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Topic: Books or DVDs
Message: Posted by: Torquay22 (Jul 22, 2013 03:48PM)
What should you learn from books or DVDs and I mean for both techniques and tricks and why
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Jul 22, 2013 05:00PM)
I think they're both important and you should use both--but you should also be smart about how you use both. First of all, some tricks are only available one way or the other. In that case, your choice is made for you. The first step is to figure out what you want to do, and learn that trick however it's marketed.

Assuming you could go either way, I actually recommend using a mix of both.

Books have some big advantages. They're self-paced. Instead of having to rewind and fast forward and pause and whatever, you just leave the book open to the right page and work it through until you understand it.

They require the imagination of the performer. This means that you can't just imitate what you see the performer do on screen. You have to bring something of yourself to it, and that's key. This goes both for methodology and for presentation.

However, sometimes, the technical information involved in sleights is difficult to convey in text (even with illustrations). So DVDs have an advantage in that they can show you what a move is meant to look like.
Message: Posted by: Bulla (Jul 22, 2013 08:17PM)
This is a very broad question and it would be more effective if you could be a bit more specific. I suggest learning whatever interests you from books first. Books will teach you how to be creative in establishing patter and a character for yourself. DVDs are great for teaching you pacing and timing. Live performances will also show you how to interact with people if that is not something that you're good at.
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Jul 23, 2013 12:27AM)
From a practical standpoint, I prefer books. I have 12" videodiscs, Beta and VHS tapes, 4 track, 8 track and cassette audio tapes, 78, 45 & 33-1/3 RPM records all of which are considered outdated and difficult to find something to play them on. DVDs will probably disappear in a few years because everyone has gone to some form of high def. video. Unless you forget how to read, books are always accessible. They are easy to bookmark, review and fast forward. They do, however, require some concentration on the part of the learner.
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Jul 23, 2013 01:19AM)
There's another little secret that I don't mind sharing since most people will ignore it anyway. All these great new tricks are coming out on DVD--and many of them really are great. But because they're great, lots of people do them. On the other hand, if you look in some of the really old books (and I do mean the really old books), you'll often find brilliant material that no one else is doing. It's worth paying attention to our history.
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Jul 23, 2013 02:58AM)
Re the above For a stupid number of tricks at a stupidly cheap price check out Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse, (from a time before DVD's *gasp)
Message: Posted by: TheRaven (Jul 23, 2013 05:27PM)
You are asking a question for which there is no single answer. Each person is unique and learns differently. Try each and see what works best for you. I also suggest you try a choice you didn't list... "other people". Join a magic club.
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Jul 23, 2013 05:50PM)
I use both. I learnt magic in a time when there was no alternative to books. I still prefer books but admit some things are easier to learn by watching a DVD.
Message: Posted by: Torquay22 (Jul 25, 2013 04:02AM)
Ok which contains better effects or is it just dependant on the book or DVD
Message: Posted by: MikeHolbrook (Jul 26, 2013 09:44PM)
"which contains the better effects?"
It depends on the book or dvd. Which do you think better suits your learning style? Also are you looking for a particular type of effect or a general intro to magic in all it's varieties? I think a book like Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is great for getting you started.

Message: Posted by: motown (Jul 27, 2013 08:23AM)
In many cases the effects you find on DVDs are taken from a performer's published work. Darwin Ortiz is a good example. One advantage with books is that you get I far more material to select from then a DVD for around the same cost.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Jul 27, 2013 10:07AM)
Go to http://www.youtube.com/harrylorayneonvideo to see about 30-plus performances with a regular deck, all from my books and/or DVDs, or both - and then you can make an intelligent decision. Maybe?
Message: Posted by: 5ublim3 (Feb 22, 2014 03:57AM)
I recently found an interest in magic and my first purchase was the Royal Road book. Since then I have bought a few effects and find most to be on dvd or available as a downloadable video. I have personally found it much easier to watch and keep an interest in the videos but have also realized although most everything you need for the effects is on the video, quite often references are made to books for options and variations. Now I also want to say I really don't like reading. So I wanted to ask with things like Royal Road or Card College or in another area of interest to me 13 steps to mentalism, I see that dvds are available also, having that option I really would prefer watching, would I be missing a whole lot opting for that media? It also seems that the video versions may even be better as they have been "updated" more recently in my opinion..
Message: Posted by: Bulla (Feb 22, 2014 09:06AM)
The simple answer is yes. Don't think of it as either or, but instead try to have an even balance between the two. There are tons of gems hidden in plain sight in magic books.
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Feb 25, 2014 02:52PM)
Message: Posted by: DrewPett (Feb 25, 2014 04:04PM)
It's really a matter of opinion. Books often seem to have a bit more content and can say some things which may be hard to display in a video but the same could also be said of DVDs. I suggest both. I prefer books but often also like to see a performer do the tricks or sleights described so I can get more of a feel of how it should. Really though, it's all preference. Try out both and see what suits you.
Message: Posted by: Endless West (Feb 26, 2014 09:12AM)
I prefer the books, in fact I've started converting my older/vintage books to pdf's so I can carry them on my tablet and not cause any damage to them. I can also start and stop a book at any point that I have a few free moments.. A DVD is more of a commitment to sit down and watch, plus then my girl knows the secrets too if she's home when I'm watching. I'm personally not a television watched, though, so maybe that had some bearing on my preference.
I do, enjoy watching and learning from DVDs, don't get me wrong, books are just more fun and convenient to me.
Message: Posted by: metaljohn (Feb 26, 2014 09:44AM)
Although DVDs are good, books are far more detailed.

