My mum recently told me about a book that her own mother (my grandmother) mentioned to her when she was a child. Neither of them actually had a physical copy of the book, but I'd like to know if someone has maybe heard of something similar or might even know what this was about. Sadly she passed away at a young age, and my mum never inquired as to the specifics of it either.

The following is all we know:

  • The book was read from back to front
  • It contained curses, as well as prophecies of future events
  • The book was not to be touched with your bare finger or hand, otherwise the curses contained therein would transfer over to the reader
  • My grandmother (born 1927) grew up in a small village in northwestern Ukraine named Novomalyn and was a Russian Orthodox Christian
  • She did not speak any languages that would normally be read from right to left (to coincide with the book's pages)
  • She was able to read and write but not particularly educated otherwise

It's entirely possible that even as a child this was merely something she heard about, and I have no information about her own parents and family to determine where this book's origins might lie for certain. Considering the book itself is implied to be cursed, I don't think it's a sacred tome like the Torah, which is also not to be touched with your bare hand, though out of respect.

Given this little information, I'm unsure where to even begin researching. It's also possible the book itself is just the subject of a story and itself not a real item. Any help or clue regarding the matter would be greatly appreciated by the both of us!

  • So the book's contents were written from right to left as well? I'm asking since you're only implying it.
    – Joachim
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 16:29
  • I would assume so, but I don't know for sure. What's written in the original post really is all the information we have. Admittedly, text written from left to right, but the pages being ordered from right to left seems too strange to be true (unless it was translated from such a language, e. g. manga maintaining the page ordering even in translation). On the other hand, if the book was written from right to left, then that could at least somewhat narrow down the cultures in which it could have emerged. I'm sorry that I can't provide more info than this, and thank you for your interest. Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 13:59
  • "text written from left to right, but the pages being ordered from right to left seems too strange to be true" I don't think it's too strange. This can be symbolic in many ways. Back when I was in school, I did write left-to-right but used notebooks right-to-left. So I could fit two subjects in one notebook, e.g., geography (start from left) and history (staring from right). But that was just a way to keep less notebooks. For a mystic book the right-to-left arrangement can make sense as inverted expectations or other folkloric reasoning.
    – VLAZ
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 14:07


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