Inter-Pagan Library Loan Project

As I write this post, I sit next to my shelf of pagan and herb books.  They are well loved and have been read a million times.  Authors like Scott Cunningham and Starhawk have been with me since the beginning of my path.  While I strongly believe that faith is personal, these books augment personal worship and growth.

But damn they are expensive!  Obviously Amazon is great to find used books, and libraries are wonderful places to find books on myths and sometimes basic Wiccan tomes.  And the internet is a fantastic tool for finding information, but it is so easy to falsify.  For example early in my path, everything I found was about the need to get the tools and do a full ritual every time.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  Mind you, pagans have been way more proactive about getting good information out there.  But in my opinion books are still the best way to educate yourself.

Access is also an issue for some people for a variety of reasons.  Teenagers don’t usually have the freedom to buy more than a couple books.  Twenty-somethings (myself included) can’t necessarily start pagan personal libraries because of financial reasons.

So a few days ago I had a thought.  Can’t we share?

I would like to start a project for pagan readers to share our books.  I am posting a poll below to see if there is any interest.  If anyone is in to exploring this idea and helping out, let me know.

© Ariadne Woods

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16 thoughts on “Inter-Pagan Library Loan Project

  1. I’m really interested, even though I have only one book at the moment. :c

    I’d be happy to see some list that I could use to build my collection xD

      1. I only have right now the solitary guide by Scott Cunningham and a book on developing your psychic abilities. I’m trying to learn more about the runes, crystals, using herbs at your altar and invocations right now. It’s a tall order, but I fell behind quite a bit before I decided to get serious. 😄

      2. Oh no worries! Well, for spiritual things, check out Cunningham’s “Living Wicca” and Starhawk’s “The Spiral Dance.” I am also part way through Dorothy Morrison’s “Everyday Magic” and I feel pretty confident recommending her. For herbs, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia is good, but it does not really help with learning how to apply the knowledge. My favorite is “Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic” and I think Ellen Dugan wrote a good book about herb magic too (the title is escaping me) but honestly most herb magic is instinctual. For gems, look into a good dictionary. For prayers and invocations, try one of Ceisiwr Serith’s. The one topic I can’t help much with is runes, but I do know there are a lot of great guides on the internet.

        Let me know if you need anymore help!

      3. Thank you so much! I’ll look into those books, I bet I can get them fairly priced from Ebay. That definitely gives me a good start for my eventual library. 😀

  2. I very much like the idea, but being in the Netherlands and having mainly Dutch books will make it way more difficult. I’m gonna try to find out whether there is perhaps someone in Holland also thinking about this!

    1. Very cool. If you find something similar going on in the Netherlands, let me know so I can pass the info on! PS. I don’t know where in the Netherlands you are, but there is a great new age shop in Delft that I got a few books very cheaply.

  3. My problem with this is losing the books. I’ve been collecting for over a decade; some of my books are out-of-print now. If I lend a book to someone halfway across the country (or world), how can I guarantee it will ever come home again? I have a handful of books I’ve lent to local friends, but every lent book is given with the acceptance that I’ll probably never see the book again. My copy of Gerald Gardner’s “Witchcraft Today” is in Colorado (assuming fires and floods haven’t gotten to it in the last year), and my copy of “Following the Shaman’s Call” hasn’t been returned after numerous reminders via email, phone, face-to-face, and text.

    All that said, I would’ve been glad to participate in such a library with the books I recently gave away. They were mostly basic titles (Cunningham, Ravenwolf, Moura), and I would’ve let them go to strangers gladly; however, I’ve already passed them out to local friends and community members.

    1. I share a lot of your concerns, Larissa. I was thinking of structuring the program a lot more like libraries lending to other libraries rather than friends lending books to friends. There would be financial penalties for damage or loss of books plus perhaps a small fund for difficult situations (i.e. someone is an ass and refuses to give it back). That said, I also get why people would not want to give out their rare or special books.

      This project is still in the very early stages, but any input you have would be great!

      1. It’s not a bad idea, but you have to consider costs in that case as well. How to you cover shipping books to members? How do you enforce the collection of non-return fees? Libraries are complicated and have the backing of local authorities to enforce their fines and such; a network book-borrowing system wouldn’t have the luxury of one centralized location.

        On the other hand, you could go with something like Paperback Swap (a website). They let users trade books with interested parties, paying only shipping costs; the sender gets points toward ordering other listed books, and the receiver spends previously earned points. I haven’t personally used the site, but I know friends who love it. Perhaps there’s a friends-only version or a way to set up groups to share? In that case, you could essentially have everyone offer up whatever titles they’re willing to rent out, and then allow members to request books via trade (using the existing point system). It doesn’t solve the non-return problem, but it helps to organize the process a bit.

        Just an idea.

  4. I’m interested, but I’m one of those people that are nervous about loaning out my books. I have a few bookshelves worth of books, about 80% of it being related to Paganism and Wicca, sorted by topic and interest, pretty much I have my own personal library. Unfortunately though, the one or two books that i did take a risk and loan out- I never got back, and it’s been about 5 years since I loaned it out because the person I loaned it to “can’t find it”.
    I’ve been selling books I know I can do without to my local Half Price Books so others can find it and purchase it on discount for themselves, which has so far been my best option. Opening up a personal library would be my favorite thing ever BUT, unfortunately, not being able to penalize people for not returning my books make that impossible.

  5. Reblogged this on Book of Wisdom for a Canaanite Recon and commented:
    –singsong voice– You mean I would have an excuse to buy the books I want to so that they’d be available for others?

    (Also, please note that I’m a Barnes and Noble employee and would have access to discounted titles, if people passed me money to get them for any kind of library loan thing. <3)

    I would ADORE to be involved with this.

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