Strange that this seems to be a difficult question to answer.
You would think, for all the different kinds of deities out there, there should be at least one, definitively for books ALONE, or at least for writing and literature right?
Well… maybe not so much.
The Greeks — who are our all-time favorite culture for having a god or goddess for EVERYTHING — seems to fall short in this category. Thus far, my findings show it could be a toss up between Apollo and Hermes. Or even Athena, who is goddess of wisdom. Maybe even the Muses – if you want to go with the idea that they are the inspiration which create and inspire books, writing, and literature into existence.
Other cultures might propose deities such as:
– Anansi, who is actually a West African spirit (and not actually a deity), is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories.
– Baalat, who was the chief deity of Byblos, and is associated with books, libraries, and writers.
– Seshat, who is an Egyptian goddess, and a patron of writers and builders.
– Thoth, who is an Egyptian god, is considered patron of scribes and writing.
– Saraswati, who is a Hindu goddess and a patron of artists, writers, students, poets, and musicians.
– Ganesha, who is the Hindu god and patron god of writers, could also be a good choice.
I did find some information which I’m going to quote in its entirety for better understanding and consideration:
SOURCE: an answer given by Richard G. on Yahoo
Apollo was the divine patron of Poetry (among many other things). The Muses, however, were more directly involved with the creation of literature and other various forms of “writing.”The Muses were the daughters of Zeus, King of Olympus and leader of the Olympian Gods, and Mnemosyne, a Titaness (and Zeus’ aunt on both sides, Zeus’ parents being Mnemosyne’s brother and sister, Kronos and Rhea, who were also brother and sister to one another) who was known to be the divine patroness of memory. These nine goddesses inspired mortal men to create great works of art or contribute to various sciences, each in her own particular area, and all nine were associated with various fields and areas of knowledge that were recorded in writing.
Calliope: Epic Poetry (Epic Poetry is a form of poetry that does not really exist in modern times. Epic Poems are long poems that tell the deeds of a particular hero or of a particular legend or myth, such as the Ramayana, Beowulf, the Illiad and the Odyssey, or Paradise Lost.)
Erato: Love Poetry
Euterpe: Song and Elegiac Poetry (Elegiac Poetry was poetry that either was an elegy, or was composed in the meter and rhyme scheme in which elegies were normally composed in Ancient Greece)
Most of these goddesses, through their “inspiration” of mortals, made significant contributions to the collected recorded knowledge of Ancient Greece, but as you see, several of them were dedicated specifically to arts or fields that were SOLELY written (or initially written, then performed aloud): Calliope (Epic Poetry), Clio (History), Erato (Love Poetry), Euterpe (Elegiac Poetry), Melpomene (Tragedy), Polyhymnia (Hymns), and Thalia (Comedy).
I say that Hymns were primarily written before performed because the Greeks had a well developed system of music theory, compositional style and musical notation that we do not entirely understand, but that was nevertheless written down for the purposes of recorded music to be reproduced later on. If you want to be more strict in your definition, then perhaps restricting your “goddesses of literature” to the Muses who inspired the various forms of Poetry, Drama, and History would be best.
I hope this was helpful.
Source:Knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology.
Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology”
However, regardless of how we try to validate our answers, the fact remains that there is NO SINGULAR DEITY FOR BOOKS. SPECIFICALLY.
Which is complete shit and baffling beyond belief, if I do say so myself.
Unless the idea behind not having a singular deity was to imply that the act of writing and formulating of books and literature was too complex a job for a single deity to fulfill and thus have total ownership and claim to… If that is in fact the reason… then kudos to whoever thought of it.
If not, then back to what I was saying about it being complete shit.
We need to come up with our own deity of books, coffee, and reading. It’s complete nonsense such an important figure doesn’t exist as of yet. –A–;;
Are there any references to Book Gods or Goddesses that you know of? Who would you nominate? I can’t even think of anyone who might fit the bill, but it’s insane that no one’s thought to make one yet! There’s gotta be someone, SOMEWHERE.
Can any of you book ninjas out there find some references to book deities in novels, mythos, or folklore and share it here with us? I’m super curious about this and NEED. YOUR. HELP!
I have no prizes for winners, only my eternal gratitude and the ever-wish to pass on knowledge to those who want to accumulate more of it, like myself. So go forth! And try to find some answers. As I find any, I’ll comment below with links and excerpts from books. Let’s see what we can find! 😉