In covenants it states that books on non-magical subjects have a +3 to SQ, but I cannot find this in the main rule book and I am not sure of the original reference, or what would be included as non-magical subjects. Divine Lore? Faerie Lore? anything that isn't an art? Also does anyone know where this rule originated?
also can books on non-magical subjects be clarified?
This was part of the expanded book rules in covenants. The covenants rules want magical writings to have resonant components in order to achieve a reasonable quality, they do not require this for non-magical books. This is the reason for the +3 for non-magical books. It is basically just the three possible points of resonance for free.
I believe that magical writings are for arts but not for normal abilities. Here's some relevant text from page 87
This says hermetic books so perhaps not even books for the arts of learned magicians of the Order of Suliaman have these same restrictions.
if you want to use resonance in your game (I've chosen not to use it for mine) then it really is a bit up in the air and you should make the decision for yourself. My take would be require it for all arts (not just hermetic ones) and for supernatural abilities (like entrancement).
What I offer to do in my games (in the past I'm not playing at the moment) is just use the core book rules for quality and if the PC's want to magically augment their book they can enchant it as a device with creo mentem (to put thoughts or sensations into the heads of the readers), creo imaginem (for multimedia presentations), rego aquam (to move pictures and or words on the page), or some similar effect then give a bonus to book quality based on effect level similar to enchanted devices in the laboratory personalization rules (I've never had a player give it a shot yet so I've never needed to nail down the specifics).
Yes, it was part of the expanded book rules. However, no, these statements are off. It was due to an error, though maybe that was in hindsight. All books are supposed to hit +6 given quality construction, so +3 plus another three potential +1s. The +3 was accidentally left out for texts on magical stuff. Look at the errata: