As I am doing research for my writing, I find a lot of sources. The question arises: which ones are reliable? When I was younger, before Internet, one could usually assume that the books in the library was reliable – unless of course they were found in the fiction-category.
Now, there is the internet, where anyone can write anything. And when reading reviews of old books, they usually claim them to be wrong. And so it usually is – at least if we go back a hundred or a hundred and fifty years. Books from that time are usually written by Christians in the view that “we are right, they are wrong/misinformed”. It is hard to find books that have been written to just inform, without an agenda or without a prepositioned opinion about the subject.
With agenda, I mean books that have been written to make money for the writer/publisher. Sure, I dream of people actually paying money for my books, but I want to entertain and make people think, I do not claim my writing to be facts. Many do though. Especially religion-topiced books, about new age or magic or witchery. There are so many “books of spells” that all claim to be “the right magic” or “the right way” or something. “We are right, everyone else wrong”. Then there are those also who says “everyone is right, pick out the way that suits you”. Meaning, “if you are smart, pick us.”
Finding books that are based in fact is hard work! I guess the catergory I should be looking in is “folklore” but one has to be careful with those too. Even if they appear to be written about a certain group of people, what is the truth? Even folklorists want to get money. And if it is an old book – or some new once too – there is the risk that this group of people is written about in a style that treats them as children, “they just do not know better, they are not as enlightened/civilized as we are”.
I’d really like to know about how to know for certain is a book actually based in facts.