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At every stage of my pagan journey, books have been an important part. I'm a loner and a do-it-yourselfer, so seeking out a person-teacher was something I never really considered. Add to that the fact that I discovered paganism in the 90s before the internet really hit it big, and books were easily the best option.

So we have several boxes of Llewellyn in the attic. Occasionally someone borrows them, and I would never get rid of them (they are books, after all) but I don't get a lot of use out of them these days.

We have also five full shelves of scholarly and modern heathen titles and three of Hellenic titles, and an uncertain number of Celtic and Egyptian texts.

These days I am more and more likely to go for a Kindle version due to aging eyes and the font-enlarging option on the ebook reader, but I really like a paper book I can hold in my hands.

I do find, though, that these days I find myself spending less time among the books (depending on what I am working on at any given moment, of course--certainly when I am doing ADF study program work I have stacks of books on hand at all times). A lot of this is just that I don't need them as reference as often as I did when I was less experienced. I don't generally need an external reference to write a group heathen ritual, I have written enough of them :); however, if I were called on to prepare a group Hellenic rite I would want to look over some references, because I haven't done one in over a decade. Sometimes it's that I've already read everything I can find on a given topic.

But some is that, for one sort of reading, the internet has in great part replaced the book: anecdotal material and personal experience. I have a few books featuring this sort of knowledge (for example, Being a Pagan by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond) but they were rare, and I suspect they are rarer now.

Actually, a lot of the books I buy now happen to be self-published, which is a wonderful thing--there are so many people with good information and knowledge to share whose work would never see paper if not for self-publishing. And not for a lack of quality--it's just that many of these books are never going to be of broad enough interest to attract a traditional publisher. But if you are someone who is interested in their comparatively narrow subject matter, they are like gold.
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The mail carrier has brought me:

Odhroerir: Nine Devotional Tales of Odin's Journeys by [livejournal.com profile] wodandis, a devotional to Odin

and

Treasures From the Deep by [livejournal.com profile] bluedolfyn, a devotional to Poseidon.

You guys are so awesome!
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I'm now the happy owner of both of the Marx Brothers movie sets, which is entirely awesome. (I already had the Paramount set, now I've got the MGM/RKO set as well! :))

Also, Galina Krasskova's new book, Exploring the Northern Tradition. I've only just looked it over but so far I'm pretty impressed. Has a great long section about the gods, and "The Soul Matrix" contains an unusually clear discussion of the parts of the soul.
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Bernard King's Way of The Runes

and

Where's George stamps with a rainbow stamp pad--will make for a happy elder daughter as well :).
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The Runes Workbook by Leon Wild. Looks pretty good despite being pretty :).
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As some of you folks know, I'm a diarist from way back, and have been keeping a paper journal regularly for over twenty years. It's a catch-all, everything all together in one spot, almost impossible to find anything in if that were the point, but it isn't.

I'm going to try something different for a while, and am getting a five-year diary. If you've never seen one of these things, each page is a day (therefore 366 pages because of leap years, typically these books can be used for any five-year period) and divided into five sections (one for each year). Thus you have only 5 or 6 lines to write in for a given day.

Which doesn't sound like much, and it isn't much, but that's the point--at the end of each day you have to think of one core concept, one most-important thing that happened, one vital fact that pulls the day together for you. An exercise in precision, the intent is to be concise and to the point (kind of the opposite of my usual approach to journaling! :))

Book whine

Nov. 13th, 2004 01:26 am
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I finished reading the Grigson book on Aphrodite today. Lots of interesting stuff, with just about no documentation. There's a kind of a bibliography, but no notes of any sort, which is annoying, but of course the book isn't supposed to be scholarly, I get the impression it was supposed to be popular nonfiction. So, at least I have some stuff to try to dig up something firmer on!
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Someone told me I should pick up the latest New Witch magazine, so I did (actually I had Dan do it, they sell it where he works) and there is indeed an article on Asatru in it, by Galina Krasskova. It's actually pretty good--slanted toward the magazine's audience, of course, but nothing that I could see was wrong in it, and there were links to more detailed resources in the reference section at the end.

So, cool! A whole article on heathenry in a relatively-mainstream pagan publication? That ain't bad!

Oh, and elder daughter is feeling much better today. I'm still keeping an eye on her, of course, but she has been just fine so far.
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I am soooo tired. I think I might read for a while. Dan has earmarked the new Beowulf for his next read, I think, so I'll have to find something else.
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I woke up this morning to no snow on the ground, thought we might have been taking a step back into autumn--but I'm looking out the windown now, and here comes the snow. It's just cold enough to snow, but the ground isn't cold enough to keep it. The trees haven't really started to turn yet, everyone seems to think it's going to be a substandard year for color.

So anyway, thanks to reading a post on [livejournal.com profile] brighn's LJ last week, I subscribed to and ordered some back issues of Cup of Wonder. Damn, that's a hell of a magazine! It's so nice to see something in print that isn't aimed at the usual pagan audience. (Because apparently I'm not the usual pagan audience, and I have less patience than I used to for poring over publications aimed there in hopes of finding the odd bit of good stuff.)
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I've been reading American Gods before bed at night lately. I'm torn between reading it quickly because I want to see what happens next, and reading it slowly because one it's done, I've read it and can never read it new again.

I also get the impression that Dan is waiting, kind of vulture-like, to snatch it up as soon as I'm done :).

I don't read a lot of fiction--I always feel like there's something else I should be doing instead (probaby because there usually is!)--possibly the subject matter here fools the guilt section of my brain into thinking I'm studying :). I think when I'm done I'm going to look for some of Diana Paxson's books.
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I managed to finish cutting the batiks in time to get to ADF chat (now to do the solids, which is much less interesting). Well, it's almost half the work of this part done.

And I've read the first three chapters of my new book and can already tell I'll be referring to it frequently. I am such a slave to books! "Buy me!" they say. And how can I turn them down? After all, books deserve a good home with someone who will love and appreciate them. Or "You don't have to clean the living room yet, there's plenty of time...reeeeeead me......" Yep, it's sad.
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