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Paul
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Inner circle
A good lecturer at your service!
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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.
Paul
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A good lecturer at your service!
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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.
Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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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.
Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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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.

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Rover
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Arizona
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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!
Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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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.

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
wayman
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England - Sunderland
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hobbymagic:

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
Rover
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Arizona
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Mike -

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