"Our folklore column will return next time!"

So did I promise in the July / August 1991 newsletter. Unfortunately, we were unable to produce a newsletter for the rest of the year.

When we returned to publishing at the beginning of 1992, we adopted an austere new printing schedule. Henceforth, the newsletter and column would appear only four times a year. We would adhere to this schedule for three years.

For our January / March '92 column I wrote a fun little piece on Automotive Urban Legends - we subsequently put that one online for our January / February '98 edition, which is where you'll find it archived.

There were three more issues (and, presumably, columns) in 1992, but unfortunately all three are currently missing.

(In case this news is starting to dismay any of you, I hasten to state that we are only missing a total of 7 columns altogether as far as I know, one of which, our Shirley Jackson tale, is safe as it was reprinted and expanded in September / October '98. We'll find the other six soon enough.)

Now it was 1993, and that March was Book Again's 7th anniversary. I knew just what to write about for our January - March column . . .



Yes - it's our Seventh Anniversary - a very special one. Something happens when one attains that magical number - a seven seems so much more significant than a six or an eight, for some reason . . . one calls to mind images of permanence, of mystical rightness -

Why is this? What exactly is it about a number, in theory just another integer (and an odd one at that) somewhere between one and ten, that seems so inordinately significant?

Good question. There are many theories, indeed he explanations as to why the number seven carries such weight are almost as ancient as the belief itself!

Seven's prominence begins, as so many superstitions and beliefs are wont to, with ancient religions.

In ancient Assyria, the gods were divided into groups of seven, Chaldeans considered the number to be holy, in Sanskrit there are seven castes and seven worlds, and one has to look no further than the Bible to read that Creation itself took seven days!

One singular belief concerning this number was presumably more demonstrable in previous centuries, when families tended to be large. It is the "seventh son" belief - the idea that the seventh son of a seventh son (or daughter of daughter) had the magical power to heal anyone, and to find buried gold!