book display

Random Witchy Story Time

A few years ago I was at a museum that had some old grimoires and alchemy books on display and translations to the pages posted by them. My favorite grimoire page was a spell for rain where the person would go outside with a bucket of water and pour it onto the ground, then proceed to pretty much yell at the clouds about ‘see its not hard!’. To date that is my favorite rain spell I have ever seen.

I see a lot of posts on tumblr that imply borrowing a book from a library is less supportive of the author than buying it outright and I would like to offer a few unsolicited thoughts as to why that’s not true:

  • Every book in a public library has to earn its spot on the shelf. If no one checks it out, then it will be weeded from the collection to make way for a book that will circulate. So, if you check out a book, you’ve just given it a much a better chance at being there for someone else to discover!
  • A recently returned book is more likely to be propped up as a display in the tiny nooks around the library. Every shelver loves an empty display space because it means they can quickly get rid of several books. A book on display is more likely to catch someone’s eye and on and on!
  • You might not be able to tell this just by looking at the shelves, but when a book first comes out from an author, the library often buys several copies and based on how many people have reserved the title and how heavily it circulates, they might buy even more copies! Also, when purchasing a new title from an established author, many librarians will look at the circ stats of the author’s other books and will use that as a guide for how many copies to buy of the new book. In case you didn’t know, libraries buy a lot of books - we make up a huge portion of the book sales market.
  • Many people use the library as a way to discover new authors. It’s a risk-free investment and helps them experiment with a lot of different titles that they wouldn’t be able to if they had to buy all of them. And if they really love an author, they might become a life-long fan who will buy their books for years to come, all because of kismet at the library.
  • If you check out the book at the library, your librarian can make a better case for inviting the author to come to the library for an event for which they can get paid! This is especially true for lesser-known authors.


In conclusion, borrowing a book from the library is a wonderful thing to do. It helps make sure other people have access to that book in the future, creating an ever-wider audience for the author.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy books, I’m just saying, borrowing books from the library has just as many positive effects and you don’t ever have to feel bad that you’re somehow not supporting an author by borrowing their book instead of buying it. :)

Please fire me. I work at a small bookstore in an airport. Because of our limited space, we’re very strict about what titles we carry: we only keep books that sell. Sales are carefully monitored and if something isn’t selling at a sustainable rate, it’s pulled from the shelves.

One book we don’t sell is the Bible. We periodically have customers asking for a Bible, but aside from mild annoyance, they rarely make an issue when we inform them we don’t have any. However, I had a customer come in a few weeks ago and ask where we kept our Bibles.

“I’m sorry, we don’t carry any Bibles,” I told her.

“Why not?” she demanded.

“Our store is small and we don’t have the room for them,” I said.

“No room, huh?” she said. She pointed to a book on display called Ghost Bride. “But you have room for books on ghosts?”

“It’s one of our staff picks for the month.” It was my staff pick, actually. “If you’re interested, we do have a small religion section.”

She grumbled a bit, but let me take her to the shelf of religion books to browse. She returned to the register a few moments later with a used copy of A Purpose-Driven Life. I rang up her book and handed it to her, thanking her for her purchase. She lingered by the register, packing her book into her luggage, gathering up her bags, checking to make sure she had her boarding pass and ID.

Once she was all situated, she straightened, looked me in the eyes and announced, “I will PRAY for this store,” and swept out.

The next day I told this story to a coworker who’s been at our location for 7 years. After I’d finished the story (and he’d finished rolling his eyes), I said, “Why don’t we have any Bibles? Enough people ask for one, I’d think we’d be able to sell a copy or two.”

“We used to have Bibles,” he said, “but they barely sold. People would come in and ask for one, but not buy it. They were just checking to make sure we had them. I think we were being tested.”

Over the course of the books, characters display a variety of reactions to hearing Harry’s name. Even Ron and Hermione are a little awkward at first.

But Molly Weasley’s reaction is very different from any of the other reactions we see, and hints at the role she’ll play in Harry’s life in later books

If you recall, Fred tells Mrs. Weasley that the black-haired boy they had met on the other side of the platform was Harry Potter. At this point, Harry is on the train, so Mrs. Weasley has no idea Harry can hear her through the compartment window.

But instead of the awe, dislike, or curiosity expressed by other characters, Mrs. Weasley’s first reaction is sympathy and concern.

