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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » "Say, whatcha readin' there, buddy?" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Joshua Quinn
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Just wondering how people here respond when some insipid boor, oblivious to the fact that people engrossed in a book generally aren't looking for banal conversation with strangers, approaches you and asks this most annoying question while you're reading a mentalism book whose nature you'd rather not explain. Do you: A) lie, B) change the subject, C) tell him it's not something you wish to talk about, or D) launch into a scathing tirade on the deplorable lack of awareness and couth demonstrated by the simpleton's failure to recognize the inherent unwelcomeness of his question, segueing into an unflinching dissection of the crippling impact that such ineptitude must have on his social, financial, and romantic life?

(Or am I the only one who finds such interruptions infuriating enough to actually comtemplate D?)

My most recent, not-entirely-untrue response: "A book on origami," while quickly closing and putting away my copy of Peek Encores.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
procyonrising
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I actually take interruptions like that as a chance to promote myself. For instance, I was reading Banachek's two-sided, How To Read People's Minds book when a friend passed by. When she asked, I talked about ideomotor movement, then did something out of the book (had her put a paperclip on a string, then did a pendulum effect using Banachek's take on Grismer's astrology anagram).

Personally, I think if someone's interested enough to break the ice with you, they're worth sharing your magic with.
Xiqual
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Very well said!!
Cheers,
James



Quote:
Personally, I think if someone's interested enough to break the ice with you, they're worth sharing your magic with.
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
enriqueenriquez
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Those books tend to be very atractive for other people. They have weird, complex or curious titles.

If you don’t want to reveal what the book is about, or you don’t want to feel obligated to perform just because your are reading about mentalism, take off the cover flaps of the book, if it is a hardcover or, in books like Peek Encores, turn some pages around the spiral in a way that shows a blank page on the outside and left the cover in the inside.

I don’t think we should perform all the time just because people approach us, in the same way that a profesional comedian shouldn’t be doing monologues all day to everyone.

I prefer to think that you should be able to transmit a sense of wonder all the time, even without speaking.
Gordon
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I like to preserve my books, and my privacy, so when I read a mystery arts book in public I'll use a book cover.

I prefer the fabric ones -- similar to what you see at the URL below -- but with a less flashy design. Office Max Depot carries 'em.

http://www.stretchablebookcovers.com/
Joshua Quinn
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Gordon, I had never seen those before, but it's a good idea. Thanks.

And procyonrising, you're right of course. I wrote that post after having a rather bad day in general, then retreating to a Café for the express purpose of being able to sit alone and read for a bit -- which proved impossible due to a steady stream of people asking what I was reading. Ordinarily I'm not quite that surly. Smile

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
Samuel Catoe
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I usually respond with something along the lines of "Just a little book on world domination." Smile
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
PM me for details and availability.
procyonrising
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Hi Quinn,

No problem, everyone has bad days...

However, think about what you said for a moment. If people are approaching you because of what you're reading, you're on to something.

I figure you can use it to make yourself a better showman, magician, and self-promoter; or, you can say no, and have it end there. It's your choice. Personally - and this is corny but true - I would hope you choose the former, because I don't think there's enough magic in the world. As a magician, you have the power to make people smile uncontrollably; it would be a shame to keep it to yourself.
Ian Rowland
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I'd say, "It's a book of mysteries. For example, the man who puts the name signs up on a new street or road. How does he know where to go?".
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
Jonathan Townsend
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Sounds like a good reason to add a paper cover from a trashy novel if taking reading those books in public.

Feel free to use lines like "Sorry I have no idea, my girlfriend insisted I read this thing" .
...to all the coins I've dropped here
shrink
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There are certain things I wouldn't do in public........Reading Mentalism is one of them.
salsa_dancer
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I agree, if you are reading a book called Self Working Mental Magic then your cover is blown!
Looch
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Exactly
My Mentalism Products: https://www.readmymind.co.uk/
Bookings: https://looch.co.uk/
Babymagician
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"I read a book about the mind..let me show you something..."
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