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Topic: Why do magicians still love buying magic books?
Message: Posted by: Muldwych (Aug 25, 2016 07:54AM)
Hello there,

I am wondering why magicians still love to buy magic books given the prices that some go by, I realise that some people like to collect them but given the internet and how easy it is to google a trick reveal or the likes why is it still important to own the books?

I wonder what people reasons are for it, I personally LOVE BOOKS and buy loads, for me its about having the knowledge and tricks at hand, I love just holding a book but I see some magicians say card magician with about 50+ books all on card magic.

This is something I am very genuinely interested in, finding out what people get from their books of magic other than tricks :-)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 25, 2016 08:00AM)
Because 'googling a trick reveal' is ethically wrong, and you should want to buy the book(s) in part to honour magic, preserve it, and learn from it continuously...as well as rewarding the creator a little too...
Message: Posted by: neocatalyst (Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM)
Addiction
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM)
Depth.

Joe Random's internet exposure is far different from an author actually [b]teaching[/b] how to perform the effect he created and developed, discussing [b]why[/b] it was constructed that way, and presenting further possibilities to consider and/or explore.
Message: Posted by: Muldwych (Aug 25, 2016 03:48PM)
Fantastic responses so far, thank you guys :-)
Message: Posted by: DiegoNovati (Aug 25, 2016 07:12PM)
I have many reasons:
1. An effect learned from a book is something I learn and I have to wear to myself; an effect watched from a video will be done in the same way as the video performer
2. The details require time to be written and in the good books you can read them because they required years to be written; the words in a video required the time of the explanation and of the performance and very few videos try to explain the details
3. A good book is the source for a life, because we change, and a book read ten years later gives you different food for your brain
4. In some books you can feel the soul of the writer, in most of the video you see the business of the performer
5. A book last long, a dvd is design to last 10 years (the VHS are unreadable today)
6. A books contains more than one hundreds effects, a video usually only ten
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Aug 25, 2016 08:33PM)
A few reasons, including:

Books have far more value than one-trick DVD / instant download which only happens in the last decade
Books provide much more value to readers
Books contain more tricks in most cases
Arthur of books will have much more alert and detail in any topic they write when compare with other media because each word he wrote down count.
Books has 90% of more magic effects than existing videos / downloads since dawn of magic publishing

Most importantly, Books has one definite advantage - it requires readers to read, analyze through their brain, made magician THINK, EXERCISE in their brain how the trick works, it eliminate imitation of action, and tricks will become your own tricks if you read them through books as explained by Juan Tamariz.

All in all, most best keep secrets of magic are all written in books in plain sight.
Message: Posted by: Ado (Aug 25, 2016 08:52PM)
1) Books don't give you a presentation bias. While they may come with a patter, you're less likely to end up imitating the author, and that is good (tm).
2) I have found that moves can be described better in books than in some video teachings (although other moves don't render at all on paper, say, Sylvester's pitch).
3) Books are easier to access than DVDs. You can have several open at once, no need to lead them into a computer, etc.
4) I don't think an original edition of someone's DVD will ever be expensive on the market :)
5) Books look cool in a shelf
6) You can read them in the bus, at the beach, etc.

P!
Message: Posted by: casinoboss (Aug 25, 2016 09:33PM)
I'll echo the other responses and say that the two biggest for me are ease of accessibility and clarity of thought. Books are vastly superior to DVDs in both those aspects. Additionally, I despise all of the audience reaction shots that most DVDs seem to be inundated with nowadays.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Aug 25, 2016 11:10PM)
Hey careful book readers,

Remember to [b]read[/b] the original poster's question and respond to what he's actually asking.

This thread is turning into Books vs. DVDs.

He asked about Books vs. Internet: websites, blogs, video, message boards, skype -- all of it.
Message: Posted by: casinoboss (Aug 26, 2016 03:35AM)
Good point.

I guess another reason I buy books is to help support and encourage their publication. I realize that authoring a book on magic is a labor of love and doubt anyone is getting rich off the endeavor. Buying a physical book is my small way of acting as a micro-patron of the art of magic.
Message: Posted by: IMAGINACIAN (Aug 26, 2016 04:40AM)
Wow, some really great thoughts from everyone. A big wow to DiegoNovati.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Aug 26, 2016 10:08AM)
Books are low-tech. I can access them anywhere, anytime, without an internet connection or even electricity.
Message: Posted by: Muldwych (Aug 30, 2016 07:33AM)
Thank you all so much for the responses :-)
Message: Posted by: magicowner (Sep 1, 2016 01:07PM)
In my opinion, it keeps effects more exclusive...and I like that.

Best,
Nirav
Message: Posted by: Ado (Sep 2, 2016 07:40PM)
Also, not all magic books are about tricks. Take the Fitzkee trilogy, or Strong Magic by Ortiz. Well, I'm pretty sure the DVDs wouldn't be as helpful (but I might be wrong).

P!
Message: Posted by: donj4 (Sep 4, 2016 08:04PM)
I like books over internet because I'm old...JK if you miss a move in a book you can go reread it time and time again on a down load if you miss a move you may never catch were. I am old though. Don,
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 4, 2016 09:41PM)
Books help develop your creative mind, they also allow you to interpret the words differently. Many times reading between the lines to fully understand the total effect.

Books contain more second by second details not ever given in a video. The video says do it like this, but they never say what they are doing.

Books help you develop. Reading how to do say, the double lift, in many different ways, to find the one that best works for you.

As I have mentioned before, magicians like Paul Harris, has simplified many of the classic effects that depend on complicated mechanics previously. Always reading a new handling or view of an effect and process is beneficial in so many ways to each individual.

Personally, I have not found one trick on YouTube that is correct in the explanation of the actual trick. Most even say, this is what I figured out after watching the trick many times.

