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Topic: Birthday Book
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 13, 2011 11:08AM)
This is not technically the right section for this, but since it's an that relates to the memorized deck, I'll post it here. Does anyone know where I could find a Birthday Book to use for this effect? I've looked at office supply stores, but they only have day runner type calendars, that are year specific. I've also looked in a few stationary stores and the Hallmark store, without luck. The closest thing I could find was a 3"x4" one on a website for $20, seems a bit small, especially for the price.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Feb 13, 2011 01:12PM)
I use two different birthday books, depending on the situation in which I'm performing the trick.

1. For walk-around, I have a small (2.75" x 3.75") black leather book that was made by Graphic Images. (See http://www.perannum.com/products/gimcb.aspx )The book has cream colored acid-free paper with gilt edges. It fits in a pocket with no problem. In a walk-around situation, small is good!

2. For a more formal show, I use a red Fortune Telling Birthday Book, published by Chronicle Books. (See http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/store,books/products_id,5203/ ) (Note: [b]Paste the complete link, including commas, into your browser. [/b]) There is a different fortune for every day, and I use this feature as part of my presentation.

3. If I hadn't decided to use the Simon Aronson methodology (with Martin Joyal's stack, no less), I'd probably be using Paul Green's Fortuneteller's Book of Days. It's nicely produced and well worth your consideration.
Message: Posted by: jcigam (Feb 14, 2011 02:46AM)
Thanks to the original poster and to Barry...I just ordered two of the smaller bday books. I have been looking for these for quite some time...thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 14, 2011 09:23PM)

Thanks for the thorough reply. I'll go order some of the smaller ones now.

Message: Posted by: Nick Pudar (Feb 15, 2011 11:38PM)
It's been written about in another distant thread... but my favorite birthday book is found here:


...and the price is much lower now than it was when I bought mine. Then I painstakingly and slowly entered the card names on each date with calligraphy. It took months, but I love the result.

Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Feb 16, 2011 09:01AM)
Very nice indeed. I may be ordering one of these because I can add personalized text to the cover in silver foil.

Thanks, Nick!
Message: Posted by: kerpa (Mar 10, 2011 12:33PM)
I wrote how to make a birthday book yourself a few years ago:


hope this helps
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Mar 11, 2011 10:53PM)
Instead of carrying a birthday book or date diary, why not [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=406991&forum=273]use your smartphone's or tablet's calendar app[/url]?
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Mar 16, 2011 12:15AM)
On 2011-03-11 23:53, Scott Cram wrote:
Instead of carrying a birthday book or date diary, why not [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=406991&forum=273]use your smartphone's or tablet's calendar app[/url]?

I tried this and found that the technological nature of the smartphone or tablet app gives spectators a way to completely dismiss the effect. ("It isn't impossible; it's just some dumb app, probably written by some kid.")

Of course, your mileage may vary. If you can find a way to make this convincing, I'd be the first to give it a try.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Mar 17, 2011 11:42PM)

When I did it, I used a presentation similar to [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0shvnFqg0M]Simon Aronson's Anytime Birthday Shopping[/url], in which, while I still apparently don't know the card, I bring out the phone, let them see that I'm really starting the phone and opening up the built-in calendar app.

Since I use the iPhone, I show the list view which really helps show that the days all have (seemingly) random cards assigned to them. When I look up their birthday, they see the card, and this is before anybody knows what the selected card is.

It seems the apparent unknown nature of the card when the phone is being introduced is important.
Message: Posted by: Danny Archer (Mar 24, 2011 02:25PM)
I just use a month at a glance calendar because it is thinner and lighter that the other books...
month at a glance also cuts down on the time the spectator spends looking for their card...
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Apr 7, 2011 06:49PM)
Think 20 bucks is a little expensive seeing how much cheaper out there.

Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Jun 19, 2011 11:45PM)
I've been playing around with the Birthday Book for several months now and...wow, the reactions to it are simply astounding. I learned it from Michael Close's [i]Workers 5[/i] and use my own presentation. It's an amazing piece of magic that really does "pack small, play big."

Another thing that I picked up from Close's book, that I'm sure is in print elsewhere, is running the suits which really helps make the effect a lot cleaner. If you have a memorized deck and you are NOT doing the Birthday Book, get on it. Danny is right when he said it's hard to top. (Yet somehow I managed to with Mnemonicosis, where the name card was 4 of Clubs. :))
Message: Posted by: harvini2 (Jun 23, 2011 09:12AM)
I will have to check this book out.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Jun 23, 2011 11:46AM)
Seven Mystical Notes about the Birthday Book:

1. From time to time, I encounter women who don't like card tricks. Most of the time, I find that these women just [i]love[/i] the Birthday Book. It's so easy to adapt this effect to fit your style.

2. Once you have mastered a memorized deck, the Birthday Book is dead easy to perform. This is, as Martha Stewart might say, a Good Thing.

3. I always carry a small leather Birthday Book that's ready to go. (I keep one in my brief case.) For the handling that I use, I can borrow the deck. The deck can be one of those awful worn-out decks with brown edges, and the effect will still work.

4. You can structure the routine so that the spectator will later say that you never did anything. Think about it.

5. Keep a separate Birthday Book where you record all of the birthdays of everyone you know and meet, but keep this book a secret. If you can perform the effect without ever asking for the birthday until the very end, you have a secret weapon that can fry audiences. (For certain (cough!) discerning audiences, you might want to consider John Luka's strategy that he describes in [i]L.I.N.T.[/i] It's extremely devious.)

6. You may want to consider incorporating a card reading into the Birthday Book effect. Take a look at Harry Lorayne's 'Tell My Fortune' from [i]Close Up Card Magic [/i] (or from the [i]Classic Collection, Vol. 1[/i] ) for some solid presentational ideas for this effect. You can adapt any card reading system (I use a modified version of the one created by Steve Bryant), or you can create your own.

7. I love it when someone who has seen the effect asks me to do it for one of their friends. This is one of those rare tricks that hits even harder the second time someone sees it.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Jul 6, 2011 03:48AM)
On 2011-06-23 12:46, BarryFernelius wrote:
Seven Mystical Notes about the Birthday Book:

3. I always carry a small leather Birthday Book that's ready to go. (I keep one in my brief case.) For the handling that I use, I can borrow the deck. The deck can be one of those awful worn-out decks with brown edges, and the effect will still work.


That's brilliant. It didn't really occur to me to do the Birthday Book with a borrowed deck, I guess it's so obvious I overlooked it.