Open Letter to Non-Pagan Bookstores

Open Letter to Non-Pagan Bookstores January 7, 2018

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.

Black cat with pagan wiccan witch books
The familiar browses some books. Photo used courtesy of CC0.

1.  Buy more pagan books.

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.  You never know what someone might be looking for.

2.  Give us a section on the religious shelves.

Separate our religious books from the new age, mythology, astrology, and self-help books.  Move fiction like Carlos Castaneda and The Celestine Prophecy to the fiction section.  Remove all Harry Potter books from our section.

We’re a huge religious movement, and we deserve to be treated with respect.  Give us a label on the shelves too, while you’re at it, so people can find the books.  Which brings me to my next point.

3.  Show off these books with pride.

Pick up these books from the dusty bottom shelf and put them on display.  Most of the pagan books in the past decade or two are well-written, edited, and have great material.  You might sell some of the books if we can actually find them.  Who knows — you might sell more Christian books too, as part of a rebellion against all the heathanism on display.

 

Photo courtesy of CC0.
Photo courtesy of CC0.

4.  Get diverse.

By refusing to stock our books, you’re whitewashing your religious section.  Diversity and inclusion are the best movements to come out of the past ten years. They’ve reached virtually everywhere, including the fashion industry, advertising, Hollywood, and fiction.

Denying the fact of our spiritual and religious movement doesn’t stop us.  It only makes us shop at other bookstores, at pagan stores, and sadly, Amazon.  Our demographic is growing, and you’re losing money on those books and other sales too, such as a present for a non-pagan loved one.

The fact that witchblr was tumblr’s #11 trending hashtag in 2017 means you have a wave of witchlets and baby bats searching for these books, probably with mom and dad, who, as I’ve heard, are okay with spending lots of money on their kids.

We tried-and-true pagans will still go to pagan bookstores for virtually everything, because they have added consumer items, like sage and tarot cards.  We also go there because supporting these bookstores helps our communities.  However, please know that we do shop at the mainstream bookstores, browsing the shelves for books we haven’t seen yet, looking for the next good read, and ultimately, usually feeling very disappointed.

Give us what we want: a place on the shelves.

~ Starlight Witch ~

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I hope it goes without saying that this letter does not apply to other religious bookstores, such as Christian bookstores, but I’ll write this here just in case. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • kenofken

    I almost never see a general interest brick and mortar book store these days!

  • Jamie Clemons

    Bookstores are going out of style. Everything is online now. This letter may soon be a moot point once all the regular book stores close.

  • Brianna LaPoint

    WHen my husband taught me that true magic comes from within, i realized i didint need books to affirm my beliefs.

  • hello world

    Why does it matter a jot whether Juan Matus was an actual historical figure or not? There is no proof of a historical Jesus either, but I wouldn’t expect the bible to be listed as fiction because of that. If a text resonates with a large amount of people, which both of those have, then it deserves a place in the Religious section. CC could have chosen to expound his ideas from a personal perspective, and no-one would have a problem with his books being non-fiction. Because he chose a dramatic way of conveying those ideas does not reduce those ideas to a fiction. Is it a fiction to say that self-importance kills, a constant motif of the books? Also, I am surprised that someone from the Wiccan field would require such hard boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, time-bound reality and alternate reality.