I for one, want the proper and correct way the 1st time. Secondly, watching videos takes so much time out a person life, that is needed for practice and rehearsal, if you intend to actually be a magician and not think you are watching a movie. I can glean so much more from library then then anyone with a video library, much faster and find the solution I am looking for to material to add to my routines.

Reading is much faster then watching video.

The only thing I believe video should be is to enhance the reading process. I have said many times, that a performance video should be included with every book these days. How great would it be to actually see the creator performing the material in the book. Videos should be an enhancement to the written word, not the sole learning tool.
Message: Posted by: Muldwych (Sep 5, 2016 12:21PM)
Thank you all so much for the responses, it was exactly what I was looking for.
Message: Posted by: SvenSigma (Sep 14, 2016 02:29AM)
Personally, I observed another effect: For magic, I prefer real, dead tree books over e-books. I think because the touch and feel of a book is working hand in hand with sleights and such. No pun intended.

I even print hard copies of PDF books I bought for learning with them.

All other books I read a e-books, except for the rare case that you do not get it electronically or if it is a gift.
Message: Posted by: at4iowa (Sep 23, 2016 04:32PM)
I feel very strongly about this topic, so I apologize if I offend anyone. If you are serious about magic and want the art to continue, you buy books and DVDs from the pros. Exposing tricks on youtube by hacks in the guise of "teaching" is borderline criminal in my opinion. I can't tell you how much money I have invested in books, DVDs and tricks that I know I will never get to. However, I don't feel like I've wasted a cent. I love magic and if I purchase a book or DVD and never get to it, at least I helped out another magician in some way. These idiots on youtube have nothing invested and not only are they not helping out another magician, they are doing a disservice to the magic community in general.

Now, off the soapbox. I love books. I love to learn from books and I feel like you get a much deeper understanding of a trick or slight by reading compared to watching it on video. I have a few hundred DVDs in my collection and it's great to learn from them as well, but I usually just watch the performances. Books are much more immersive than a DVD. You have to process the information to understand it. You don't learn nearly as well by being spoon fed the material. I also can't stand reading books on a computer screen, so real actual paper books are the way to go. Plus, they make the shelves in your office much more interesting!

There is certainly a collection aspect to it as well. I love card magic more than anything and I want to have a great library of card magic, so I buy the best books on the subject. It's fun and nice to know I have a resource that I can pick up anytime to learn whatever it is I feel like learning at a particular time.
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Feb 9, 2017 02:03AM)
[quote]On Sep 23, 2016, at4iowa wrote:
I feel very strongly about this topic, so I apologize if I offend anyone. If you are serious about magic and want the art to continue, you buy books and DVDs from the pros. Exposing tricks on youtube by hacks in the guise of "teaching" is borderline criminal in my opinion. I can't tell you how much money I have invested in books, DVDs and tricks that I know I will never get to. However, I don't feel like I've wasted a cent. I love magic and if I purchase a book or DVD and never get to it, at least I helped out another magician in some way. These idiots on youtube have nothing invested and not only are they not helping out another magician, they are doing a disservice to the magic community in general.

Now, off the soapbox. I love books. I love to learn from books and I feel like you get a much deeper understanding of a trick or slight by reading compared to watching it on video. I have a few hundred DVDs in my collection and it's great to learn from them as well, but I usually just watch the performances. Books are much more immersive than a DVD. You have to process the information to understand it. You don't learn nearly as well by being spoon fed the material. I also can't stand reading books on a computer screen, so real actual paper books are the way to go. Plus, they make the shelves in your office much more interesting!

There is certainly a collection aspect to it as well. I love card magic more than anything and I want to have a great library of card magic, so I buy the best books on the subject. It's fun and nice to know I have a resource that I can pick up anytime to learn whatever it is I feel like learning at a particular time. [/quote]

Right On the Money!
The magic market has become so crowded, if you do not support the best producers of magic, they will disappear.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 9, 2017 05:35AM)
Just answered a member's question for a solution in another part of the Cafť. He was wanting to know how to force an object. After reading his idea of an effect he wanted to create, it sounded very much like the very old, "Just Chance" or "Bank Night" routine, only different props. If he had a library with the book that covered his plot idea, he would have found multiply solutions to his question.

Remember, knowledge is power, and without out it you can not find your own solutions, or even know what a person is talking about if you don't know what the words mean.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Feb 9, 2017 02:53PM)
I just love being able to review the effect by flipping a page or two.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Feb 10, 2017 12:49PM)
I'm probably just piggy backing a lot here. I am huge on books. Videos have their place, but I always prefer books.

I like being able to read anywhere. I can sit at my desk at night, a nice drink at hand, adjust the lighting however I want it, and listen to music while I read a book. Then I don't get the same kind of eye fatigue I get from screens (eReaders help that a bit, with the e-ink displays, but it's not the same). I like the physical object in my hands, the pages to flip, etc. I like how easy it is to flip back and forth to review things. With eBooks I feel like I can't touch it or I bring up menus or highlight something or whatever.

I have to test a lot of downloadable videos to make sure they're set up correctly. I have gotten a bit tired of watching these videos. For one, you're stuck at the pace of whoever is teaching. So if it's something that uses moves I'm already familiar with, then I'm stuck listening to them "teach" me something I already know. But they have to teach it for the folks that don't know it. Navigating video is tedious to me, trying to make sure I don't miss anything I don't already know. I usually end up getting bored and not paying attention.

Then there's also the previously mentioned idea that before you can even begin practicing something from a book, you have to have wrapped your head around how it works. So you're automatically ahead of the game when you actually start practicing. With a video you can fool yourself into thinking you're practicing when you're just starting to learn the method.

On top of those things, I don't entirely trust technology. I worked tech support too long, and saw too many catastrophic failures to trust that anything I only have electronic copy of is really "mine". I know all about making backups and stuff so I don't need a lecture on that, I just don't fully trust it.

But mostly, I just love books. I like the physical objects on my shelves. I like the feel and the smell and everything about them.
Message: Posted by: Proximo (Feb 14, 2017 08:51AM)
What Bill Hegbli said!

