Wicca, Recategorized by Librarians, Now by Booksellers as Well

In 2007, the  news was that books on Wicca were re-categorized by the Library of Congress from BF (psychology, abnormal) to  BP 600, a sort of catch-all for “other beliefs and movements.” A new Dewey Decimal number was assigned as well, for libraries using that system.

Now the change is on the retail side. As Elysia Gallo blogs at Llewellyn, some Pagan books are being re-categorized for retailers as well.

So here’s the news – Wicca, in the eyes of the book selling industry, is now a religion. It crossed over from OCC026000 Body, Mind & Spirit / Wicca and Witchcraft, to two separate BISAC codes. One remains in the occult section – OCC026000 is now simply Body, Mind & Spirit / Witchcraft. But Wicca itself is now REL118000, or Religion / Wicca.

Let’s not even stop to think about what a headache it will be for me to decide whether any given book should go into the occult “Witchcraft” end of things or the religious “Wicca” end of things. Sometimes this distinction is made crystal clear by its author or its content, but much more often it’s a very blurry line. No, instead let’s allow that to just sink in for a moment. Imagine going in to your local bookstore chain (because this will probably not change how metaphysical stores or libraries operate) and, instead of heading to the New Age section (or whatever your local store calls it), you head to the Religion section. There, next to shelves of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim books, you will find your Wicca books. Strange feeling, isn’t it?

But the change may confuse some book-buyers, she continues.

 

2 Comments

  1. [...] is clearly a momentous decision, one that, as Pagan scholar Chas Clifton points out, comes after the Library of Congress moved books on Wicca out of “Abnormal Psychology” [...]

  2. MomaFauna says:

    I realize this is small-minded of me, but I hope my bookseller keeps the books in the Body/Mind/Spirit aisle so that I don’t have to have strange religious zealots tell me that I “smell of enchantment.” True story. Call me a creature of comfort, but I have a more relaxed shopping experience among the metaphysical fluffy bunnies. ;)