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Topic: magic library
Message: Posted by: hobbymagic (Feb 13, 2002 11:33AM)
Being relatively new to magic I am amazed by the apparent vast libraries that many of you have. I can rationalize that if I were a full time professional magican this is a cost of doing business.
I visited the Magic Castle and was impressed by the library they have for members. Are there other libraries that magicians can use for reference?
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 13, 2002 02:13PM)
A vast library isn't really essential.
I'm sure if you look at a lot of the books published today, you'd realize that what they would make is a "half-vast" library.

Depending on what sort of magic you were doing, you could have a pretty good library with 20 or 30 books -- as long as they were the right books!
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: martinkaplan (Feb 13, 2002 03:20PM)
The Castle is the only place that I know of in the United States that has such an extensive library at the disposal of its members. A number of public libraries have magic books on their shelves, but they are usually limited to magic for beginners. The Learned Pig Project has a number of older texts available for download on its website. You also might want to check out the Gutenberg Project to see if they have any magic texts available.

Peter is correct when he says that you can most certainly get by with a limited number of basic texts.

Message: Posted by: craig fothers (Feb 13, 2002 03:26PM)
I was wondering if there were any projects on the net for this kind of thing! Thanks Martin!
I'm a beginner too and I'm trying to carefully choose which books to add to my collection. I want to be a magic-book-reader, and not a magic-book-collector! :)
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Feb 15, 2002 12:02AM)
Actually, the SAM has a library for its members, containing books and videos and films.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Feb 15, 2002 12:41AM)
Scott is correct, The Society of American Magicians has a very extensive library, and I do know it's possible for members to make use of it, though I never have myself.

As far as a magic library goes, size is not the issue, but quality. I have several books in my own library, but there are many more I will eventually purchase. Of course, I am also a collector of sorts, and besides technical information, I have a great interest in magic history.

I must admit, that as a creator of effects, my library serves me well as a reference point as it were. In that context, you can never have too much information.
:donut2: :coffee:
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (Feb 15, 2002 06:45AM)
I found that my library grew as I developed more specific interests and tried to track down sources that were referenced by other works.

I confess to being something of a bibliophile and collector, but not on the scale of many in magic. My personal library has fewer than 1000 volumes (books & videos). Some personal magic libraries have many thousands of items.

Just as some people enjoy looking for rare magic props, others enjoy looking for hard-to-find magic texts.

The most important thing is to actually read what you buy. There are a few in my library that I have had in the "in stack" for a year or more but haven't gotten to yet!

The down side of a large library is that it can be a challenge to focus if you let your mind wander, drifting over the spines of the books and remembering little gems that you should go back to instead of working on what it is you have chosen to practice. Kind of an ironic problem -- like starving at a feast.
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Feb 15, 2002 01:57PM)
What GREAT advice! To have such jewels at your disposal and neglect them is a pity, indeed!

Thanks, Joe, for bringing that to light.
Message: Posted by: owenwildboy (Apr 24, 2002 01:22AM)
There is a website called The Learned Pig which has loads of online magic you can access after you have filled in an application form.

There is so much great stuff here it will keep you going for years.
Message: Posted by: Gawin (Apr 24, 2002 05:25AM)
Yes owenwildboy
Learned Pig project is great but you shouldn´t be on the beginning of magic - some experience should be there! Even to get access - or has it changed and got easier?
Message: Posted by: Martin_H (Apr 24, 2002 10:54AM)
Magic Pig has still some access limitations -they check by human your magic knowledge!


PS Grüße aus Wien
Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Apr 24, 2002 02:00PM)
The Portland S.A.M. has a library where members can borrow videos up to a month. I can't wait to join! :) :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Gawin (Apr 25, 2002 02:18PM)
To Martin

I know, as I´m a member there too.
The only thing I want to say is, that the stuff there won´t really fit to beginners. Some experience must be there.

Schöne Grüße aus Rednitzhembach - bei Nürnberg.

Ich freue mich wirklich darüber, dass hier so viele verschiedene Nationen vertreten sind.

(Hello from Rednitzhembach near Nurenberg. [Germany]

I´m always happy that there are so much different nations joined in this Cafe.)