My preference is books.
That way I always try to make the effect "mine". After a while, I will search around and see if I can find a performance somewhere.
So that way they complement each other. When I buy a DVD, and select the effects I like, I make my own notes, so I don't necessarily have to pop in the DVD should I forget something.

I also find it much more relaxing to just learn an effect in my own way (relaxed, not rushing things, repeating some moves, ...).
Plus, if it was a DVD, that's pretty much OK, but I do not like to have these digital copies. I don't know why :-)

And finally, I like to support the author/creator of a book/an effect. Even when someone would explain it to me, I will never perform it unless I have actually bought it myself.
So if someone would show me an effect from a book, I have no choice but to buy the book should I want to learn it myself.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Feb 14, 2017 11:52AM)
Reminder for book-lovers who think they read well:

The question asked was [b]not[/b] the same 20+ year old question about books vs DVDs.

The original poster asked about Books vs. Internet: websites, blogs, video, message boards, skype, email/forum exchanges with creators -- all of it.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Feb 14, 2017 02:26PM)
I think my answer is still valid - I prefer books over anything electronic.

Though the internet is great for networking and socializing. There are some forums where I have made some great friends that have really helped improve my work and knowledge. I don't go to many conventions (Only one, actually) and I don't generally hang out with other magicians. So I do like the internet for that.
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Feb 15, 2017 01:19AM)
I really prefer books. However, ebooks are my favorite for several reasons. I also believe that dvd or digital links have their place. A recent example: My local Brick and Mortar shop is closing. I managed to pick up "Digital Effects" (The Magic of Joe Mogar) by Steve Beam. It is a pretty large hardback book on thimble magic. The writing is excellent as well as the illustrations. I also picked up his dvd "Digital Dexterity" because at times, no matter how well written something is, a visual correspondence / companion is the best way to learn a move properly.

Many of the terms for the various palms and clips and "x"grips are the same as in coin magic yet the manner in which they are done with a thimble is a bit different. A difference that means a lot. I would much rather use both methods in unison in order to get it right the first time than to build a bad habit that may be difficult to break.

Not all books have dvd companions and even less dvds have book counterparts but I like it when they do. A few other great examples are:

Royal Road to Card Magic (book) and dvd set by R Paul Wilson
Connections dvd set by Jon Allen and his book "Experience"
Modern Coin Magic (book) and 4 dvd set with Ben Salinas
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Feb 16, 2017 04:24PM)
"Not all books have dvd companions and even less dvds have book counterparts but I like it when they do. A few other great examples are:

Royal Road to Card Magic (book) and dvd set by R Paul Wilson
Connections dvd set by Jon Allen and his book "Experience"
Modern Coin Magic (book) and 4 dvd set with Ben Salinas [/quote]"

The Royal Road Book and DVD set may be the best value and starting point there is in Card Magic!
I still go back and reference it all the time!
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Feb 16, 2017 04:30PM)
One thing that really bothers me with the Youtube ripoff magicians.
Not only do they rip off an effect from a top magician, both old and new,
they rarely give the originating magician credit, unless they are trying to get views,
then they list it in the video name, i.e. Shin Lim.
Message: Posted by: B. Edwards (Feb 21, 2017 12:56AM)
A while back, I picked up both volumes of Alex Elmsley's "Collected Works" Deluxe Editions (numbered and signed). As Mr.Elmsley had to touch the books to sign them, there is DNA of my favourite card magician, on my book shelf. Clearly, in this case at least... a giant plus to buying books. :D


Brian
Message: Posted by: Nosslrak (Feb 23, 2017 04:51AM)
Well, you kind of need books if you want to seriously learn magic don't you?

Also, I learned rather quickly that buying fancy deck of cards, props and gimmicks usually ended in disappointment. They are usually not as great as you imagining them to be. Buying books is a way for me to satisfy my lust for buying stuff and still end up satisfied.
Message: Posted by: algebraic (Feb 28, 2017 02:50PM)
Books don't get a virus.
Message: Posted by: Tim Snyder (Mar 1, 2017 12:35AM)
Two years ago when I began to seriously investigate magic, I did not find a list of 30 youtube videos that I needed to watch. I did find a list of 30 books that I needed to read. So over that time I have purchased Tarbell, Hilliard, Rice, Weber, Fitzkee, Ortiz, Tamariz, Wonder and etc. Hopefully, someday I will have the time to read them all. Nevertheless, I have built a library of magic fundamentals that I consider to be an heirloom. If my children do not have a strong interest in magic, I will have to find a young grasshopper to pass these literary treasures onto.

The other type of book that I love buying are the ones written by the magician who has not made a career out of "teaching magic". When they finally get around to writing THEIR book. The focus is always what have I learned about performing the art of magic over all these years, and what have I contributed to the art of magic over all these years. If you have any interest at all in a particular magician, who wouldn't enjoy hearing the responses to those questions?
Message: Posted by: Nosslrak (Mar 2, 2017 01:55AM)
Another reason to buy magic books is of course the reason that a lot of magic books are de facto limited editions, as in there are only so many books in existens and they might never be reprinted again. So when I see the "Only 1 book left" in the magic book store I do have an urge to buy it. I try to ignore this since it's not healthy for my wallet but I do feel a bit bad for not buying a book I know I might not have a chance of buying again, at least not new.
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 3, 2017 08:36PM)
[quote]On Feb 21, 2017, B. Edwards wrote:
A while back, I picked up both volumes of Alex Elmsley's "Collected Works" Deluxe Editions (numbered and signed). As Mr.Elmsley had to touch the books to sign them, there is DNA of my favourite card magician, on my book shelf. Clearly, in this case at least... a giant plus to buying books. :D


Brian [/quote]

Now THAT is REAL MAGIC!
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 3, 2017 08:44PM)
Actually, I have to have both. One reinforces the other.
I am right handed, but becasue I have played lead guitar since I was 15, my left hand has more dexterity that my right hand.
Thus I handle the cards like a lefty, i.e. I hold the deck in the right hand.

