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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Why do magicians still love buying magic books? (33 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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at4iowa
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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.
Lempereur
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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.


Right On the Money!
The magic market has become so crowded, if you do not support the best producers of magic, they will disappear.
Cordially Yours,

Jim Rose
Bill Hegbli
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Just answered a member's question for a solution in another part of the Café. 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.
weepinwil
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I just love being able to review the effect by flipping a page or two.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
WitchDocChris
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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.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Proximo
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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 Smile

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.
Tim Cavendish
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Reminder for book-lovers who think they read well:

The question asked was not 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.
WitchDocChris
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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.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Poof-Daddy
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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
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Lempereur
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"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!
Cordially Yours,

Jim Rose
Lempereur
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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.
Cordially Yours,

Jim Rose
B. Edwards
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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. Smile


Brian
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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.
algebraic
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Books don't get a virus.
Tim Snyder
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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?
Nosslrak
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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.
Lempereur
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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. Smile


Brian


Now THAT is REAL MAGIC!
Cordially Yours,

Jim Rose
Lempereur
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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
Cordially Yours,

Jim Rose
Rachmaninov
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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.
Rachmaninov
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As for the subject, there is really nice thoughts about DVD versus book in this thread. And I agree for most of it.
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