Out of the Broomcloset bookshelf

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Out of the Broomcloset Bookshelf
Out of the Broomcloset Bookshelf

Living in the golden age of publishing

As John Waters is famously quoted, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” Who am I to argue? (You also might avoid Presidents who exhibit the same tendency). That, in a nutshell, is the premise of this new online-only column. There’s only so much space in the print version of “Out of the Broomcloset,” and the subject of books has certainly been touched on in some issues, but here is the space for the spillover, free of some constraints. This may end up with a tiny audience, or it may rival Oprah‘s book club, who knows?

Wherever a form of writing has emerged in human history, magical texts surely followed

Hard to envision a magical practitioner of any caliber without a book or two lying around, a volume of forbidden lore with which to play (Mickey Mouse, as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in “Fantasia,” did make a mess of things, as we often do when we first attempt something new). Fictional works did not create the connection between magic and books. It just reflects the reality. Wherever a form of writing has emerged in human history, magical texts surely followed, whether on clay, papyrus, leather, paper, or something more exotic.

So here we are, living in the golden age of publishing, certainly as concerns books on occult subjects. There’s a growing list of small press imprints busily doing as they should, producing new works, new authors, as well as preserving older texts and new editions. Then there’s the behemoth that is Llewellyn, intent on occupying every shop shelf devoted to said subject.

It’s a daunting quantity of texts to tackle, especially if you’re just an interested bystander or a newbie. This space will, hopefully, make the search easier, if you’re game, as it will be a (hopefully) long-running tour of books you “should” own, or at least be familiar with.

This online column also comes with a warning; if not already afflicted, it may induce symptoms of Bibliomania, the gentle madness (in most cases). Yes, my friends, there will be talk of editions, states, rarity, desirability, provenance, acquisition, etc. you’ve been warned; hear the advice of John Waters, and decide which part of the equation you belong on.