This makes almost everything backwards for me in the books. The DVDs provide clarity when needed!

Jim Rose
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Mar 12, 2017 03:14PM)
Oh what a pity you hold your deck with your right because you think your left hand has to de the work. I strongly disagree with that. As for the piano, the left hand is the leading and smart one, which sustains everything, giving the tempo, the atmosphere amongst other things.
Maybe it is not too late to change. Or you have reached high proficiency this way. When you are watching you performing, try to see if there is a feeling of dissonance between your hands movements and general body language.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Mar 12, 2017 03:16PM)
As for the subject, there is really nice thoughts about DVD versus book in this thread. And I agree for most of it.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 12, 2017 04:52PM)
REAL magicians buy books, a lot of books. At least intelligent magicians do. They don;t look for shortcuts as shortcuts ultimately lead to shortcomings. I come from the old school of learning so I have literally thousands of books on magic and many other subjects. I love big, old, magic books and yes they are expensive. But you get so much more info in a book than a DVD, or single effect. They also only become more valuable as time goes on. I have collected magic books, DVDS and tricks for almost 40 years now. I love having a vast supply of knowledge and resources at my disposal as it always gives me something to look forward to, and finding all the hidden gems in books that most will never find because they are too lazy to read and look for quick answers online etc. For me books are special and offer a great journey, and is how I got my start in magic.

I love looking at walls of books and knowing that I can just pick one up and turn to any random page and study a trick or read them completely. I was brought up learning the hard way, and the correct way as there are no short cuts to true greatness. You also become more literate and intelligent overall through reading. I also love DVDS as it is great to watch sample presentations, timing of sleights and movies, patter, misdirection etc. So books and DVDS compliment each other well. Books just give you way more information for the price, and are far more valuable. I thought the Tarbell set was expensive back when I got my first set almost 40 years ago, but they paid for themselves after about 3-4 shows as a kid. You can also take a book with you almost anywhere you go and do not have to reply on batteries or electronics to view them, at least not in the day time.

So for me they have a strong appeal, but I also love DVDS as well and I feel both combines offer the best learning experience. I especially love "encyclopedia" type DVDS so I can look up moves that may not be totally clear in print. I always loved getting the biggest, most technically difficult books that I could find. I also especially love magic theory type books as well since I also post a lot of essays on that subject as well, and of course Magic Periodicals are one of my favorites if not my favorite overall. But I love them all, especially the big, old, OOP ones that are hard to find now.

I prefer a real book over an ebook also, but I will take an ebook if I have to and I do have all ebooks as back ups as well for ease of searching keywords etc. So really they are all important. But books is how I started long ago and still give the most bang for the buck. But I do love DVDS also, especially large sets, and encyclopedia ones as I said. I love all of the periodicals especially Apocalypse, Hugard's Magic Monthly, Pabular, The Phoenix, The Jinx, The Sphinx, Magic Menu, Best of Friends, Magical Arts Journal, Topps, Spell-binder, The Gen, Magic Wand and all the Magic Magazines etc. Hard to find many in book form but I got most of those and many more in book and ebook form. Also Genni, MUM, The Linking Ring, Magic Magazine etc. HUGE books, The Secret Ways of Al Baker, Greater Magic, The James File, Tarbell, Mind, Myth , Magick, Stanyon's Magic, and sets like Definitive Sankey. AOA, etc. So I know I will always stay busy for at least a few more lifetimes lol.

Funny also I said on here a few years ago that it would be nice to see a Tarbell DVD set, or videos of every trick. Most scoffed at the idea in my thread and said it would not be possible and take too long etc. Then it happened when Dan Harlan took on the project and turned out to be a great visual reference for the books. They are still making them and have many to go lol. I look forward to having them all also.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 12, 2017 06:11PM)
Also REAL magic is not just about "secrets" or "free secrets." It is a journey, and if done correctly proves to be very rewarding in the long run. Usually if information is accessed too easily and without much work it is not appreciated, and treated with less respect. Whereas us old school magicians had to earn out way the hard and long way through many hours, days. months, and years of reading. We also became better magicians for it, and do not expose what we learned because we respect the art and make a living doing magic. Kids these days get something for free and easy on the internet, so then they do the same thing because they were never taught the value of it, and why this should not be done. They are more concerned about getting attention because they are insecure and self-centered. For them magic is nothing more than a passing phase.

All of those kids who made exposure videos years ago are long gone and no longer post, and since they only focused on secrets their performances were lousy. Had they worked on the effect long enough to be able to do it proficiently they may have respected it more. But they were more concerned about exposing it and causing outrage and getting attention on themselves. But as I said luckily these types do not last long. They don't read books either, they just look for pirated videos. So all of the good stuff is safe anyway. Jeff McBride quoted Richard Hatch in his video on "Essential Magic Books", "If you want new ideas read old books, if you want old ideas read new books."
Message: Posted by: SvenSigma (Mar 13, 2017 02:44AM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
Funny also I said on here a few years ago that it would be nice to see a Tarbell DVD set, or videos of every trick. Most scoffed at the idea in my thread and said it would not be possible and take too long etc. Then it happened when Dan Harlan took on the project and turned out to be a great visual reference for the books. They are still making them and have many to go lol. I look forward to having them all also. [/quote]

Just waiting for the opportunity to start the subscription from lesson 1 because I started at 59. You get 1 through 8 at reasonable prices, but filling up 50 lessons at 20$ each is prohibitively expensive. In another thread Dan Harlan mentioned that this "subscribe from 1" is on the roadmap, but so far no date has been promised. Hopefully not, wenn the last lesson is "on air."
Message: Posted by: SvenSigma (Mar 13, 2017 03:46AM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
REAL magicians buy books, a lot of books. At least intelligent magicians do. They don;t look for shortcuts as shortcuts ultimately lead to shortcomings.[/quote]

I imagine that shortly after magic books became popular magicians said "REAL magicians don't read books. They search and learn from a mentor and meticulously take their own notes. They don't look for shortcuts as shortcuts ultimately lead to shortcomings." And they would have been right as well. In comparison to that approach, magicians are spoon fed by books.

