The Book Witch is a blog about speculative fiction and comic books as well as a line of bookish merchandise for readers of all stripes. I’m Kelly (she/they), a writer, witch, and Star Wars fan. Also, I love books. A lot.

A photograph of Kelly the Book Witch holding a stack of their favorite books and wearing a black witch hat.
Me with a stack of some of my favorite books

Books Are Magic

Books are magic. At least, they can be, if they find the right reader. The books themselves are only part of the spell—without a reader to bring them to life, they’re just paper, ink, and glue.

I started this blog because I wanted to share not only books that I love, but books I believe have the capability to spark some magic for you.

Because I do believe magic is real. Not like the Force, or what Gandalf can do. But if you’ve ever held a book in your hands and basked in the story it told, and felt transformed for having read it, you know what I’m talking about.

The books I love the most—or rather, the books that have had the largest impact on my life—tend to fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction, so that’s the genre I focus on here.

Dictionary.com defines speculative fiction (or spec fic, for short) as “a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements.” Fantasy, science fiction, fabulism, magical realism, and books that have just a touch of the supernatural all fall under the spec fic umbrella.

Think Ursula K. Le Guin, Angela Carter, Jorge Luis Borges, Neil Gaiman, N.K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler, Karen Thompson Walker, Kelly Link.

Kelly sitting next to Claudia Gray at a book signing, holding a stack of Claudia's Star Wars books.
Claudia Gray (r) signing a stack of her Star Wars books for me at Celebration Chicago in 2019.

A Little More About Me

Over the past seven years, I’ve been lucky enough to make my living in various parts of the book industry, from libraries to bookstores to publishing. My book reviews and essays have appeared in places like Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, The Millions, and numerous literary magazines.

Back when I worked in frontline service at a public library, I would joke that my coworkers and I were book wizards when we found the perfect recommendation for someone. I’m not an actual wizard, but I am an actual witch (not the storybook kind, the run-of-the-mill Pagan kind). It was a natural progression to “book witch,” and from there, to this blog.

So come on. Step into the wardrobe. You never know what new worlds you might find.