She refers to him as “poor dear” and “poor boy,” and tells Ginny that Harry “isn’t something you goggle at in a zoo.” 

When Fred wonders whether Harry remembers what You-Know-Who looks like, Mrs. Weasley becomes “extremely stern” and forbids Fred from asking Harry about You-Know-Who, saying that Harry doesn’t need to be reminded of something like that on his first day of school.

While the rest of the wizarding world views Harry as the almost mythical boy-who-lived, Mrs. Weasley has always seen Harry as an orphan in need of homemade fudge, hand-knitted jumpers, and a loving family.

6

oh yea i went to the jojo festival in sendai in august feat. @trashcanchockie who did a MAAAd daiya cosplay bless her

2

Display It: The Book Chooses the Wizard

This might be my favorite book display to date (because Harry Potter, duh).  Each shelf recommends books based on Hogwarts houses, and I had a lot of fun trying to figure out which titles to use.

Featured Titles:

Gryffindor

  • Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  • The Fair Fight, by Anna Freeman
  • A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

Slytherin

  • Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
  • Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hufflepuff

  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

Ravenclaw

  • A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
modern hp ladies
  • ravenclaw: orders tons of new bookshelves for the common room so everyone can put up their books on display; lives with their laptop, never lets it out of their sight; thick sensible coats and lace-up shoes; constantly chipped nail polish; any attempts at a messy bun always end up looking too messy; long debates in the common room that can sometimes go on until dawn; shared study mixes on spotify.
  • hufflepuff: multi-coloured nail polishes scattered around which everyone just shares; an odd-socks box in the common room; always using the camera on their phone, capturing every moment; big fluffy jumpers; cute messages written in steam on the mirrors in the bathroom; monthly full-house slumber parties with popcorn and movies.
  • slytherin: black doc martins and fitted leather jackets; chewed down nails; scattered eyeliner pencils in the bathroom; "these are MY doc martins" "no they're MINE"; secret journals with weekly goals; inside jokes; styling each others hair.
  • gryffindor: gold accessories - necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings; oversized jean jackets; friday night is games night, and anyone can join in for a full night of board games; the black market in the common room, if you know who to ask you can get all sorts of forbidden goods; red lipstick kisses stained on all the mirrors.
Bard Week: Magically Musical Equipment

I decided to come up with a bunch of bard-friendly or bard-specific magic items since bards don’t get much love in terms of treasure other than generic weapons or that short list of magic instruments that just cast spells. These are at least unique or interesting, but some are a bit “out there.” If you are a loose DM and your players like having a laugh, these items are perfect for you.


Accelerating Wardrum

Uncommon, requires attunement by a bard

This Behir skin stretched over a black wooden drum can be beaten as a bonus action once per round. Doing so moves a creature the bard chooses to be moved one step ahead in the initiative order.

Rapier of Harmony

Very Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A thin silver +1 rapier that hums when swung. The wielder can use a bonus action to make a Performance check. On a result of 16 or higher, the rapier vibrates and creates a tone that harmonizes with the wielder’s voice. The next attack deals bonus damage equal to the bard’s CHA modifier.

Resounding Scimitar

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

Whenever a creature fails an attack roll against a bard wielding this gleaming white scimitar with a wavy hilt and pattern, the bard can use their reaction to whack the creature’s weapon with the scimitar and cause a loud, grating noise to deal 1d6 thunder damage to the attacker if they fail a DC 14 CON saving throw.

Song of Activation

Special (Song)

A specific song that when played, will activate known magical items or runes in the world. [Use this song as treasure that can progress the plot, almost like finding a key to the next room of a dungeon. Think of learning a new song in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time]

Song of Prestidigitation/Thaumaturgy/Druidcraft

Special (Song)

A specific song that when played, can mimic the effects of a Prestidigitation, Thaumaturgy, or Druidcraft spell, respectively. [A song that can be learned by a bard that is relatively harmless to the integrity of your campaign’s storyline]

Biting Words

Special (Words)

Powerful words that the bard can speak with their magic to deal 1d6 cold damage at a range of 60 ft. This damage increases by one die at 5th, 11th, and 17th levels. [basically a new cantrip for bards that deals more damage than Vicious Mockery but doesn’t impose disadvantage]

Orb of Radiant Song

Common, requires attunement by a bard

Much like a Driftglobe, but only produces light while the bard is singing. [It has slightly less uses than a Driftglobe thanks to negating attempts to move silently with it lit, and its attunement restriction, so it’s meant for the very early game.]