Which makes me wonder if reading books is more a matter of social distinction. It could also a sign that "old school" magicians are threatened by the disruption caused first by VHS video, then by DVD, now by online videos (streaming or download). I think in the past many magicians had a nice income not only from their shows but also from tutoring fees. Now some outstanding magicians (like Dan Harlan with his Tarbell course project) can live very well from that, while the others get nothing any more.

In the end it does not matter from which medium an information comes. Also the argument of information density of books does not count in my eyes. Any one who owns hundreds of magic books and states that he has read all of them and really retained substiantially more than one or two percent of the information is either a genius (rare) or not quite truthful to himself. Not different from people who watch hundreds of hours of magic lessons on video, if it comes to that.

Summing it up it could be that magicians buy magic books for the following reasons, not all of the valid for everybody:

1. Books are really a great (if not the best) medium for learning magic.
2. It makes them feel like REAL magicians. Which does not necessarily mean that they ARE real magicians.
3. They can look down upon people who do not prefer books as medium for learning magic. So even mediocre magicians can look down upon great magicians that have not learned from books but from videos.
4. They want others to use books as primary learning medium. Selfishly so, if they write books and do not also make videos. Not selfish, if they just believe 1. to be true.

and, a final bonus:

5. Magic is just an extremely conservative business. It is old. It is a stronghold of male brotherhood. Innovation outside of inventing new effects and methods questions this. New media are an innovation, therefore they threaten the old school guys. *Turning on irony.* Even women can download magic videos nowadays. In the old days no decent magic shopkeeper would heave let them into the store. Next you see women producing magic videos as well. Beware! *Turning off irony.*
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 13, 2017 09:16AM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, SevenSigma wrote:
[quote]On Mar 12, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
REAL magicians buy books, a lot of books. At least intelligent magicians do. They don;t look for shortcuts as shortcuts ultimately lead to shortcomings.[/quote]

I imagine that shortly after magic books became popular magicians said "REAL magicians don't read books. They search and learn from a mentor and meticulously take their own notes. They don't look for shortcuts as shortcuts ultimately lead to shortcomings." And they would have been right as well. In comparison to that approach, magicians are spoon fed by books.

Which makes me wonder if reading books is more a matter of social distinction. It could also a sign that "old school" magicians are threatened by the disruption caused first by VHS video, then by DVD, now by online videos (streaming or download). I think in the past many magicians had a nice income not only from their shows but also from tutoring fees. Now some outstanding magicians (like Dan Harlan with his Tarbell course project) can live very well from that, while the others get nothing any more.

In the end it does not matter from which medium an information comes. Also the argument of information density of books does not count in my eyes. Any one who owns hundreds of magic books and states that he has read all of them and really retained substiantially more than one or two percent of the information is either a genius (rare) or not quite truthful to himself. Not different from people who watch hundreds of hours of magic lessons on video, if it comes to that.

Summing it up it could be that magicians buy magic books for the following reasons, not all of the valid for everybody:

1. Books are really a great (if not the best) medium for learning magic.
2. It makes them feel like REAL magicians. Which does not necessarily mean that they ARE real magicians.
3. They can look down upon people who do not prefer books as medium for learning magic. So even mediocre magicians can look down upon great magicians that have not learned from books but from videos.
4. They want others to use books as primary learning medium. Selfishly so, if they write books and do not also make videos. Not selfish, if they just believe 1. to be true.

and, a final bonus:

5. Magic is just an extremely conservative business. It is old. It is a stronghold of male brotherhood. Innovation outside of inventing new effects and methods questions this. New media are an innovation, therefore they threaten the old school guys. *Turning on irony.* Even women can download magic videos nowadays. In the old days no decent magic shopkeeper would heave let them into the store. Next you see women producing magic videos as well. Beware! *Turning off irony.* [/quote]

I never said DVDS were bad I stated I love them as well, and I am not threatened by videos as I said you just get so much more info from books. I have retained A LOT over reading books for 40 years now, especially since magic has been my profession for about 30 years. I doubt books were ever shunned upon as they have been around so long and reading is how most people have learned stuff for a very long time.

I don't agree with finding and needing mentors because in my area there were not mentors or other magicians, and till this day there are none in my local area. I did not meet any other magicians until many years later when I traveled, and usually I was the most experienced magician when I finally did. I travel about 60 miles to clubs once in awhile and none of them live near me there. As I said I love all forms of learning and I combine them, but books have a wider appeal to me for the reasons stated. However one can be a mentor through a book, and obviously a teacher. There is just no back and forth interaction. That is a great bonus but certainly not necessary. I wish their were other magicians when I first started, and even the closest magic shop was like 60 miles and still is.

