When Books Read You, a Defense of Bibliomancy by Ed Simon is an interesting read particularly if the art of divination interests you. Tarot and palm readers, IChing followers and those who believe in omens and signs will have a special liking for this article as books have also been recorded as being used to predict the future. Books initially existed as scrolls and later on they were bound with a cover. This act of binding itself separates the book or the word from the rest of the world. The alphabet is after all the predecessor of the spell, magic and religion.
“Charles [Stuart King] turned to a book during what he assumed was the height of his political, military, and personal misfortunes; and with an affinity for superstition matched only by his belief that his very divine touch could cure sickness, Charles asked Virgil what his fortune would be. Letting the cracked leather spine hit the dark wooden surface of some Oxford desk, and with his eyes closed, the King pointed to some random line of Latin on some random page of Virgil. He did not like the fortune which had been caste.”
The author of the essay mentions rhapsodamancy, where poetry plays the role of prophet. Unlike throwing sticks and dice, words begetting futures makes the reader a participant of the book; if his or her future resides in the book, then the reader is more pertinent than even the author, giving additional weight to the phrase ‘death of the author’.
Read the essay here. You may want to check out the Bibliomancy Oracle on Twitter as well.