There are so many books on runes out there that it is difficult to choose. If you are looking for a good rune book for your beloved runester, then I would suggest getting two: ‘The Rune Primer’ by Sweyn Plowright and ‘Discovering the Runes’ by Bob Oswald. Both books are fairly recent (the Primer being an expanded edition), and both are by authors who are highly experienced and passionate about their subject, but there the similarity ends. The two books complement each other well: the Primer is a no-nonsense guide focusing on academic and historical facts, while Discovering the Runes is a beautiful and inspirational book, packed full of pictures, magickal correspondences for the runes and techniques blending contemporary pagan ritual with rune work. What the Primer lacks in wow factor (definitely present in Oswald’s full colour book), it makes up for by being one of the few texts out there that refuses to get carried away by confecture.
Click here to buy The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes from Amazon
This is a really good antidote to the many rune books out there which simply reiterate meanings and correspondences found in similar works. Plowright has set himself the challenge of sorting the wheat from the chaff and debunking, providing a short ‘myth-buster’ of a text which is immensly useful for anyone trying to study the runes and work with their energies.
The Primer includes the originals and translations of all the rune poems, discussion of the different rune alphabets, source texts, key authors and myth-busting on various topics including the blank rune and runic astrology.
Click here to buy Discovering Runes from Amazon
This book is so pretty that I can’t help but love it. Bob Oswald has dedicated many years and much passion to the runes, providing resources for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. It is a great shame that there are some printing errors in the book (e.g. the Eihwaz rune has a picture of Isa) but there is also lots of inspirational advice, a plethora of correspondences and lots of ideas for the enthusiastic runester. The book only features one rune poem per rune (the Anglo-Saxon rune poem) and doesn’t give attributions for its correspondences; for this reason I would recommend getting in in conjunction with Plowright’s book above as – both books are by passionate souls well versed in their fields, but with very different approaches.
If neither of these takes your fancy, then how about Nigel Pennick’s Complete Illustrated Guide to the Runes - an adventure through the world of runes taught by a rune practitioner who definitely knows his stuff (even if he’s not telling us how he knows…)
Click here to buy Complete Illustrated Guide – Runes: How to Interpret the Ancient System of the Runes from Amazon
Nigel Pennick’s illustrated guide takes you through the various rune alphabets, colour correspondences, rune yoga, divination, astrology, talismans, gods and goddesses – and much more. There is a wealth of information available in this A4 guide, and it is written in a clear and accessible style.
If you still haven’t found what your looking for, have a look at my Rune Library for further recommendations and, if books aren’t your thing, then how about a hand made rune set made using the techniques taught on my Introduction to RuneCraft – these will be available to buy via my shop early next week.