the used bookstores always do.
...

 
Not to get OT, but... HALF PRICE BOOKS! I loved that place. It's where half of my pagan collection came from.
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Re: I learned one thing for sure
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 08:13:26 am »
Quote from: Jonanna;21202
I have to start reading more. I am in a circle and I do ritual on my own and with them and I have been practicing for about 8 years but I have no idea of what most of you are talking about when it comes to books... where do yo find them all?? llewellens doesnt have that many i dont think... and i live in oklahoma so i cant just go to the library. can anyone recommend sites where I can buy books ? I love religion in general and learning about all of the different kinds of Pagan would be wonderful!

Jonanna


Late to the party, but you can look up books you see mentioned here on GoogleBooks. A lot of them have generous preview functions (often more than 100 pages) that allow you to make up your mind if you want to buy the book and get the rest as well.

I buy (when I have money) on Amazon Marketplace. I like the broken-in feeling of used books, and I can certainly put up with a bit of scruffiness in exchange for paying a few pennies plus postage, rather than full price.
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