Gawin :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun: :sun:
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Apr 26, 2002 11:25PM)
Well, just my two cents worth here... I've got to recommend some specific books... some of which I don't even have yet. :goof: But I'm saving my pennies and saving my dimes...

The Amateur Magician's Handbook
Now You See It, Now You Don't!
Modern Coin Magic
Growing In The Art Of Magic
The Magic Handbook
The Dai Vernon Book of Magic
Dai Vernon's Inner Card Trilogy
Art of Astonishment series

Don't get in too big a hurry buying... have fun reading them, man. The really, really good ones seem to be few and far between, to me, and I've listed the ones I think are the best.

The last three I would really like to read but I just haven't saved up enough dough to buy them yet... but just from hearing other magicians talk about them, I can tell that they are excellent books.

The only book on my list here I'll have to rank a little lower than the others is The Magic Handbook by Peter Eldin. Some of the tricks in there are great, but some just look stupid to me... to be bluntly honest. But you know, you'll pick the ones you like...

All the books I've got, you can get from Amazon.com, except Growing In The Art of Magic which you can get from Eugene Burger's website for $20.00. It's a lot of advanced magical thinking packed into only about 45 pages! It will really make you look at the way you present your magic, though.

But if I had to recommend just one, I'd have to say the Amateur Magician's Handbook. I think it's just the best book you could possibly start out with - it covers sleight of hand, apparatus, mental magic, how to stage a show, closeup, kid's shows, training with videotape, and it even has a lot of theory on presentation like in the Eugene Burger book. And it has a lot of tricks...

I certainly haven't learned them all, and I've had the book for nearly six years! Maybe I should get busy reading as well...

:bikes: :magicrabbit: :coffee:
:cucumber: :pepper:
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (Apr 28, 2002 10:22AM)
Here's what I would call a beginner's list:

1) The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic (I owe much of my earlier beginnings to this incredible man. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take his course by mail. Each month, he sent me a new section. They just don't make 'em like that anymore!)

2) As Serling307 said "The Amateur Magician's Handbook."

3) Now You See It, Now You Don't, by Bill Tarr

4) The Klutz Book of Magic (Yes, I know...)

5) Modern Coin Magic

Please remember, these are books for beginners, and these books I've mentioned, have wonderful material.

- - Troy
Message: Posted by: MikeSmith (Apr 28, 2002 10:35AM)
The two books I reccomend to all beginners are "The Royal Road To Card Magic" and "Mark Wilsons Complete Course In Magic". Here in England the latter is available in many remainder book shops and can be bought cheaply.
Mike Smith
Message: Posted by: Tyrdius (May 15, 2002 07:04AM)
I just ordered those two books from Amazon this morning! I had the "Royal Road" years ago but it's lost in the mist of house moves. :)

Actually, I didn't get the "Complete Course" by Mark Wilson, I got "Cyclopedia of Magic". Do you know what the differences are?


Message: Posted by: Paul (May 22, 2002 06:29AM)
The Complete Course has been split up into a number of smaller publications in which the Cyclopedia was one.

It is not as easy to come across the complete course in these bookshops now and has not been for several years.

If you have a local club it may have a library for members. The British Ring of the IBM has a library and books are taken out by post. You simply pay for the postage.

It is surprising how many members of clubs don't use the club library, which is certainly one of the main advantages of membership for those wanting to learn.

The Learned Pig site is an excellent web site (as is this one).

Paul Hallas
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (May 22, 2002 07:27AM)
I think that having a large library in many cases has a lot to do with how long you have been into magic for example most people might spend say £50.00 a month on their hobby
if it was stamp collecting, shooting ext.
so it would not be unrealistic to say that as a hobby, magicians (always claiming to be poor) bought 1 or 2 books a month lets say 1 thats 12 a year if you have been into magic for 20 years or so then you are aleady up to 240 books!
Message: Posted by: RayBanks (May 22, 2002 08:11AM)
Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic is basically the same as the Complete Course. The Cyclopedia is a small (about 4" square)paperback book while the Complete Course is a full size hard cover. There are a few things left out of the Cyclopedia but it is still a great way to start.

The Complete Course is readily available in the States and through Amazon. I did notice that Amazon promotes getting both books but you are really buying the same thing (almost) twice.