Take the Card College DVDs as an example. They are based on volumes one and two, yet they lack about 50% of the material printed in the books; and that's not even counting the awesome 80+ page chapter in Volume two on misdirection and psychology.
Message: Posted by: Slough Illusions (Feb 26, 2014 10:22AM)
I find books useful for gaining info and educating your self about the skill involved...BUT... I live in a rural area and don't get to see people perform magic. Which is why I use DVDs to see others do magic. I have learned a lot about showmanship, timing, and appreciation of skill(or lack-thereof) and watching the details like lighting, voice tone, use of music to entertain people. When I do this I am not trying to imitate but to learn.
Message: Posted by: pkessler (Feb 26, 2014 10:40AM)
I agree that for attempted acquisition of sleights and for basic performance issues, DVDs are proving more useful. But for bedrock theory, mechanics, and issues related to the imagination, books are better, and yield a far richer return on investment.
Message: Posted by: gary1974 (Mar 11, 2014 11:59AM)
Videos and DVDs were a huge leap forward for the Magic and Mentalism scene and how we all learn on an Audio, Visual and Practical sense but alas they have their draw backs due to many performers watching and learning the DVD version and then believing the DVD version is the only and in some cases the original source. I know of two so called magicians release and sell products to the magic scene on topics such as the haunted pack and 20th century phantom but did not research, credit or offer the values of the original routines and the excellence of the inventors. Some Magicians are quick to forget the original paper trail and how modern routines came about, if you are going to publicly perform or release a new improved version, at least do the decent thing and give credit where credit is due and research the inventors creative thoughts and how they went about producing the classic routines we still use today. Call me an old romantic but reading books allows you to process the routine and put your own spin on the routine whilst keeping the traditional theme in our sights. The classics are classic for a reason and we should maintain book source material for generations to come.
Message: Posted by: MagicFett (Mar 11, 2014 08:50PM)
I love the advice tucked away in books tend to learn better from DVDs. So a good mix of both I guess, I cut my teeth on books though, so of course there is nothing like them. I can't argue with the advances in technology making ebooks very convenient.
Message: Posted by: Joey_Z (Mar 11, 2014 11:21PM)
I agree with metajohn and prefer the details that well written books offer. But I ultimately fall into the "both" canp - - sometimes using video to learn directly from or, more often to reinforce what I had learned from a book.
I like to read the description but see it performed for a point of reference and double check.
Message: Posted by: mago.niko (Mar 12, 2014 03:56AM)
I believe that DVDs are much better for a beginner. You can actually see how the move is done and its timing.
When you gain experience and better technique you can move on to a book where, as mentioned above, are more detailed instructions and much more sleights and routines!!
Message: Posted by: Joey_Z (Mar 12, 2014 06:37AM)
(duplicate removed... Sorry)
Message: Posted by: Amro (Mar 12, 2014 07:40AM)
When I started out in mentalism I prefered DVDs just because of learning from a role model is the quickest way. Also you get a clearer idea of the timing, which is sometimes a little harder to understand/communicate in written form. So for beginners who want to learn about techniques I would recommend DVDs.
After I got an idea how certain principles work, books were much easier to follow.
Message: Posted by: cmccrea (Mar 12, 2014 11:48AM)
I must say that I like books more than DVDs. I have Harry's Classic Collection Vol 1 on the coffee table and whenever I want I can pick it up and review the effect I'm working on or just read another. You have to plan to watch a DVD and that, for me, makes it less likely that I will. I also find myself going back to the books before the DVDs for the same reason when reseaching another effect. Books give you more bang for your buck.
Message: Posted by: Magic Pierre (Mar 13, 2014 11:21PM)
I like books, although I've also learned some things from video. If you learn from a book you have to be able to pull the instructions apart down to principals and understand those before you can do the trick. WIth a video it's just to easy to monkey-see, monkey-do.

Also, with book instructions you really have to come up with your own delivery. Again, with video, you can end up looking like a mimic trying to be someone else.

However, with book instruction, you actually have to be able to read. That's a little bit rarer talent these days.
Message: Posted by: Aberdeen1234 (Mar 15, 2014 03:35PM)
Both. Dvd's are great though because you can see what's being done.
Message: Posted by: dzen871 (Mar 19, 2014 06:00AM)
If you trying to learn sleight-of-hand magic DVDs are much more better source. If you want to learn mentalism - you can learn from books.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Mar 19, 2014 08:44AM)
Yeah, stay way away from my books!