Buy #beautifulbooks: “Witches and Witchcraft”

So much content, so little time. And so little storage space.

This is a recurring theme in my life — everywhere I look, I’m surrounded by a bounty of great content — podcasts, streaming services, cable TV, Spotify music, vinyl records and CDs, digital and print magazines, blogs, movies, comics, e-books, tree books and more.

I can’t own a physical copy of everything. There simply isn’t enough space in my 3-bedroom, ranch-style home. So where do I draw the line when it comes to books?

A few years back, I decided that I would only purchase “beautiful books.” Of course, this is a subjective term. To me, it means that I only buy physical copies of books that have beautiful images, typography and artwork. In other words, books that cannot be fully appreciated in a digital format.

Today’s #beautifulbook is “Witches and Witchcraft.”

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When I was a kid growing up in the small town of Barberton, Ohio, I lived at the local public library. On those dusty shelves, I discovered so many books, including Time-Life’s “Mysteries of the Unknown” series.

I had not thought of these books in years, but they re-entered my orbit last week when I listened to an episode of “My Favorite Murder” in which the ladies described the books (gifted to them by the mysterious sound-man, Steven).

A wave of nostalgia hit me during their discussion. There are 33 books in the series and they have black hardcovers with ornate cover art. The cover of “Witches and Witchcraft” has a sword-wielding witch worthy of a doom metal album, and for me it will always be the most memorable.

The first part of the book focuses on the history and persecution of witches. There is beautiful typography throughout (like this little goat on the letter V), and silver spot color on the pages.

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The silver spot color is especially lovely on the images of woodcuts.

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The writing is clear and concise, which makes this a fun book to pick up for a short sitting or to leave on your coffee table for guests.

There’s also a cool section on the witch’s garden, which intrigued me as a child. I used to imagine that I could gather the plants and perhaps work some magic of my own.

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The last part of the book focuses on modern witchcraft — new age practitioners, wiccans and other heathens. Again, the images are great.

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If you’re looking for a #beautifulbook to add to your collection, I highly recommend the series. They are all available on Amazon and don’t cost too much.

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