I still use mine almost every month to look something up or get a better idea on a sleight.

Good Luck :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Paul (May 22, 2002 01:51PM)
Phillip said;
"it would not be unrealistic to say that as a hobby, magicians (always claiming to be poor) bought 1 or 2 books a month"

Well I always claimed to be poor, and still can't afford 1 or 2 books a month!

I think in the early days I had blow outs at conventions, my favourite stand being Magic Books By Post.

I have read all the books in my collection though with the exception of a few bought in the past 6 months, I have just been too busy to read.

It is nice to have a large library for reference purposes and certainly the student of magic should read as much as he can. Every magician should have a library. But a working library doesn't have to be huge, you don't need a massive library to be a good performer.

Annemann used to talk about a 5 ft shelf, that would contain books to cover all aspects of magic. It would be the perfect source for beginners and established magicians.

You might like to think about what books you would put on a 5 ft shelf if that was all you could have.

I published a list in the Dungeon magazine several years back. If I can find it I'll post it here.

Paul Hallas.
Message: Posted by: Paul (May 23, 2002 08:14AM)
A great, cheap book on card magic available or obtainable from ANY good book store is Annemann's Card Magic, a Dover Publication.

Paul Hallas.
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (May 23, 2002 11:23AM)
Luckily, Steve Brooks gave me the advice of buying books early on. Although it's only been a few years, I have about 300 books, booklets & manuscripts (& I want more!).

Books are the way to go.
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (May 25, 2002 02:27AM)
Hi, HobbyMagic.

The books you'd want would depend upon your interests. Others have mentioned Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia, Now You See It/Now You Don't, and The Amateur Magician's Handbook. I would add to that the Tarbell Course. I don't recommend Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic or The Royal Road to Card Magic since you did not indicate interest in either of these areas.

All too often new magicians are pointed in that direction without being asked (or often even knowing themselves) if that is the direction they wish to go in.

I first got (back) into magic because I had seen a dealer demonstration in Vegas after having seen Lance Burton. I bought a couple of trick decks, but I wanted something more than that. I found out there was a local magic group and went to a meeting. At the first meeting, I asked where I should start. I had no idea what types of magic there were and how vast the art form was. I was told that I'd "need" Michael Ammar's "Easy to Master Card Miracles" and "Easy to Master Money Miracles". So I bought them. I learned some things from them, but soon found out I was neither a coin or card guy.

I later found the Mark Wilson Encyclopedia and The Amateur Magicians Handbook. I had wished I had bought them first. Since they cover cards, coins, and many other things, they would have given me a "taste" of the different types of props and magic so I could've determined myself what I wanted to pursue.

All too often the impression is given that you need to start with coins or cards. Not true. They are essential areas of magic, but are by no means required. I think a good all-around book is the best first purchase. From there, the magician can determine which area he or she wishes to study and can then buy the books and videos appropriate for them.

Message: Posted by: Rover (Jun 20, 2002 03:30PM)
I used to rent videos from a local magic shop years ago for a nominal weekly fee. I learned quite a bit from them and did not have to shell out big $$ to find out that a certain video was not for me. If you liked the video you could purchase it. Only frequent customers could rent them so the secrets were never revealed to laymen.

Not sure if any shops are still doing this.

Renting the tapes made sense for the shop because viewers would return to buy effects used in the videos. I'm sure they also made more money on the video rental than the sale of it!
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Jun 21, 2002 10:29AM)
I hope not. In fact, more and more magic DVDs/Videos are coming out with "Not For Rental" on them. The publisher and author of the tapes lose out while the "renter" makes the dough.

There's been that same problem with magic clubs "renting" videos from their "library". So, for a fraction of the cost of a tape/DVD, a club magician can learn the routines they want and the magician and publisher who put their time, money, and talents into the production of the product gets nothing.

That's the first time I heard of a magic dealer doing it. I hope it's not a continuing practice.

Message: Posted by: wayman (Jun 21, 2002 10:53AM)

Do you not have a magic club in your area?
Most magic societys in the UK have libraries that members can borrow from.

The local libraries usually have a limited selection
Message: Posted by: Rover (Jun 21, 2002 11:25AM)
Mike -

This was quite a few years back. Some of them were on BETA tape format (remember those)