But I learn from all types of media. I am not against video as some are, and I am old school but I use what works. I just find that books give more value and information for the price. Especially when you have the time to read a lot of them.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 13, 2017 09:19AM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, SevenSigma wrote:
[quote]On Mar 12, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
Funny also I said on here a few years ago that it would be nice to see a Tarbell DVD set, or videos of every trick. Most scoffed at the idea in my thread and said it would not be possible and take too long etc. Then it happened when Dan Harlan took on the project and turned out to be a great visual reference for the books. They are still making them and have many to go lol. I look forward to having them all also. [/quote]

Just waiting for the opportunity to start the subscription from lesson 1 because I started at 59. You get 1 through 8 at reasonable prices, but filling up 50 lessons at 20$ each is prohibitively expensive. In another thread Dan Harlan mentioned that this "subscribe from 1" is on the roadmap, but so far no date has been promised. Hopefully not, wenn the last lesson is "on air." [/quote]

Yeah I asked Dan why they went up in price as they were $4.99-$9.99 up until like Lesson 20 or something. So I got all of those and I wanted to buy them all at once for $9.99. I could buy them all anyway at $19.99 but would be quite awhile before I Was able to get through them all. So I will probably buy them in chunks of 5 or at the very least once a month would be perfect and work on each one per month. I would prefer them all on DVD so I do not have ti worry about storing them or being online.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 13, 2017 09:45AM)
Also I would not consider books being spoon fed by any means. It is a lot more work and far more time consuming to get through a lot of books than DVDS. Although I have been doing so for about 37 years now I have not even come close to reading all that I have. But I don't have to, nor do I need to retain all of the information. I pick and choose and I have everything that I like to do on file, and at one given time I only keep about maybe 10-20 effects in my repertoire that I change in and out. But the knowledge is all there and waiting for me when I am ready for it. I can pick and choose what I want when I want. I also do this with DVDS as well, or IDL's that I have. I utilize them all but books are still my favorite as far as how much info is available. But I still love the visual reference of videos.
Message: Posted by: SvenSigma (Mar 13, 2017 11:05AM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
Also I would not consider books being spoon fed by any means. ... But the knowledge is all there and waiting for me when I am ready for it. [/quote]

This is what I meant with my remark on "when magic books became popular." Sure, nowadays nobody will understand books as spoon-feeding. Let's just assume that in 2077 you can get it uploaded directly into your brain, then nobody will understand today's discussions :-)
Message: Posted by: SvenSigma (Mar 13, 2017 11:08AM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
Yeah I asked Dan why they went up in price as they were $4.99-$9.99 up until like Lesson 20 or something. So I got all of those and I wanted to buy them all at once for $9.99. I could buy them all anyway at $19.99 but would be quite awhile before I Was able to get through them all. So I will probably buy them in chunks of 5 or at the very least once a month would be perfect and work on each one per month. I would prefer them all on DVD so I do not have ti worry about storing them or being online. [/quote]

Especially since the card magic stuff in Tarbell may be good but there is so much material out there, including great DVDs, that the money for value of Tarbell card magic videos is less than for other topics. Just thinking of Card College and the stuff from Big Blind Media...
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 13, 2017 01:11PM)
Yeah I already went through all the books countless times over almost 40 years but it is just cool to have them all on video and see someone else do the routines. I have a ton of repeat material with cards of course so don't really need to see it all again and again. But I love the encyclopedia nature of it.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 13, 2017 01:12PM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, SevenSigma wrote:
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, sirbrad wrote:
Also I would not consider books being spoon fed by any means. ... But the knowledge is all there and waiting for me when I am ready for it. [/quote]

This is what I meant with my remark on "when magic books became popular." Sure, nowadays nobody will understand books as spoon-feeding. Let's just assume that in 2077 you can get it uploaded directly into your brain, then nobody will understand today's discussions :-) [/quote]

Yeah I can already see the advertisements, "Upload to your brain instantly!" Lol. Not to mention back the day all I ad was a black and white catalog with vague product descriptions, and line drawings. Then it took 6-8 weeks to get the stuff and you did not know if it was any good or not until you got it. That is why I love video reviews, and the invention of the VHS demo was awesome back then so I could actually see the tricks performed. No BS edited, bells and whistles, music crap like today just the raw trick. That is what I like. Just like a magic shop demo. Today everyone wants their stuff in two days, now that is what call spoon fed lol.

It is far more accessible today and also less appreciated. But old school guys like myself appreciate it a lot, as well as the old ways of learning still today. I am glad that I can still get those big, old books and much faster, and that there is a broad range places on the internet to find them. So for me I am still the same I am just saving a ton of time canceling out those 6-8 weeks waiting and wondering when my stuff is coming. It was always a journey and I never told anyone a thing as far as secrets as I earned them the hard and through hard labor as a teen lol.
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 13, 2017 05:19PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Oh what a pity you hold your deck with your right because you think your left hand has to de the work. I strongly disagree with that. As for the piano, the left hand is the leading and smart one, which sustains everything, giving the tempo, the atmosphere amongst other things.
Maybe it is not too late to change. Or you have reached high proficiency this way. When you are watching you performing, try to see if there is a feeling of dissonance between your hands movements and general body language. [/quote]

Actually, playing the piano and playing lead guitar are totally different. I own a Yamaha Conservatory Grand and play it often. The fingering of the lead guitar fret-board takes far more strength and dexterity to play, pull off, hammer on, stretch 9 frets, etc than a piano keyboard.

Having said that, I have started to do right handed fans, as well as left handed. I am adding one handed cuts to the mix, cutting 2 decks at the same time. Not sure if I will ever move over to the "Dark Side"!

Here is a good one........I am 56 years old, have played music most of my life, and STILL cant read music!
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Mar 13, 2017 07:19PM)
Lempereur, fortunately, reading music does not make the musician ! It just gives easier and faster access to learning scores. I'm a very bad reader too, I hate that, it is not a convenient system for me.
As for the guitar, I know nothing about this instrument but looking at others playing it. I can see the efforts of the left hand indeed, especially stretching.
Fingers strength and dexterity in piano are very demanding too. In both hands. I'm playing a lot Rachmaninov and Scriabin pieces, so marvelous but difficult to play. Both of them had very big hands and you easily reach your physical limit. Even with the 10 inches spread I have.
I have a kg2 Kawai grand and I can remember hesitating between this one and the Yamaha conservatory. The later has a better sound but the former has a super good reputation regarding durability and solidity.
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 13, 2017 08:53PM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Lempereur, fortunately, reading music does not make the musician ! It just gives easier and faster access to learning scores. I'm a very bad reader too, I hate that, it is not a convenient system for me.
As for the guitar, I know nothing about this instrument but looking at others playing it. I can see the efforts of the left hand indeed, especially stretching.
Fingers strength and dexterity in piano are very demanding too. In both hands. I'm playing a lot Rachmaninov and Scriabin pieces, so marvelous but difficult to play. Both of them had very big hands and you easily reach your physical limit. Even with the 10 inches spread I have.
I have a kg2 Kawai grand and I can remember hesitating between this one and the Yamaha conservatory. The later has a better sound but the former has a super good reputation regarding durability and solidity. [/quote]

