The story of Pittsburgh is one of love and hard work, and that certainly extends to the craftspeople and creatives who call this city home. One of these is Vince Curtis, a designer-craftsperson who creates gorgeous journals under his business Vers Libris. His creations range from customary lined journals covered with whimsically patterned fabrics, to leatherbound journals with gilding reminiscent of something you’d find in a loved one’s library. (For those interested in tarot, Vince also makes clamshell boxes that can help protect your divination tools.)
You know that saying: if you want to hear a joke, tell life your plans? Well, the same goes for writing content for side projects, apparently.
This is the time of year when I take a hard look at what I’m doing with The Book Haunt, promptly make excessive plans, and then just as quickly get spectacularly derailed. In August 2017, I had plans for creating a whole folklore/occult arm for this site. While I still would love to do that, I have to examine what my schedule allows for; this has led me to question what I want—and what I hope readers will get—out of this site.
Sometimes, we don’t get to say goodbye. Sometimes, their writing is all we have left.
It began with an email I received early last week, warning me that Figment, a website where I’d uploaded writing in my undergrad years, was shifting gears and rebranding. All users had until January 31 to back up their data.
How do I bring The Book Haunt back from the dead?
A lot has changed since my last post—mostly my career. Free time has become harder to find, and is more precious than anything once I stumble upon it. But with the onset of fall, the little voice of resurrecting this little spooky book hub whispers incessantly.
Ever since moving to Pittsburgh, I’ve been surprised time and again. But what I have not been surprised by—and have come to cherish most about this city—is the thriving occult
and new age communities. Back in January—on a Friday the 13th, no less—I went voyaging into the city with Megan, podcast co-host and fellow lover of the occult. What we found was Arts & Crafts: Botancia & Occult Shop.
The unfortunate norm for pagan/occult stores seems to be a dimly lit, crowded space. When we encountered Arts & Crafts, however, we immediately saw that this business was anything but the norm: well-lit, spacious, welcoming, and with a killer collection of tapestries, ritual tools/items, and scented goods to boot. For the witch in 2017, Arts and Crafts is a must-visit. Continue reading
When someone hears the name “Amazon,” what follows is usually praise for their deals or dread at how they do business. And with Amazon trying to dig its fingers into as many pies as possible—grocery stores included—competition is trying its best to stay afloat.
One of these competitors (at least in some parts of the States) is Half Price Books, which has been family owned and operated since its founding in 1972. It all began when the owners took books from their own personal library (and purchased books from the local community). While Half Price Books is a chain, it captures the feeling of used bookstores. You never know what you’ll discover. Continue reading