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Topic: Rice's Encyclopedia - Great deal
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Mar 31, 2015 10:37AM)
I just wanted to share.
I received Rices' Encyclopedia of Silks (4 volumes) and I am like a pig in doo-doo.
I started getting into silk magic a few years ago and I always wanted this.
It was $9.95 for all 4 volumes from Hocus Pocus.
I would have preferred the actual books but at least I have the content.
It's not just a bad scan of the books. Good quality, especially the illustrations. It has a table of contents and it's searchable.
It comes on a CD with 39 MB for all 4 volumes as PDFs.
If Hocus Pocus ever has a sale on this again, I highly recommend you grab it.
Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Mar 31, 2015 12:10PM)
I picked it up also, have not used it yet. Do not have all the books, but I really like the search functions it is supposed to have.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 31, 2015 03:12PM)
Here is my review of this CD from: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=54&topic=513393#0

Cut and pasted version with edits and additional thoughts:

I finally got around to purchasing Rice's Encyclopedia Of Silk Magic on CD in Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) scanned and processed through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

It is really sad that I have to report that this was scanned and processed by an OCR program in the early of developing that software. More disappointing was that the person or company that scanned the books, did not correct the many OCR words not recognized correctly. Thus we have missed spelled names and alternate words or just the wrong letters of the alphabet inserted.

Thus you cannot definitely who the proper credit for the idea and creation of the tricks contained therein.

All these strange and annoying errors are upsetting when trying to comprehend the names and words in the descriptions. All OCR programs have a correction process, true, it has to be done manually at the keyboard, but it can be done. Some of these errors can have been corrected by putting sample pages through the learning process to recognize letters and symbols correctly. Yes, even this process takes a few hours, but in the end it is worth it.

Chapter 4, is really very poorly written and assembled. The drawings are not drawn by an established artist in the magic community. This makes the book look cheap compared to the other volumes. I did not see any outstanding silk effect being offered. There are some ideas presented by well known current magicians, but I would say, the person's offering them, really never used them in their performances. I did see one gimmick that Vito Lupo actually used and sold for a while in his new act.

All in all, this is okay if you want to glean routines and ideas from the pages.

The CD is way overpriced for the quality of the content and the process used in the creation of the PDF eBook material.

Poor Scanning, terrible OCR, and no editing makes this product hard to recommend at all. The only thing that may save it is that compared to the book form, it is more cost efficient when doing this comparison in the total price.

I don't own any of the new reader pads, so I do not know if it will work with a device like the NOOK or Kindle. I would say it does not, as that process was not invented when these books were processed. I was really surprised that they did not even cut the book apart to scan it, as the lines across the top of the pages turn up, which is caused by not having the page against the glass on the scanner.

If one is looking for ideas or how some silk magic is done, and what methods are used, then this eBook would be good for research in that area. As in, a person wanted to know what was involve in the working of a Blendo for example. This would inform them of the necessary work to achieve the process.

Very poorly done, and why they have all those empty files on the disc is puzzling, any person who know anything about computers world know they are not necessary to open the PDF books.

Why they did not include Adobe Acrobat Reader is also a puzzling, as Adobe willingly offers anyone to distribute the Read program for free. I know many people using computers do not know what the program is and where to download it for free. No "readme" file was included even to tell purchases how to open and read the files.

There you have it, take it for what is worth. This one definitely fits the saying, "You Cannot Tell A Book By It's Cover!"

Today, OCR has advanced dramatically, and I am sure if the pre-setup I mentioned or the new advanced scanning using digital photography OCR, would produce a more accurate product.

This tomb of information only give the "bare bones" of each trick and minimum prop description of the presentation. If a person lets their imagination loose and visualize the tricks, and maybe even assembles a few, they will find some really magical magic tricks in these books.
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Mar 31, 2015 05:29PM)
I see that the books were scanned over a decade ago.
I agree that there are some spelling errors but nothing you can't figure out. I'm mainly interested in the content.
For the price, I think it's a great deal in spite of a few spelling errors.
Posts on this forum have much more spelling errors than the CD.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 31, 2015 07:11PM)
I agree, Ihop, but wait till you run into the titles being messed up and the pictures being I the wrong place. I read all 4 books it contains, it can get annoying and confusing at times. It can get messed up and their are some pieces missing on a few of the pages. Again, I reviewed the CD eBooks for others to know what they are paying $40 dollars for like I did.

For me, in this time of hand held devices, it is the content that is most important to me, not how pretty the book looks on shelf, or how heavy it is trying to hold it. This information is important for someone looking for great magic tricks no one else does, just because they don't want read a book or be creative for themselves.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 31, 2015 08:41PM)
Referring to the books, the illustrations are some of the best ever in magic. They make learning fun. I have vols. 1-3 (books) and will most likely grab vol. 4 when I find a decent used copy. I love the content too, but that means I can still read a book that is beat to hell. I don't care for reading books on a device.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Mar 31, 2015 09:33PM)
Francis Martineau did the illustrations and hand-lettered the text for Volumes 1 through 3.

For Volume 4 written by Mark Trimble was a great effort to add another volume to the set. The lettering by Francis Martineau from the first three volumes had been converted into a font, and editing of Martineau's illustrations helped to capture the feel of the original three volumes.

I think there is more material either hidden away or lost. My mentor, Earl Edwards, sent in his routine for Grant's Chink Cans where paper coils and a 50-foot Rice silk streamer were produced from the cans. I imagine other people had sent in material for what had been planned as Volume 4 but that did not appear in the Trimble edition. I imagine some great material has been lost, unless maybe Ruth knows where it is.

Fortunately, I had helped Earl and his daughter/assistant Donna fold the streamer on many occasions and have the fold in my head. I should write it down and publish it while I remember it. Maybe for a third Linking Ring Parade from Earl Edwards IBM Ring 103.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Mar 31, 2015 10:11PM)
The ORIGINAL, PRINTED, BOOK version of Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic, along with the BOOK Versions of The Tarbell Course in Magic, Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Magic, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, Greater Magic, Stars of Magic, and 13 Steps to Mentalism are TREASURES in my Magic Library, and should be, in my humble opinion, basic to any working Magician's Library.

Message: Posted by: StevieDee (Mar 31, 2015 10:25PM)
Well said, Rainbowguy.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Apr 2, 2015 02:52PM)
I always prefer to have the real books in hand. Personally it's easier for me to read a real book then an e-book or a scanned book on a CD. By the way I've never read a CD-book yet. When I get e-books I always print them out for easier reading and getting my eyes not too fast tired.

As rainbowguy, I love my magic libary and have to agree that the above listed books are a very good magic source and should be in every magician's library, even though I don't own all of the mentioned books.

To get a little off topic :

There's is one source of booklets with companion tapes that I like very much : The Camirand Master Video series. The booklet's are very well written and the companion tapes that show you the moves in real motion give you the rest that you need... and you're not influenced by the presentation as in a DVD giving you "everything".

Going back to topic, I would prefer to have the Rice Encyclopedia in real books then on a CD, even more, knowing that some errors slipped into the CD as Bill told already. And if needed you can bookmark the pages with a post-it to refer back...a thing that you can't do with an e-book or CD-book.

Just my humble opinion.

Message: Posted by: Ihop (Apr 2, 2015 05:17PM)
I agree with you.
I also prefer real books but for $9.95 at least I have the content. I'm afraid that the real books are beyond my budget.
My library is mixed, real books and e-books. I have most of Rainboguys' collection. There are so many good books out there. I wouldn't have half of them if not for the price of e-books.
Most E-books also have bookmark and post-it features. Depends on your Reader software.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 3, 2015 07:34PM)
Remember that it is just a substitute until you can get the accurate books! The OCR was not accurate for the first three volumes. (You are driving on the doughnut spare tire. LOL)

Ruth Rice will sell you a hard copy index for $5 for the real Rice Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.

On the Magic Café her handle is Rice.

If the OCR had worked it would have been great. It did not. Sorry!

Harold Rice personally told me that he would never do Volume 4 because it would not be hand lettered like the first three. Note that Volume 4 even has a different name!
Message: Posted by: Magical Moments (May 3, 2019 06:56PM)
I believe that you can buy a brand new still sealed in the carton copy of Encyclopedia of Silk Magic Volume 3 from Ruth for a mere $40 plus around $5 shipping.

You cannot beat that!
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 4, 2019 05:58AM)
All 4 volumes are still available individually but it's difficult to find a sale of all 4 as a set. Individually, it will run about $160. I've found a few sets starting at $135 plus shipping but they are not new. I recently sold my set, still in the shrink wrap for $120 including shipping and only did that because I had a duplicate set. Without the dup, I never would have made the sale. If you do silk work, these are the books to have.
Message: Posted by: Rice (May 4, 2019 08:23AM)
Yes, I still have some of the authentic Harold Rice Volume III left and the Index for all three Volumes. FYI, "Volume IV" was NOT written or published by
Harold Rice. PM me for more information or questions.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 4, 2019 09:04AM)
[quote]On May 4, 2019, Rice wrote:
Yes, I still have some of the authentic Harold Rice Volume III left and the Index for all three Volumes. FYI, "Volume IV" was NOT written or published by
Harold Rice. PM me for more information or questions. [/quote]

That is true but it's a nice addition to the set.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 27, 2019 06:31PM)
I will also add "The Magic of Johnny Thompson" to my list, above.

Do yourself a favor.....find a set and buy it.
Message: Posted by: Topper2 (Oct 4, 2019 03:37PM)
I'm a bit late to this thread, but since it is about Harold Rice's books I just wanted to mention that Silk King Studios brought out a number of booklets which are themselves useful since they contain material not contained in the Encyclopedias. Just as an example, the trick where Mr. Magician shakes a silk and a second one appears tied to the end of it, this is repeated until maybe six have been produced. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that appears in any of the four main volumes, but can be found in 'Capers in Colour'.

With regard to Volume 4 by Trimble I found it a useful addition to the series but a bit repetitive in places and overall not the same quality as the originals, but that's just my opinion.