I don't play the piano as good as the guitar, but enough to write songs. I forgot to mention the Yamaha Piano is also a Disklavier player piano.
Absolutely wonderful when you just want to listen to someone else play! Its also great at Christmas playing the Charlie Brown Christmas songs!
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 13, 2017 11:45PM)
Rachmaninov:

Here is a good icon that reflects my delima! :heavymetal:
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Mar 15, 2017 05:05PM)
Oh nice, I remember when I was a croupier, there was a grand piano who has this feature, it was awesome, and the keys where playing by themselves, it was not only the sound heard.
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 15, 2017 07:02PM)
[quote]On Mar 15, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Oh nice, I remember when I was a croupier, there was a grand piano who has this feature, it was awesome, and the keys where playing by themselves, it was not only the sound heard. [/quote]

Another fun thing I love about it is to load up may favorite Mozart or Beethoven, set behind the keyboard and just watch how they played the piece! Most of it is astounding. Now I now spend most of my free time watching slow motion DVD closeups of Ackerman, Ortiz, Daryl and Harry's hands! (And reading the corresponding books when ever possible).

It sucks about Daryl. He was one of my top favorites.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Mar 16, 2017 07:47PM)
Oh no ! The info didn't reach Europe. Your sentence drove me to make a net research. What a sad news. His warm and nice smile is a big lost for our community.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 16, 2017 08:35PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Oh no ! The info didn't reach Europe. Your sentence drove me to make a net research. What a sad news. His warm and nice smile is a big lost for our community. [/quote]

Check this thread out I posted more recently and some tributes from others. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=636424&start=0
Message: Posted by: Lempereur (Mar 16, 2017 10:47PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Oh no ! The info didn't reach Europe. Your sentence drove me to make a net research. What a sad news. His warm and nice smile is a big lost for our community. [/quote]

Daryl was truly one of the best magic teachers. The act this his Encyclopedia of Card magic Series STILL sells at it's original list price, almost 30 years later.

He made you feel good about card magic, and gave you that great smile from the opening to the closing.....
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Mar 17, 2017 01:58PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2017, Lempereur wrote:
The act this his Encyclopedia of Card magic Series STILL sells at it's original list price, almost 30 years later.[/quote]

Clearly you're not subscribed to L&L's email list...
Message: Posted by: RevConfused (Mar 17, 2017 03:03PM)
My love of books will always win out to my dying day.

A well written book speaks to me far more than the same words on a screen. Maybe it's nostalgia?
Maybe I love books on magic just as I prefer old school magic tricks?

I'd mourn the day when books were finally phased out in favour of digital media.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Mar 17, 2017 08:47PM)
[quote]On Mar 16, 2017, Lempereur wrote:
[quote]On Mar 16, 2017, Rachmaninov wrote:
Oh no ! The info didn't reach Europe. Your sentence drove me to make a net research. What a sad news. His warm and nice smile is a big lost for our community. [/quote]

Daryl was truly one of the best magic teachers. The act this his Encyclopedia of Card magic Series STILL sells at it's original list price, almost 30 years later.

He made you feel good about card magic, and gave you that great smile from the opening to the closing..... [/quote]

Not quite 30 years ago, 21 years ago the VHS set came out in 1996. It is much cheaper now if you look around and are on L&L's list sometimes it is $99.00 or $80 for their $10 DVD specials. The DVD set is still one my top favorite sets of all time, and is the most comprehensive DVD set on card sleights that there is. I had the VHS sets back then also, and I still watch the DVDS till this day.
Message: Posted by: Douglas.M (Jun 28, 2017 11:14PM)
I would have to argue against the claim that "everything is knowable via Google". Google certainly hasn't replaced the need for books because not every book has been digitized, and not every routine or move is on YouTube. Scores of routines and moves are still only knowable via books. I recently purchased The Magic of Michael Ammar and Richard Kaufmann's CoinMagic. Why? Because there are certain acquiments and routines from those tomes that have not, thank God, filtered out onto Google or YouTube. And those are the tip of the iceberg. By ignoring books you are essentially cutting yourself off from hundreds of years of magic secrets. I am not actually complaining, because as so many people keep buying and performing the same latest one-trick dvd, I am learning old school things that become new school because nobody has seen them recently. Magic books are my secret weapon.
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Aug 10, 2017 02:01AM)
One reason I really like books is the feeling of the secret being trusted to me. Sure, a thousand people have read it before and after me, but it's like the secret it being entrusted to me.
Since that's how I learned as a kid, I am at least a little inclined to try to keep that tradition alive. When it's on my shelf, and I'm the only one within two degrees that has access to the knowledge, I feel entrusted, part of something, and being honest, a little elite as well.

I don't really get that when I watch the mechanical, no crowd, no imagination version of passing on secrets.
Message: Posted by: magic.42 (Sep 6, 2017 03:09AM)
When I started in magic back in the late 60's and my first book was "The Amateurs Magician's Handbook" . It was and is the perfect starter book to introduce someone into the world of magic. I can't see a DVD even coming close to what this book did for me, as far as educating me into what it takes to PERFORM magic and have it be entertaining. To me books are, at times, a Personal connection to the author. They explain the trick and while I'm learning it I'm visualizing myself performing it, not the author. The trick, the actions, the moves and even the patter are now part of ME. All this is in a book for anyone that cares to open and read it. Now at times books are maddening. Especially when it makes reference to a move in a book you don't own. This will assist you in getting more books to add to your collection and making use of the knowledge of friends you've made in the magic community. DVD's are fine, but their terrible to use as a reference. If I have a question about a trick I simply use books and/or call a friend. I do seem to be acquiring more and more ebooks/PDFs; however, I still consider them books, just super portable.
Message: Posted by: SandwichMan (Sep 7, 2017 08:48PM)
[quote]On Aug 25, 2016, DiegoNovati wrote:
5. A book last long, a dvd is design to last 10 years (the VHS are unreadable today)
[/quote]

Wait...really? But my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone DVD From 2002 still plays today!

