Occult Books Have Legs

November 11th, 2010 § 0 comments

Tarot for Beginners, Teen Witch, Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium, and Angels A to Z are all ‘too hot for circulation’. At least according to librarians at the Lewiston Public Library in Maine.

Tarot for Beginners by Barbara Moore

Tarot for Beginners

Also on the list is the hundred and fifty year old Salem Witchcraft by Charles Upham and the much newer, The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead.

It’s not that the library or librarians think there’s anything wrong with these books. In fact they guard them carefully behind the front desk. It’s that when they lend books like these out, they don’t seem to come back.

The library used to buy two copies of the ones they thought might walk, but they don’t bother anymore. Apparently they’re so sure these books will be stolen that now they only purchase one for reference. And they keep their eyes on it.

Speculating on why people steal occult themed books, deputy director and reference librarian, Ellen Gilliam said she wasn’t sure how many are stolen because people want them versus how many are taken because people disapprove of the public library having them.

Teen Witch by Silver RavenWolf

Teen Witch

Lisa Neal-Shaw is the Secretary of the Maine Library Association’s executive council. She says “It’s like you know as soon as you order them; it’s almost like you have a betting pool. Anything to do with Wicca, witchcraft, supernatural, things like that. Especially the spells.”

At her library, the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library in Presque Isle, the occult books are often stolen off the shelf rather than checked out and not returned.

Neal-Shaw thinks some people might just be afraid to have other people think they’re into the ‘weird’ stuff. She thinks they’d rather steal a book than let a librarian know they’re looking at it, let alone have their reading choice on record.

All I’ve got to say to the book stealers is – whatever you’re reason, stop it!! Don’t be afraid of reading what you want and letting other people know. And certainly don’t be trying to stop anyone else from reading something you disapprove of.

We want these books available for everyone and libraries can’t afford to keep replacing them. Not to mention, I think it’s bad karma to steal. To steal something for the spirit seems especially dangerous.

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