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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Most Expensive Book? (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sirbrad
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What is the most expensive magic book you have bought? I am not completely sure yet as I have close to a 1,000, but I believe it is "The Secret Ways of Al Baker" (912 pages) for $150.00. I wanted this for a long time, and look forward to reading it for the next few years. I am not talking book "sets" but ONE magic book.

I also have the Stewart James files for $100.00, I will have to check the rest as there is too many to just go by memory alone. Most books I get average about $45.00 such as The Magic Menu, Mastering the Art of Magic, AOA etc. I doubt many here even spend that much on DVDs let alone one book. But for me it is well worth it, as they contain a lifetime of material that you have to actually dig/work for.

If you want to protect some of the best secrets in magic, publish them in a big expensive book...
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
drhackenbush
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The "Benson By Starlight" book, also at $150. But here's the thing... I immediately realized the Salt Pour would work with my show, which I'd earlier written off, and beyond that, I developed my own routine for the Pour that fits with an audience of 4-year-olds. So it gave me not only a specific effect I wouldn't have done otherwise and inspired me to take that and not copy someone else's routine, but it also gave me a creative boost in general and around that time broke what amounts to a decades-old performer's block in a direction that I'd abandoned long ago. So aside from good reading and stuff like that, that $150 investment parlayed itself into my developing a sellable signature act that has a worth to me way beyond $150. And the thing is, that's only one effect out of the whole book so far...
EricDraven
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Well for me it was The Mind & Magic of David Berglas...but I don´t want to go into detail about how much I paid for it... :-D
Believe me...nothing is trivial...
sirbrad
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How would you rate the entire book as a whole? A lot of usuable material?


Quote:
On 2007-07-31 05:35, drhackenbush wrote:
The "Benson By Starlight" book, also at $150. But here's the thing... I immediately realized the Salt Pour would work with my show, which I'd earlier written off, and beyond that, I developed my own routine for the Pour that fits with an audience of 4-year-olds. So it gave me not only a specific effect I wouldn't have done otherwise and inspired me to take that and not copy someone else's routine, but it also gave me a creative boost in general and around that time broke what amounts to a decades-old performer's block in a direction that I'd abandoned long ago. So aside from good reading and stuff like that, that $150 investment parlayed itself into my developing a sellable signature act that has a worth to me way beyond $150. And the thing is, that's only one effect out of the whole book so far...
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
drhackenbush
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Yes, but I look at useable material as anything that helps me in my magic, so that includes Benson's essays on showmanship and the other non-trick material as well as the routines themselves. I also do the Hydrostatic Glass, not his way, but with influences from him. I probably won't be including the Chinese Sticks in my repertoire any time soon, but again, his handling of them as a showman is valuable to me.

Sort of like some of my baking books, one I got specifically for a certain recipe and that's all I use out of it, but the general theory of baking it discussed was useful to me, too. Another baking book has a huge amount of recipes I use so you could call that more useable material, but both books were very useful to me for different reasons.

I see the Benson book as a sort of modern Tarbell Course in one book, because for every trick it shows, it also shows where the trick came from, who did it and still does it, and includes most of the known or classic handlings. For instance, the Salt Pour section includes Dai Vernon's handling of his gimmick, as well as Benson's handling of his homemade gimmick, and also talks about Fred Kaps' handling and what was successful about all of them and what perhaps could've been improved in each case.

I know this is a long-winded answer, but yes, I feel it has 800 pages of useable material whether it's a trick, routine, or even a story of how Benson dealt with working on television.
asherfox
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Johnny Thompson book for 300 dollars.
this should be the most expensive book I bought.

it is interesting to see other collectors reply.
landmark
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Forte is coming...
EvilClown
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It may be the two-set House of Mystery books from Miracle Factory. I probably spent nearly $400 for those. Probably the same for the Mind and Magic of David Berglas. May have been more. It was over a year ago. Came close to buying an authentic Harbin for $800 at an estate sale, but someone snagged it while I was getting my money moved around.
boboswitch
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Soirees Fantastiques by Christian Fechner, $900.
Bobby Forbes
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It's gonna be the Forte book for me. I'm waiting for it...
Rachmaninov
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Bobby,
Have you an idea of the price of the Forte book ? Or because of the author, you know it will be very expensive ?
landmark
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From comments in another thread, the Forte book is expected to be 1000 pages, two volumes. That's more pages than the Johnny Thompson volumes. So...it's gonna be pricey.
Feral Chorus
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I just cracked the triple digit level for a book for the first time. Probably won't be the last. Yes, the price of quality magic books is going up generally, but it seems that the latest publications that I would like to add to my library have gone to another level. The Latta coin book seems a relative bargain at $80; Magic of Johnny Thompson $295, Magic Rainbow $150, Making Love the Steve Spill Way $125, Deland $150, Asi Wind's Repertoire $100 and (a little older) Full Bloom $150. To be clear, I am not saying they are not worth it.

As I mull over these books, it makes it all relatively easy to pick up some older works by Ascanio, Hartling, Lovick, Marlo, Kaufman and others at much lower price points.

I tremble to think how much the Conover book is going to cost. I guess I will have to pass on the next 50 or so hot one trick downloads and start saving my pennies.
Rachmaninov
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1000 pages…
I hope nothing will be held back (for sure it will, as always).
He has so much to add to the already gigantic world magic library ?
asherfox
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Quote:
On Apr 4, 2019, Rachmaninov wrote:
1000 pages…
I hope nothing will be held back (for sure it will, as always).
He has so much to add to the already gigantic world magic library ?


but you are talking about steve forte. God knows.
Kimura
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Steve Forte is enormously knowledgable. I suspect he could fill more than two volumes if squeezed enough. If it's truly a magic book it will be interesting to see how he applies actual cheating technique to magic tricks.


I guess most expensive so far has been the Thompson book, but I've hit pretty close on the used market. I am not proud of it, it's really quite shameful. It's incredible how consumerist magicians are. We really are suckers Smile

It's not quite a book but I've also dropped large amounts of money trying to get a complete Crimp file.
Rachmaninov
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I thought Steve Forte was mostly a cheater expert, and that he was not very interested by card magic.

Anyway, I have his old VHS cheating video and his technique is awesome, especially in the relaxing hand and rythm aspects. I only see two magicians now,with those qualities : James Swain, and Jon Armstrong. I saw Jon when I visited the magic castle, I spoke a little to him, but I didn’t dare to ask for a trick. How ridiculous I am…
magic.42
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I have 5 purchases that come to mind:
1) Bruce Cervons Castle Notebooks (All 5 Books) $800.00
2) The Will Goldston Locked Books ( 4 Bk Set from Collectors Workshop) @ $400.00
3) The Magic of Johnny Thompson Vol.1 & 2 w/slipcase @ $250.00
4) The Fred Braue Notebooks Vol. 1-8 @ $200.00
5) The Cardician by Ed Marlo - 1953' Hardbound - Signed & Numbered (Mint Condition) @ $120.00 (purchased in 2018)
Note:: Buying this one didn't hurt as much!

There are books in between these prices, but I don't recall which books and their prices. My Magic Library has more than 2459 books in it and still growing.
This in a 50+ year span/addiction.......
magic.42
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This is one wall.
magic.42
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Sorry, for whatever reason the picture didn't upload!
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