Backup Golem

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A tiny golem or animated object that comes to life only when the attuned bard is performing. The golem gives the bard advantage on its Performance checks as it embellishes or harmonizes with whatever the bard does for their performance.

Sassy Friend

Uncommon

A tiny totem or charm that is shaped like a mask. When the wielder attempts to make an Insight check to determine if a creature is lying, the Sassy Friend charm animates temporarily with a backhanded comment, which it says aloud (whether or not the creature was lying). This decreases the DC to determine any lie by 1. This bonus does not stack with itself or other Sassy Friends.

Sassy Friend (Greater)

Rare

 A Sassy Friend charm that can also cast Zone of Truth once per day, centered on itself.

Nolzur’s Marvellous Pigments

Very Rare

This is an item that many bards would love to use but people always forget it exists. Whatever you paint becomes real! As long as it isn’t magical.

Cloak of Dancing

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

A bard who dances while wearing this audacious red cloak can fascinate nearby creatures, affecting them in a manner similar to an Enthrall spell, once per day. The bard need not concentrate on this effect, and in fact may make a Performance check against the onlookers’ Insight checks any time during the cloak’s Enthrall effect to animate the cloak and sneak out of it as it continues to dances and enthrall its audience.

Horn of Calling

Uncommon

An iron-bound animal horn acts as a magic megaphone that amplifies the volume of noises that pass through it. The Horn of Calling can also cast Whispering Wind once per day.

Cursed Collar of Tongues

Rare

A golden lace choker that allows the wearer to speak any language, but never quite what they intend to say. Whenever the player wishes to speak, the player says what they intend to say and then the DM blurts out what they inevitably say instead. A DC 20 Insight check will determine what exactly is wrong with the victim and a DC 18 Insight check will allow the player to get their true message across to a character. The player must overcome a CHA save to avoid having their next sentence bastardized by the DM. Each successful saving throw deals 1 psychic damage to the wearer as it the collar fights back against their efforts. The collar cannot be removed except by repressing its magic long enough to remove it, or by casting a Tongues or Comprehend Languages spell upon it along with a DC 15 Arcana check.

Death Whistle

Very Rare

A small bone whistle carved with symbols and imagery of death. The whistle, when blown, casts Circle of Death centered on the whistle. The DC for the spell is equal to the blower’s spell save DC. Once used, the whistle crumbles to dust as its shrill, eerie note echoes into the distance.

Ribbon of Hyucks

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

When this purple ribbon with white polka dots is worn by a bard, whenever the bard makes a pun, all creatures within earshot that understand the wordplay must make a DC 11 CHA save or take 1 psychic damage. This ability can only occur once per round and does not discriminate friend or foe.

Crossbow of the Fartongue

Rare, requires attunement by a bard

This crossbow is fitted with a cone at the end of the barrel, and a scope that is sculpted to look like a mouth’s opening. The weapon allows the wielder to bestow their ammunition with a noise or verbal message of their choosing not exceeding 10 words. This noise plays once when the imbued bolt hits, but then its magic fades. The crossbow can be used to relay information at a distance, create a distraction, or mislead other creatures. If the wielder wishes for the noise to be an explosion, the ammunition deals 1 bonus Thunder damage on hit to all creatures within 5 feet of where the bolt hit. An explosion noise can be heard up to 600 ft. away. The crossbow is dotted with holes and can actually be played as a wooden flute when not in use as a combat weapon.

Cloak of Deflection

Rare

This garment appears to ebb and sway of its own accord even without any wind. The wearer of this iridescent blue cloak may spend their reaction to deflect a single, nonmagical missile targeting them to another creature within 60 feet of the wearer. If the new target of the attack’s AC is equal to or less than the original attack roll, the attack hits the new target and the attacker rolls for damage as normal.

Book of Dreams

Uncommon, requires attunement by a bard

The cover of this book is made with soft leather and is bound with spider silk string and rare bird feathers. The tome is blank, but when a story is told by someone attuned to it, illusionary imagery appears hovering above the book, acting out what the storyteller describes. In addition, when a story puts someone to sleep, the storyteller may allow the book to display and act out the sleeper’s dreams, which usually somehow tie in to the story that was being told. It can be useful for coaxing information out of friendly people without their knowledge.