As for my reply to the personal poster, although lots of exposure on how tricks are done can be found online, I buy books to support the creators. Also, reading through a physical book is quite different for me than from reading from a computer. This may sound strange, but holding a book makes me feel like I'm holding power. Plus, reading the material and digesting it in your mind vs. watching it visually done via videos requires more effort...and that extra effort is useful in exercising your mind.

If I can choose between a book or PDF, I'd choose the physical book, but I might reconsider if the price is drastically different.
Message: Posted by: RevConfused (Sep 11, 2017 04:07PM)
I've re-read this thread, and although I still stand by my previous post I'll add:

"because I respect magic and those who came before and put years and lives into it before me"
Message: Posted by: normative (Sep 20, 2017 02:50PM)
Maybe worth adding, in light of the OP's reference to cost, that the value proposition for a lot of the hoary classics is actually pretty great. Sure, there are plenty of small-run hardbacks that contain a half dozen card effects for the cost of a used Buick, but you can get a paperback of Expert Card Technique or Modern Coin Magic for less than the price of a movie ticket (quite a bit less if you find a used copy), the quality of explanation is usually better than you'll find on some random website, and it's usually more convenient to consult while you're sitting in front of a mirror practicing than your laptop or smartphone. There's also, of course, some value to the progression, especially when one is just starting out: You get the fundamentals explained, and then learn how you can use them first in easier, then more difficult effects. Having the books to hand also makes learning from online or video sources more productive, because books will often give you many variations on a move to try out. Usually if you're trying to pick up an effect from a video (or a written blog explanation), you'll learn whatever variant of the constituent sleights the author or performer prefers to use. Having a book to hand makes it easy to see what your options are if you don't care for a particular move they're using, or if the version you normally rely on isn't meshing well with a particular effect.
Message: Posted by: PapaG (Sep 21, 2017 04:11PM)
The fundamental reason? I think there will always be a romantic notion of a magician's library rather than a magician's DVD collection.
Message: Posted by: Glen Guldbeck (Apr 6, 2018 01:47PM)
I love books because how I chose to learn the effect within is 100% my choice. I'm in control of the learning process by bringing the printed material to life in the manner I chose.
I don't have anyone on a googled search determining that for me. Plus I love the tactile nature of holding a book in my hands; feeling the spine, making notes in the column, highlighting relevant passages, etc. Googling effects is fine for research, but I'm typically searching for where the material I seek is in print. Sometimes, and e-version is the only choice you have and I'm good with that. But if I can take up another inch of my magic bookcase, then I will. As alluded to in an earlier post, I also love seeing my collection displayed; the titles, color of the dust jackets, author's names, title of the book, and most importantly, what resides within. It's fun to randomly select a book, open it at any point, and read the routine, sleight, or article that is staring me in the face. Add in a couple fingers of scotch, a fresh deck of my favorite cards on my practice pad, in my dimly lit study, and I'll be having a perfect night. But then my wife typically asks me to make a Costco run. Last time I checked, the magic book selection at Costco is less than stellar. But I digress...
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Apr 7, 2018 03:33PM)
I fully understand what Glen just said, as Iím feeling the axact same things when Iím in my library.
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Apr 11, 2018 10:29PM)
[quote]On Sep 22, 2017, PapaG wrote:
The fundamental reason? I think there will always be a romantic notion of a magician's library rather than a magician's DVD collection. [/quote]

A quick side note, once I visit a magician's / celebrity illusionist studio (name non-disclosed) when I saw his bookshelf / DVD video shelf I can basically know how deep he loves / understands magic.

Magic book collection might not make you a better magician but at least it told me how deep you love / desire to learn & perfect your magic. Period.

The ending of my little story above: I never discuss any magic with that magician again.
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Apr 12, 2018 08:42AM)
[quote]On Apr 11, 2018, Steven Leung wrote:
[quote]On Sep 22, 2017, PapaG wrote:
The fundamental reason? I think there will always be a romantic notion of a magician's library rather than a magician's DVD collection. [/quote]

A quick side note, once I visit a magician's / celebrity illusionist studio (name non-disclosed) when I saw his bookshelf / DVD video shelf I can basically know how deep he loves / understands magic.

Magic book collection might not make you a better magician but at least it told me how deep you love / desire to learn & perfect your magic. Period.

The ending of my little story above: I never discuss any magic with that magician again. [/quote]

So true !
Message: Posted by: farmerkarl (Jun 5, 2018 12:56AM)
Some day all this technology stuff will be gone -- I like books I'm building a library. Books rock!!
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Jun 6, 2018 03:51PM)
It's also easier to find a book on your shelf than a digital file on some device in some folder. Also, years later when that pdf, epub, AZW,or LIT can't be read because they are no longer compatible with the latest device, that dusty book with the torn dust jacket will be instantly available. It's also nice if the author signed the book too.



Larry :readingbook:
Message: Posted by: farmerkarl (Jul 1, 2018 02:17AM)
I generally know where whatever book it is I'm looking for is at. Larry the books from you that I got are great but you forgot to sign them. I hope that when I get the next Magica book you'll remember to sign it for me ;)
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Jul 1, 2018 02:20PM)
Sorry Karl. Must have been writers cramp or more likely brain cramp. Magical IV will be out this Fall. I will sign it for you.

Larry
:readingbook: